Analysis - With the Harpia program Poland will decide who will defend its airspace in the next decades

Poland's choice will be very important not only for the type of platform selected but also for the technological impact for Polish aviation industry.

Harpia Program Poland Eurofighter
Eurofighter aircraft from six different countries

While Poland has to decide for the purchase of 32 multirole aircraft under the “Harpia” program, some industry experts underlines that the difference between the 4th and the 5th generation is still a subject of debate. Lockheed keep talking about 5th generation as the last standard. Boeing for example, claims that a new generation of F-18 Hornet is a 5th generation aircraft.

The Eurofighter is the standard fighter of four main NATO countries and in service or ordered by five more customers. It is fully interoperable and integrated in the NATO defence system and demonstrated to be a technology driver for European aerospace Industry, offering huge opportunities for industrial participation. More than 100,000 jobs across 400 companies has been secured by the programme.

In the meantime, as reported by aviation week last April 26, Tempest program attracts international interest. Few details of the Tempest's progress have emerged in the nine months since British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson unveiled the UK vision for a new combat aircraft to be ready in the late 2030s.

The Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI), an eight-year, £2 billion ($2.6 billion) program of research jointly funded by government and industry, is examining the technologies that could be needed not only for the future combat aircraft but also to support future upgrades for the Eurofighter Typhoon. The public face of the FCAS TI is Team Tempest, the joint government and industry consortium made up of the Royal Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office, BAE Systems, Leonardo, MEDA and Rolls-Royce.

The choice of Poland will certainly be able to influence the development of the Polish industry especially if the country decides to become the fifth partner of the Eurofighter program also looking at the strategies of the European industry for the creation of a sixth generation fighter.

In addition, it is important to note that Poland is undoubtedly the side of the western border, where the clash of air superiority requires dedicated platforms, among which the Typhoon has shown the maximum stature.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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