Defence minister signs contracts for 1,400 military vehicles

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The defence minister has signed a framework contract for the delivery of close to 1,000 infantry fighting vehicles and some 400 accompanying vehicles.

Poland rapidly increased its defence purchases after Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

The Borsuk (Polish for 'badger') infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), which are manufactured by Polish arms producer HSW, are to replace the Soviet-era BWP-1 IFVs that the Polish army still uses.

The other contracted vehicles include reconnaissance, command, medevac, technical support and contamination detection vehicles.

Mariusz Blaszczak, the defence minister and deputy prime minister, said at the signing ceremony on Tuesday that the first four Borsuks are to be delivered by the end of the year.

"I hope that the Polish Armed Forces will be equipped with new infantry fighting vehicles very soon," Blaszczak said. "The times of the infantry fighting vehicles that the Polish Armed Forces have been using so far are over, now it's time for the Borsuk IFV era," Blaszczak said.

Poland has already signed huge contracts for firearms and howitzers from domestic producers as well as deals with the US for Abrams tanks and HIMARS rocket launchers, and with South Korea for howitzers, tanks and light fighter jets.