WARSAW, Poland — Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced his government will sign a deal to purchase the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, on Feb. 13.

The announcement was made Feb. 10 during Morawiecki’s visit to the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade.

"We need to have a strong, modern military. The armored, artillery and rocket forces … are part of and will contribute to developing [it]," Morawiecki said.

The Polish Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the contract will be worth $414 million. Poland’s first HIMARS division is to comprise 18 combat-ready launchers and two launchers intended for training activities, the ministry said.

In October 2018, the Polish government sent an official request to buy the Lockheed Martin-made systems rocket launchers under its HOMAR program. Last November, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced the U.S. State Department had approved the request, and he said he was positive the Congress would also provide its approval to the deal.

Poland has intensified efforts to acquire new weapons and expand its defense capabilities as a response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and its annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014. The acquisition will allow the country to become the second Eastern European ally to purchase HIMARS, following Romania which signed a letter of agreement with the United States in February 2018 to acquire the system.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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