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Poland renames F-35A, Husarz

A pair of Norwegian F-35A Lightning IIs. In Polish service, the type will be named Husarz. (Royal Norwegian Air Force)

Poland has assigned the name Husarz to the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in national service, the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces announced on 29 April.

The name, which translates in English to Hussar, has been given to the ‘fifth-generation' stealth fighter following a public competition.

At the same time as the new national name was disclosed, the Polish Ministry of National Defence (MND) said that the country's F-35As will receive low-visibility greyed-out checkerboard markings in place of the traditional red and white checkerboard. This will be a first for the Polish Armed Forces and has been decided to fully preserve the aircraft's low observability characteristics.

The new name and national marking disclosures coincided with the announcement by Lockheed Martin that the first F-35A for Poland, aircraft AZ-01, had stood on its own wheels at the assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas. It will be delivered to Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Arkansas for pilot training later in 2024.

Poland signed a contract with the United States government for 32 F-35As in January 2020, with deliveries to run from 2024 to 2030 as the country phases out its Warsaw Pact-era MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum' fighters.

For more information on the Polish F-35A programme, please see Poland – Air Force .

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