The Polish new generation submarines are to feature long endurance as well as the capability to use cruise missiles to attack land targets. In all likehood, they will have to be equipped in the Air-Independent Propulsion.
#BREAKING Poland to start #Orka submarine project this year. The program will include offsets - as Head of @Poland_MOD @mblaszczak announced during @Defence24Day. The submarines are to include land attack cruise missiles #Defence24Day #D24D cc @DefAeroNews @navalnewscom— Jakub Palowski (@JakubPalowski) May 24, 2023
As Mariusz Błaszczak has admitted, it may be a challenge for Poland to build the sustainment and support model for the submarines. Additionally, Poland will seek offset agreement as a part of. Details regarding the number and specified parameters of the submarines will be revealed later.
According to minister Błaszczak, Polish authorities will invite both potential contractors from Europe and from outside Europe to the procurement process. Minister Błaszczak mentioned that Poland observed Australian model of the tender for submarines.
Poland has a long history of seeking for new submarines. After Poland joined NATO, Poland fielded four ex-Norwegian type 207 Kobben-class submarines, which were commissioned between 2002-2004 and joined a single Polish Kilo Class Submarine (ORP Orzeł) inherited after the Warsaw Pact times. The Kobbens were gradually withdrawn until 2021. Now, only Orzeł is in service, and the aging submarine has limited capabilities.
During the last decade, Poland had been seeking up to three submarines during Orka project, but those until recently did not come into effect. It seems, however, that with an increased focus on defence in Poland being the result of Russian full scale aggression against Ukraine since 2022, the project will eventually be accelerated so that Poland will rebuild and expand its capabilities.