F-16 Jastrząb. 2007

Kraków 2008-01-01

Lockheed Martin PL F-16 C, D Block 52 + Jastrząb

315 Section 2006-12-14. Poland.

Exploitation of Polish F-16 Jastrząb.

The first year of operation, from November 8, 2006 to December 31, 2007.

F-16 C nb 4052. 2016 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
F-16 C nb 4052. 2016 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Jastrząb F-16 C nb 4048 in Radom. September 1, 2007 Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Jastrząb F-16 C nb 4048 in Radom. September 1, 2007 Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Jastrząb F-16 C nb 4052 Krzesiny June 26, 2007. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Jastrząb F-16 C nb 4052 Krzesiny June 26, 2007. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Jasrząb in the "nest". Krzesiny June 26, 2007. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Jasrząb in the "nest". Krzesiny June 26, 2007. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

8.11.2006 year. Krzesiny.

On November 8, 2006, at 15:02, the first two Polish multi-purpose aircraft F-16 C No. 4043, 4044 landed at the airport of the 31st Air Base in Krzesiny in Poznań. New Polish planes with obscured distinctive signs arrived over the airport, assisted by two Polish MiG-29s.

The planes were brought by American pilots. "The flight was very successful, I'm happy that I landed happily," Colonel Mike Meyer, of the USAF air force who piloted F-16 No. 4044, told reporters. The second F-16 No. 4043 was piloted by Col. Ricky Yoder. American pilots told reporters that there was a defect in the air refueling system and that they would be removed on the spot in Poland. "These are not serious faults," added Colonel Mike Meyer.

Journalists gathered at the airport wanted to find out why the planes arrived later than announced, and whether the base in Krzesiny is fully ready to service the F-16. "The planes landed as planned, we agreed with the manufacturer that they will be in Poland on a ceremonial takeover on Thursday (9/11/2006) and landed. And as for the second question, if the base were not ready, these planes would not land here "- said spokesman of the Air Forces commander Major Stanisław Grzegorzewski.

The first two F-16 aircraft were to arrive in Poland as early as Monday (November 6, 2006), but returned to the US due to a defect. The plenipotentiary of the Minister of Defense for the implementation of the F-16 Piotr Łukaszewicz asked the American side for clarifications on the defects that delayed the arrival of the first aircraft of this type to Poland - Defense spokesman Piotr Paszkowski said on Wednesday (8.11.2006).

09.11.2006 year. Krzesiny.

The next two machines flew from the base in Spangdahlem, Germany to Krzesin on Thursday, November 9, 2006. They were F-16 C Block 52 + No. 4042 and F-16 D Block 52 + No. 4077.

On this day, November 9, 2006, in the afternoon, official and ceremonial, planned for the authorities and journalists, was planned for the reception of the first Polish F-16 combined with their dedication, baptism and naming Jastrząb.

They took part in the celebrations; Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria Kaczyńska, Minister of National Defense Radosław Sikorski and others. Radosław Sikorski did not hide his satisfaction. He said, among other things, that the F-16 was a fighter that shot down 70 enemy aircraft, and was not once shot down in air combat. The ceremony took place at F-16 C No. 4043. The aircraft in the rear fuselage on the left received the inscription Jastrząb. The rear part of the fuselage with vertical tail was protected by a blue curtain removed during the ceremony. The party was hindered by gusty wind. "Fly safely, glorify Polish aviation. I give you the name Jastrząb, "said the president.

The F-16 C No. 4044 was exhibited in the hangar. The F-16 C No. 4042, which arrived several hours earlier from Germany, was demonstrated in the air.

Earlier, the Commander of the Air Force, General Stanisław Targosz, reported to President Lech Kaczyński about the admission of the first F-16 aircraft to equip the army. President Lech Kaczyński said that the decision taken years ago to buy the F-16 was the right decision. He emphasized that the Polish army requires transformation, and the Polish Armed Forces must correspond to the size of our state, its place in Europe and existing - though potential - threats. "I assure you that we will make every effort to bring this plane fully into the Air Force, that it would guard the Polish sky, as well as the skies of our allies for the glory of our Brightest Republic," said General Targosz at the tarmac in Krzesiny. "Mr. President , you ordered us to transform the Polish Army. Today we receive a proven aircraft that has already completed 100,000 combat missions, which is serving in the air forces of seven NATO countries. This is evidence that we are carrying out the task "- said the Minister of National Defense, Radosław Sikorski, addressing the president Lech Kaczyński.

How were F-16 aircraft delivered from the USA to Poland?

The method chosen was best controlled by the Americans, i.e. a flight from the USA to an American base in Germany. The planes were refueled in the air during the flight. Then also a flight to Poland to Krzesin. The aircraft were equipped with three additional fuel tanks. During the flight, Polish identification marks were covered with black foil that could be easily peeled off. The planes also feature American identification marks in black, which could also be easily removed.

The first pair delivered to Poland were F-16 C No. 4043, 4044. Originally they were to arrive on November 6, 2006. They were unlucky. Initially, a problem with one of them radar delayed the flight. The cause was probably a blown fuse. After take-off, over the Atlantic Ocean, it turned out that one of the machines could not take fuel from a flying tanker. It was decided to change the route and land at the airport in the USA in the northeast. After analysis, it was found that the fault could be rectified in Poland. Therefore, it was decided to continue flying directly to Poland with a stopover in Iceland. In this way, on November 8, 2006, around 15:02 the first Polish F-16 C No. 4044, piloted by Mike Mayer, landed at the Krzesiny base. Behind him, he landed No. 4043. They were exemplary landings in very good weather conditions.

The second pair arrived to Poland as planned, in the early afternoon on November 9, 2006, and consisted of F-16 C No. 4042 and the first F-16 D No. 4077, piloted, among others, by the first Polish pilot-instructor, Colonel Rozdzisław Stepaniuk. The Polish pilot landed in four, but on this day there was a very strong, gusty wind.

11.11.2006 year. Krzesiny.

On November 11, 2006, on the National Day of Poland, the Open Barracks Day was organized at 31st Air Base in Krzesiny. During this event, the public had the opportunity to see the Polish F-16 for the first time. Airplanes were not demonstrated in flight. We had to wait until June 26, 2007 for the public Polish Jastrzębia flight.

Deliveries of F-16 completed until December 31, 2007.

On November 8, 2006, nb 4044. On November 9, 2006, nb 4042, 4077. On December 14, 2006, nb 4045, 4046, 4078, 4079. On February 3, 2007, nb 4047, 4048, 4080. On March 29, 2007, nb 4049, 4050, 4051, 4081. On May 24, 2007, nb 4052, 4053, 4076, 4082. On July 26, 2007, nb 4054, 4055, 4056, 4083. On August 23, 2007, nb 4057, 4059, 4060, 4084. On August 23, 2007, nb 4059, 4062, 4063, 4085. On December 12, 2007, nb 4041, 4061.

The delivery plan assumed the arrival of further machines with the numbers: February 2008, nb 4063, 4064, 4065, 4085, 4086. April 2008, nb 4040, 4066, 4067, 4087. August 2008, nb 4068, 4069, 4070, 4071. December 2008, nb 4072, 4073, 4074, 4075.

Opracował Karol Placha Hetman