Accession Number:

ADA479642

Title:

Why did Poland Choose the F-16

Descriptive Note:

Occasional paper series no. 11

Corporate Author:

GEORGE C MARSHALL CENTER UNIT 24502 APO NEW YORK 09053

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

39.0

Abstract:

On December 27, 2002, Polands Minister of Defense Jerzy Szrnajdzinski announced Polands decision to purchase 48 state-of-the art F-16s fighter aircraft from Lockheed Martin. The deal of the century, as it was characterized by Christopher P. Hill, U.S. Ambassador to Poland, was sealed on April 18, 2003 with the signing of the contract by Polish and U.S. officials, and Lockheed Martin senior executives. The contracts involved three separate, but related, agreements the sale of 48 F-16 52 an offset package to invest in Poland over a 10 year period and favorable U.S. Government-backed low-interest financing. Polands decision to purchase the F-16 had interwoven capability, interoperability, economic, and political dimensions. The main issues that drove Polands decision to purchase the F-16 included a technical analysis of competing aircraft, price, financing, offsets, and politics. The mass media and the business community, particularly in Poland, portrayed the deal primarily in economic terms, emphasizing the favorable financing offered by the U.S. and the unprecedented offset agreement. Polish officials and politicians painted a picture of a more balanced decision for their constituents, one that emphasized price, tactical, and operational criteria over offsets. Academics, pundits, and officials from the losing bidders, Dassault and SaabBAE, weighed politics more heavily in their assessment of the decision process than aircraft capabilities or economics. The hypothesis of this paper is that although capability, interoperability and economic interests played important roles in the Polish decision to purchase the F-16, political considerations dominated. This paper provides a comprehensive synthesis of the Polish fighter aircraft selection process, assesses the dominate issues, and answers the question, Why did Poland choose the F-l6

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE