53 Thousand Grot Rifles for the Polish Armed Forces. Contract Concluded

7 września 2017, 15:38
Image Credit: Defence24.pl
Antoni Macierewicz, head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, and President of the PGZ Group, Błażej Wojnicz. Image Credit: Paweł Ziemnicki/Defence24.pl

More than 53 thousand 5.56 mm MSBS rifles are going to be received by the Polish Army until the year 2020, on the grounds of a contract signed during the MSPO 2017 defence salon in Kielce, on Tuesday. The firearm, which is going to be received both by the regular units of the Polish Armed Forces, as well as by the Territorial Defence component, has received a name: “Grot”.

The agreement has been signed by the commander of the Nil military unit, Col. Mirosław Krupa, and by members of the boards of the Polish Armaments Group – President Błażej Wojnicz and Szczepan Ruman, and of the “Łucznik” Radom firearms manufacturing facility – President Adam Suliga and Maciej Borecki. The ceremony which took place on the first day of the 15th edition of the MSPO Defence Industry Salon also involved the head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz.

The contract value has been defined as almost half billion zlotys, which, as the PGZ representatives stress, means that this is one of the most significant firearms procurement contracts after the year 1989. The contract concerns the procurement and deliveries of the “Grot” C 16 FB-M1 weapon which is a member of the MSBS rifle family - as the release issued by the Polish Armaments Group reads.

Until the year 2020, the Polish Armed Forces are to receive more than 53 thousand Grot rifles. Out of the quantity above, the first 1000 examples are to become the armament of the Territorial Defence units. The aforesaid branch of the Armed Forces, together with the Special Forces and the Military Police, has been testing the MSBS firearms for three months this year.

The head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz, stressed the fact that conclusion of the agreement has been reached at a rapid pace. - This indeed is an extraordinary event, not only because we were just witnessing an event of conclusion of a contract of enormous value, exceeding 500 million zlotys, not only because as a result of the above more than 53 thousand state of the art, the most modern in existence, rifles would be handed out to the Special Forces, operational units and to the Territorial Defence component, and not only because the first 1000 rifles would be delivered this year, until December, but, above all, because we were able to do all of the above in an unbelievably short period of time – as Macierewicz stated.

We have no time today, to allow ourselves for negotiating the contracts for decades. I want, the current event, to be shown to you as a model of fusion of the magnificent achievements made by the Polish defence industry.

Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of Defence

The Minister was stressing the fact that Grot is a world class achievement and that it has gone through “all of the tests, both in the Special Operations component, as well as in the Territorial Defence branch, exceeding the expectations.” – Its reliability cannot be compared to any other weapon - as it was stated by Macierewicz. Antoni Macierewicz emphasized the fact that the contract was being created until 6AM in the morning on Tuesday.

Antoni Macierewicz, head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, and President of the PGZ Group, Błażej Wojnicz. Image Credit: Paweł Ziemnicki/Defence24.pl

President of the Polish Armaments Group stressed the fact that the rifle contract constitutes a proof of effective operation of the group. – It was our goal to conclude this agreement and implement this contract.It was our goal to deliver this rifle for the Polish Army, and this goal has been accomplished – as Wojnicz stated when he was signing the contract.

Thanks to the Polish Armaments Group, the Polish soldiers will, for the first time in history, they will be able to use a weapon, a rifle, that has been in its entirety invented, designed and manufactured in Poland.– as Wojnicz stressed.

The scale of the order, resulting on the grounds of the agreement signed today, makes this one of the most significant firearms contract involving the Polish Armed Forces, signed throughout the last several years (...) The significance of the event is amplified by the fact that it is the first time that rifles that are not a derivative of the previously used models would be delivered to the user, they are an entirely new design, developed by the Polish engineers and experts, in line with the latest firearm design trends pursued globally.

President of the PGZ S.A. group, quoted in the company’s news release

The scale of the order, resulting on the grounds of the agreement signed today, makes this one of the most significant firearms contract involving the Polish Armed Forces, signed throughout the last several years (...) The significance of the event is amplified by the fact that it is the first time that rifles that are not a derivative of the previously used models would be delivered to the user, they are an entirely new design, developed by the Polish engineers and experts, in line with the latest firearm design trends pursued globally.

The contract also includes a logistics and training packages, along with an e-learning programme. This is the first contract concerning the combat variant of the MSBS rifle. Starting from the year 2016, the Armed Forces have only been acquiring the ceremonial variant of the weapon (MSBS-R) that, if not modified, remains unable of firing live ammunition.

The release issued by the PGZ suggests that another agreement concerning 490 ceremonial rifles has been also signed at the seat of the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD. Its value has been defined as a little bit more than PLN 5.5 million gross. The agreement above is to be implemented until 30th November this year. At the moment when the aforesaid agreement was signed, the weapon was known under its old name: MSBS. Now it is known under the name of Grot.

The contract may be viewed as a beginning of generational replacement of the firearms used by the Polish Armed Forces. Up until now the soldiers have been using post-Soviet weaponry or firearms that have been derived from the Soviet designs.

The agreement is related to procurement and supplies of the “Grot” C 16 FB-M1 rifle which is a representative of the MSBS firearms system family. The name commemorates the General Stefan “Grot” Rowecki, the first commander of the Home Army, killed by the Nazi Germans in the beginning of August 1944, right after the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising.

The new weapon is to be included in the inventory of the operational units, as well as in the kit used by the WOT component (Territorial Defence). The commander of the said branch of the Army, General Wiesław Kukuła, placed an emphasis on the design of the MSBS weapon and its meaning in the process of training for the recruits of this formation.

Conclusion of the Agreement concerning the delivery of the MSBS rifles for the Polish Armed Forces has been also expected, as statements concerning the above were made by Błażej Wojnicz, the President of the Management Board of the Polish Armaments Group, within an interview for Defence24. The procurement plans concerning the MSBS rifles and their place in the Polish Army were also mentioned by Antoni Macierewicz, Polish Minister of Defence, taking part in the event.

MSBS modular firearms family utilizing the 5.56x45 mm NATO round consists of five conventional layout variants and five bull-pup varieties (designated, respectively: MSBS-5,56K and MSBS-5,56B). The family includes a subcarbine, a basic rifle, rifle with a grenade launcher, sniper rifle and a machine gun. MSBS-R variety of the weapon has also been designed for the army ceremonial units, or for their counterparts within the other uniformed services. It has been procured for the Armed Forces and for the Prison Guards units.

RAL/JP

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