The strategic decision - Su-22 will remain in service

During to the visit in the 21st Tactical Air Base in Swidwin, Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak announced that the aircraft Su 22 will remain in the service. Earlier there were plans to withdrawn these machines. 

In Swidwin there are two tactical aviation squadrons equipped with a total of 32 Su-22M4K attack aircrafts and Su-22UM3K two-seat operational conversion trainers. All delivered even in the eighties of the last century, have never been upgraded, despite such plans in the 90's. For several years the Polish factory supporting the service of Su-22 (called Military Aviation Plant No. 2 in Bydgoszcz) also ceased to conduct repairs of Sukhoi aircrafts. The reason was a current in the fall of 2013 plan for the withdrawal of all Su-22 until 2015.

UAV (UCAV) were considered to be the successors of the Sukhoi aircrafts. However, the conclusion was that with the use of today's technologies, UAV (UCAV) may not be the effective successors of the manned aircrafts.

In Swidwin Minister Siemoniak announced that the plane Su-22 will remain in the service of the Polish Air Force for another 3 or 10 years. The actual decision will be taken by the mid- March 2014. General Command (joint command in the peacetime) foresees that, at 10 years of additional services, in aviation remains only one squadron with 16 Su-22's.

The desire to leave the machines manned in the service probably means that the Polish Ministry of Defence plans to purchase another classic fighter planes. Probably, if Su-22 will in service for three years that means the purchase of the second-hand aircrafts, 10 years of service will probably mean the purchase of the new machines. It is possible that the acqusition will be combined with the modernization of 48 F-16C/D Block 52 + used today. Apparent, however, is the desire to have more numerous combat aviation.

The infrastructure of the airport in Swidwin will be modernized, also in terms of its use by the aircrafts of NATO 's allies.

Today Polish combat aviation is equipped with three squadrons of F-16C/D (bases in Krzesiny and Lask), 2 squadrons equipped with MiG-29 fighters (bases in Malbork and Minsk Mazowiecki, some part is in the process of modernization - so far the airmen from Minsk were given five modernized MiG) and 2 squadrons of Su-22 (both in ASwidwin). The total is 7 squadrons combat planes.

Source: Dziennik Zbrojny
Date: Feb 17, 2014