The Polish Army has ordered almost 8,000 Beryl rifles, an improved AK variant. Does this mean the Polish Army no longer has interest in the MSBS, or that they are refilling their stockpiles as MSBS production comes on line? Defense24 has the story:
The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defence is carrying out negotiations within the scope of acquisition of the Type 96 (wz. 96) rifles – also known as Beryl and Mini-Beryl. Procurement of these weapons is to be completed in 2016.
The negotiated order refers to delivery of 5 498 sets of the Beryl and 2 400 sets of the Mini-Beryl rifles. The final quantity has not yet been determined.
The acquisition is realized as a single-source procurement procedure, due to the fact that the Army is willing to acquire the same weapons it has been using so far, manufactured by the same contractor: the “Łucznik-Radom” arms factory. The delivery is to secure the ongoing needs of the elements of the Polish Army, which also stems from the fact that the post-soviet AK rifles are being replaced with the weapons that are utilizing the NATO standard ammunition.
The Ordering Party stressed the fact that the “Łucznik-Radom” facility is the only manufacturer of the 5.56 mm Beryl rifles. Selection of any other weapon would create a great deal of technical difficulties within the scope of maintenance and operational use of the new rifle.
The Beryl was introduced in the 1990s as a 5.56mm improvement over the 5.45mm Tantal rifle. From 2005 forward it has made up the bulk of service rifles issued to the Polish Armed Forces.