WARSAW, Poland — The Polish Ministry of Defense aims  to spend at least 83 billion zloty (US $21 billion) on acquisitions of new weapons and military equipment for the country's armed forces, according to Poland's Deputy Defense Minister Bartosz Kownacki.

"The leadership of the ministry has defined its priorities, and the air-defense program is such a priority," Kownacki said July 19 at a meeting of the Polish parliament's National Defense Committee.

More specifically, the defense ministry will be required to spend some $10 billion to acquire mid-range air- and missile-defense systems, over $5 billion on short-range air-defense systems, $3.3 billion to purchase combat helicopters for the country's Air Force, and $2.5 billion on new submarines for the Polish navy. Poland is also planning to spend "several billion zloty" to acquire unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to the deputy defense minister.

Earlier this month, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said that Poland will most likely sign a deal with the US government and Raytheon to acquire Patriot missiles. The announcement was made following the signing of a letter of intent between Poland's state-run defense group PGZ and Raytheon.

Under the plan, some of the planned purchases are to be carried out under the ministry's technical modernization program for the Polish armed forces in the years 2017 to 2022. The ministry plans to release an updated version of the plan in September.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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