The deal will enable Poland to restock its tank arsenal after the country sent more than 240 modified T-72 machines to help Ukraine battle Russia's invasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak told the media.
Deliveries are expected to start in early 2023, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
With the deal, Poland's tank numbers are expected to reach 366, "significantly strengthening the defence capabilities of the Polish Army," Błaszczak told state broadcaster TVP.
The announcement marks the latest step in the government’s drive to modernise the army amid the Russian threat, officials told reporters.
Poland in April signed a USD 4.74 billion deal to buy 250 new Abrams tanks from the United States in what officials hailed as a key step in boosting the country’s defences amid Russia's war against Ukraine.
In recent weeks, the government has announced the start of deliveries of the C130H Hercules military transport aircraft, as well as the purchase of grenade launchers, turret systems and military helicopters, among other equipment.
‘Strong army means a secure homeland'
In a speech to newly commissioned army officers in the southwestern city of Wrocław on Friday, Błaszczak said that "Poland’s neighbour Ukraine has been attacked by Russia."
He added: “Our task and your task is to deter the aggressor, so that the aggressor doesn’t attack our country.”
Błaszczak told his audience: “Why won't the aggressor attack? Because year by year the Polish Army increases its numbers, because year by year the Polish Army is being equipped with modern weapons, and because Polish Army soldiers are patriots.”
“A strong army means a secure homeland,” he also said.
Friday was day 142 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, polskieradio24.pl, wydarzenia.interia.pl