The US Congress has approved the sale of 32 new F-35 fighter jets to Poland, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Friday, APA reports citing Sputnik.
"The US Congress has approved selling 32 new F-35 jets to Poland," Blaszczak wrote on Twitter.
"This is one of the last steps prior to signing the contract, but this is not the end of our work yet. We will be conducting negotiations firmly in order to secure the best price," the minister added.
Blaszczak has expressed hope previously that the final price for the sale will be much lower than the initially negotiated $6.5 billion, and instead will be closer to the price that Belgium paid for its 32 F-35 fighter jets — just over $4 billion.
The US State Department approved the sale of 32 new Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets to Poland for $6.5 billion in early September. The deal also included various command and control, communications, navigation, and logistics systems, and other supporting components for the fighter jets. The consent of Congress was needed.
The Polish military rolled out earlier in the year a $48.5 billion framework to modernise the country's armed forces up to the year 2026, envisioning replacing Poland's stocks of Soviet-era Su-22 and MiG-29 fighters with 32 Lockheed Martin F-35s. The planes normally have an estimated price tag of between $94 million and $122 million apiece.