Poland to Modernize 16 MiG-29sSep 12, 2011 15:56 UTC
As former Warsaw Pact neighbors like Bulgaria grapple with affordable solutions to their aged fighter fleets, Poland is choosing to modernize half of its MiG-29 interceptor fleet, which serves alongside 48 F-16C/D Block 52 fighters as the core of the Sily Powietrzne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej’s front-line combat force. The MiG-29s of the 1st and 41st squadrons are part of the 1st tactical air wing at Swidwin, whose 3 Soviet-era SU-22 strike aircraft squadrons could disappear by 2014, with only a single squadron of trainer & light attack aircraft as their replacement.
Under the 133 million Zloty (about $48.5 million) contract with state-run WZL 2 in Bydgoszcz, the Poles will upgrade 13 of its MiG-29A interceptors, and 3 of its MiG-29UB interceptor/trainers. They will receive brand new avionics and mission computers, including a MIL-STD-1553 databus, and jam-resistant GPS. Poland appears to have chosen the basic upgrade option over a more extensive Sniper-class refit with helmet-mounted displays, improved ECM and radar, and the ability to use western weapons. The goal is to keep 1 of their 2 MiG-29 squadrons operational until 2030. Defense News | Flight International.