In a momentous event that signifies Poland’s commitment to bolstering its naval prowess, the ceremonial sheet metal burning for the first Miecznik-class frigate took place on August 16 in Gdynia. Attended by the Minister of National Defense, Mr. Mariusz Blaszczak, this occasion marked the symbolic commencement of the ship’s construction, heralding a new era for the Polish Navy. The Miecznik-class frigates are the result of strategic collaboration between Poland and its chosen partner, the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium, in association with esteemed British entities including Babcock International Group, Arrowhead 140, and Thales UK. This alliance, built on shared expertise, is set to fortify Poland’s maritime capabilities and contribute to the security of the Baltic Sea region. One of the key milestones in the shipbuilding process is the ‘sheet metal burning’ ceremony, which represents the initiation of hull prefabrication. This significant event paves the way for subsequent stages, with the laying of the keel being the next critical phase.
The innovative design and construction approach for the Miecznik-class frigates is aimed at optimizing efficiency and maintaining uniformity across the fleet. The concept of the “cascade” variant involves constructing subsequent units based on ready-made elements, minimizing modifications during the project’s implementation. This approach not only expedites the construction process but also ensures consistency and enhances the fleet’s operational coherence. The commitment to rigorous testing and qualification procedures underscores Poland’s dedication to delivering top-notch naval assets. While the first ship will undergo comprehensive qualification tests, the subsequent units will be outfitted after successful validation. This meticulous approach ensures that each frigate aligns with the stringent quality standards expected of a modern naval force. The Miecznik-class frigates are designed to be equipped with a comprehensive Integrated Mission System, encompassing critical components such as communication systems, platform management systems, combat systems, and an array of sensors and effectors.
These sophisticated systems include anti-aircraft and anti-missile capabilities, water-to-water and water-to-surface destruction systems, and advanced anti-submarine torpedoes. To bolster its defense capabilities, the frigates will be equipped with a diverse array of armaments. This includes state-of-the-art anti-aircraft systems featuring VLS Mk-41 vertical missile launchers with CAMM missiles, as well as RBS-15 missile launchers designed for engaging surface and land targets. Additionally, the artillery armament includes a powerful 76mm OTO Melara Super Rapid Strales cannon, two 35mm OSU-35K cannons, and remotely controlled weapon modules equipped with large-caliber machine guns. The frigates will also feature torpedo armament with two twin torpedo tubes, enhancing their anti-submarine capabilities. The technological prowess of the Miecznik-class frigates extends to their sensor suite, comprising medium- and long-range multifunctional radars, fire control radar, image reconnaissance sensors, and hull and towed sonars.
These capabilities are further augmented by advanced electronic warfare and defense systems, enabling the frigates to effectively counter modern maritime threats. In the broader context, the Miecznik-class frigates align with Poland’s commitment to safeguarding its maritime interests and fulfilling its obligations as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These frigates will play a crucial role in enhancing the Polish Navy’s capacity for sea control, protection of naval bases, and targeted engagement of surface, underwater, and land-based targets within the coastal zone. As Poland embarks on this monumental journey of constructing its Miecznik-class frigates, the nation’s naval capabilities are poised for a significant advancement. With a strategic design, cutting-edge technology, and a commitment to excellence, these frigates are set to strengthen Poland’s maritime security posture and contribute to the collective defense of NATO’s maritime interests.