WARSAW, Poland — Poland's Ministry of Defence has signed a contract to acquire 64 self-propelled 120mm RAK (Cancer) mortar vehicles and 32 artillery command vehicles. The vehicles will come from a consortium led by local manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola S.A. (HSW) for the country's armed forces.

The consortium was formed by HSW and local state-run defense manufacturer Rosomak S.A., the ministry's Armament Inspectorate said in a statement. The latter company specializes in making the Rosomak armored modular vehicle (AMV). The eight-wheel drive AMV is produced at the company's plant in Siemianowice Slaskie under a license from Finland's Patria.

The deal, which is worth more than 968 million zloty (US $252 million), was signed in the presence of Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, according to the statement.

The procurement, under which deliveries are to be completed by 2019, is to enhance the artillery capability of the Polish land forces. Warsaw has intensified efforts to purchase new weapons and military equipment following Russia's intervention in neighboring Ukraine.

However, in April, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said that the country's military modernization program, under which the Defence Ministry is to spend some 130 billion zloty by 2022 on new weapons and military equipment, was underfunded by the previous government. If all of the acquisitions are implemented, the program will total at least 235 billion zloty, Macierewicz said.

HSW is controlled by the state-run Polish Armaments Group, which owns an 85.09 percent stake in the manufacturer.

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