Poland’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to purchase 21,000 semi-automatic 9mm pistols for its armed forces, Deputy Defence Minister Czeslaw Mroczek has said.

Defense News reported the minister as saying that the acquisition was part of the Polish military’s $9.1bn modernisation package for the period 2009 to 2018.

The pistols will replace the army’s aging P-64 Czak and P-83 Wanad semi-automatic 9mm pistols.

The MoD also has plans to buy new 5.56mm assault rifles with under-slung 30mm grenade launchers, and 7.62mm sniper rifles.

The deal, part of the Polish Soldier of the Future project, is expected to be finalised by the end of 2015.

Deliveries of the pistols will begin from 2012 and run through 2018.