KIELCE, Poland — Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said the ministry signed a deal to purchase 53,000 Grot 5.56mm assault rifles from the state-owned FB Lucznik plant. The contract was announced on the first day of this year’s edition of MSPO, Poland’s annual defense industry show.

By 2030, the Polish government aims to gradually increase the country’s defense spending from 2 percent of its gross domestic product per NATO standards to 2.5 percent, according to Macierewicz. This is to facilitate  acquisitions of new weapons and military equipment for the Polish Armed Forces.

“The Strategic Defence Review that was carried out earlier this year … showed the necessity to perform a reorientation, a technical modernization of the Polish military. This reorientation will require to spend more than 550 billion zloty in the coming 14 years [on defense],” Macierewicz said at the official opening ceremony of the industry show.

The Grot deal is estimated to be worth more than 500 million zloty (U.S. $140 million). Deliveries are scheduled to be completed by 2022.

The rifles are to be supplied to both professional troops and the country’s Territorial Defence Force, a new force under development which comprises volunteers.

FB Lucznik is part of Poland’s defense giant PGZ. The Radom-based group was set up in 2013 with the aim to integrate the country’s fragmented state-owned defense industry.

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