Warsaw has agreed to buy thousands of anti-tank grenade launchers from Saab, continuing its ramp-up in military spending An Indian soldier carries a Carl-Gustaf M4 grenade launcher in December 2018 in Kashmir. © Getty Images / Yawar Nazir

Poland has continued its military buildup in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict by agreeing to buy anti-tank grenade launchers from Sweden, its newest NATO ally.

Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz announced the arms deal at a press briefing on Monday in Warsaw, where he was hosting a visit by his Swedish counterpart, Pal Jonson. The contract to buy Carl-Gustaf M4 grenade launchers and rounds from Swedish manufacturer Saab is valued at about 6.5 billion zloty ($1.62 billion).

The purchase includes thousands of launchers and hundreds of thousands of anti-tank grenades, as well as training on how to use them. “This is one of the most important contracts for equipment that has proven effective in combat in Ukraine,” Kosiniak-Kamysz said.

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Warsaw is ramping up its defense spending to over 4% of the country’s GDP this year, or 137 billion zloty, on concern over what President Andrzej Duda has called “the emerging danger beyond our eastern border.” The country’s government plans to double the size of its armed forces by 2035.

Carl-Gustaf M4 grenade launchers are designed to combat all types of modern armored vehicles, including tanks. The weapon is an 84mm recoilless rifle that can be shoulder-mounted and has a maximum range of around 1,000 meters. It has reportedly been effective in destroying Russian tanks.

The Polish and Swedish governments have vowed to support Ukraine “with all of our strength” by providing military and humanitarian aid, Kosiniak-Kamysz said. Jonson added, “Poland and Sweden will not only be partners, but also allies in NATO.” (RT)