The Polish government have announced their intention to procure a further 18,000 MSBS-5.56 rifles. Back in September 2019, the Polish Ministry of National Defense signed contracts to officially begin the production of Poland’s next-generation MSBS “Grot” assault rifles and the VIS 100 pistol for the Polish Army.
In a statement in late May, the Polish Ministry of Defense said that in 2019, 60% of their military modernization budget was spent with domestic manufacturers. They hope this value will increase in 2020 with further contracts for composite helmets from Maskpol and GROT rifles from Fabryka Broni in Radom.
Previously, the ‘Grot’ had been the preserve of the Territorial Defense Forces (WOT), a light infantry force made up of volunteers intended to act as a reserve force in a time of emergency such as an invasion. The Contract signed late last year was for rifles specifically destined for Poland’s regular Army. The Polish Army are currently equipped with around 80,000 wz. 96 Beryl rifles and wz. 96 ‘Mini Beryl’ carbines. They are in desperate need of a modern service rifle. While officially it was stated that the WOT would ‘beta test’ the new rifles it is believed by some that the WOT were preferentially issued the new rifle as the new organisation was the government’s premier defense initiative.
The latest contract is reported to be worth PLN 160 million or around $40.3 million and was agreed in late April. Some regular units have received the new rifle but it has not yet been issued on a significant scale. In October 2019, a tender for EOTech XPS3 holographic optics was issued.
The rifles are produced by Fabryka Broni “Łucznik”, who received their first contract for the rifles in September 2017, with a further contract for 18,000 rifles agreed in September 2019. The new contract would see the total number of rifles ordered approach 68,000 which would go some way to replacing the Beryl in regular polish service.