The Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence announced via social media that another agreement is going to be signed by the end of this year, covering the acquisition of another three Kormoran II class MCMVs. Błaszczak hopes that the Agreement can be concluded in July. “This would make it possible to retain expertise and maintain the continuity of shipbuilding at the Polish shipyards”, Błaszczak stressed.
Interestingly, the latter social media post features an image of the third Kormoran MCMV - probably during the sea trials.
Kormoran II is a modern mine countermeasure vessel platform utilizing a broad array of unmanned systems, also delegated to work within the NATO Standing Mine Countermeasure Groups. Remontowa Shipbuilding is the primary contractor, while the industrial effort is also involving the OBR CTM facility or the PGZ War Shipyard. The agreement concerning the prototype Kormoran II vessel was signed in 2013. The ship was commissioned as ORP "Kormoran" in 2017.
Agreement on delivery of another two MCMVs of the class - "Albatros" and "Mewa" was also signed in 2017. The warships listed above are already going through the trials, preceding the proper commissioning. The first one is going through the commissioning trials, while the second is currently at the SAT stage (Sea Acceptance Tests).
The procurement of another three Kormoran class vessels may be perceived as relevant support for the Remontowa Shipbuilding company that is also involved, as one of the consortium members, in the Miecznik frigate programme. The Miecznik consortium is, meanwhile, being led by the PGZ Group. Noteworthy, originally the Kormoran MCMV agreement signed in 2017 had a value of PLN 1.1 billion. The amount in question went up by 115 million zlotys, as extra capabilities would be integrated on the vessels:
- SHL-101T under-keel sonar and SCOT combat suite have been modified;
- A different set of UUVs is used, with extra GAVIA and Saab De Sarov systems integrated on the 602 and 603 MCMVs;
- Kraken KATFISH 180 Side-looking sonar, with autonomous ALARS launch and towing system integrated, were fitted onto the new vessels;
- Wróbel 23 mm gun, used on the prototype, was replaced by the OSU-35K system on the new vessels;
- Navigation and communications systems were replaced with solutions designed and delivered by the PGZ War Shipyard from Gdynia.