Previously on TFB we covered the 26,000 Beryl rifle order by the active component of the Polish Land Forces. That May 2016 contract was at the time the largest acquisitions order in recent Łucznik-Radom history, but this confirmed order of 53,400 5.56x45mm NATO 96C Beryl rifles and 3,800 wz. 96C Mini-Beryl carbines doubles the contract size of the earlier 26,000 rifles for the active component. Details from Polish Defense site Defense24 specify the contract valued at PLN 350 million for this particular order. However, there is more to come, with the planned overall contract of 86,000 rifles (including the aforementioned 57,200) to possibly include the MSBS modular infantry rifle (Or not, as Nathaniel F. points out). There hasn’t been a specification as to what optics these wz. 96Cs will be issued with.
These 57,200 rifles are specifically going to the Polish Territorial forces, which have seen a bumpy road as of late. Originally stood up in 1965, the reserve component was disbanded in 2008, only to be re-stood up last year in 2016, due to concerns about Poland fighting a sustained low-intensity counter-insurgency similar to what is currently going on in the Ukraine. With growing concerns of Russian aggressiveness and U.S. Army deployments to Poland, I believe the original timeline has been expedited. Initially the force called for 50,000 troops strong by 2022, so either the updated numbers of 7,200 rifles reflect the need for spare rifles, or it actually shows a troop increase of the force over the timeline of the forces. Currently the reserve component is 35,000 strong. Currently the active component numbers less than 80,000 troops.