t was on Tuesday, 18th September, 12.00 PM, when the Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. shipyard in Gdansk that is a part of the Remontowa Holding group, organized an event during which the first sheets of metal were cut, to begin the construction works for the second 258 project Kormoran-class MCMV (258/2 vessel which is to be called “Albatros”). This means that a production process begins now, and it is scheduled to end until 2020. The second series-production vessel (“Mewa” - and third vessel of the class) is to be handed off two years later.
The agreement itself, signed on 27th December 2017 at the MoD, concerns delivery of two project 258 Kormoran II Mine Countermeasure Vessels along with three logistics support packages, including one for the first vessel, the ORP “Kormoran” class prototype. The construction works are to be completed by a consortium, led by Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. and involving the following entities: OBR CTM S.A. company (Research and Development Center - Center for Maritime Technology) based in Gdynia and PGZ Stocznia Wojenna.
Prefabrication and assembly of the sections, blocks and of the hull will only be taking place in Gdansk, due to the need to meet specific requirements related to use of non-magnetic steel. For that reason the build process must be taking place at a special hall ensuring proper, controlled conditions related to temperature, humidity and air purity. The success of the programme is amplified by the fact that most of the technologies required for its implementation has been developed domestically. The ship design is also Polish, both with regards to the ORP “Kormoran” prototype, as well as in case of the two series manufactured vessels. The warship’s design has been developed by the Remontowa Marine Design & Consulting bureau of the Remontowa Holding.
As a result of the programme a specialized mine countermeasure vessel would be created, tailored for operations within the Polish territorial waters and waters of the Polish economic zones. The Kormoran-class is also well suited to become a part of tactical groups conducting their operations in the Baltic and North Sea areas. The ship with displacement of 850 tonnes and 58 metres of length, apart from its unique hull, also features numerous solutions unique for the Polish Navy, including:
- Modern combat system developed by the OBR CTM S.A. company (Research and Development Center - Center for Maritime Technology) based in Gdynia;
- Integrated communications suite, developed and installed by the Polish KenBIT company;
- Four classes of unmanned remote control and autonomous underwater vehicles;
- Dynamic positioning system;
- Unique propulsion system with an integrated control unit and two main drives: nominal, based around two MTU diesel engines, and silent drive, based on electric motors.
All signs also suggest that the second Kormoran-class vessel may also be the first Polish warship to receive the new 35 mm AM-35 naval cannon manufactured by PIT-RADWAR. It has been designed by the Polish industry on the basis of the license manufactured KDA 35 mm automatic gun, acquired by RADWAR back in the 1990s for the LOARA project.