Armed Forces

Polish MoD: “Orka Submarine programme funding to be realized this year”

Polish Ministry of Defence confirmed the fact that funds which will be used to purchase the submarines, are already reserved. However, it is during the 4th quarter of this year, when the Ministry is going to start the analyses regarding review of documentation, which in turn will become a basis for initiation of the proceedings.

Information related to the submarines has been published as a response to the MP intervention no. 30891 submitted by MP Artur Górski “…regarding the plans of the Ministry of Defence related to acquisition of three submarines for Poland, armed with cruise missiles”. Response is even more important, due to the fact that, forr the first time, the Polish Ministry of Defence, in an organized manner, has released information regarding the Orka programme (Submarine of a New Type).

Which issues have been clarified?

Thanks to the response to the intervention, we now know that:

  • Minister of Defence accepted the request submitted by the administrator of military equipment, regarding acquisition of a new submarine for the Polish Armed Forces on 27th September 2012;
  • In the confidential document entitled “Plan of Technical Modernization of the Polish Armed Forces”, Ministry’s of Defence budgetary assets are reserved. These funds will be used to acquire the new submarines in 2015.;
  • “ORKA” programme is a long-term plan, funding of which is to be distributed across time, until 2024;
  • Polish Ministry of Defence wants to acquire the new type of submarines along with the cruise missiles;
  • Due to the plans of introduction of the cruise missiles, MoD is going to carry out additional analyses and arrangements, along with complementation of documentation, which are all going to be the basis for starting up the procedures. Analyses are to begin in the 4th quarter of this year;
  • Despite the additional analyses and arrangements regarding the cruise missiles, the schedule related to procurement of the new submarines remains unchanged. “The first two submarines are planned to be acquired by 2022, the third one is to be received later”;
  • „In February this year, offset assumptions related to acquisition of the new “ORKA” submarines have been developed”. According to these assumption, a maintenance centre for the new type of submarines is to be created in Poland. The undertaken actions are to create a national potential for maintenance of technical readiness of the acquired submarines i.e. for servicing and carrying out repairs;
  • The new submarines will be capable of “transporting troops that are not their crew members”;
  • Training bundles, regarding preparation of the crew-members for service on-board of the submarines shall be included in the signed contracts;
  • „Polish Ministry of Defence is not planning to create a new special forces unit capable of operating with the use of submarines. Existing special forces units, i.e. the Formoza, already possess such capabilities. Formoza’s operators are capable of carrying out special operations in water environment.”;
  • „After the new submarines are introduced into service, the special forces will be trained in submarine operations in varied conditions, in accordance with procedures and techniques which are used by the special forces”.

What is missing in the Ministry’s response to the intervention?

  • No estimated value of the order has been indicated – this would, according to the Polish MoD, reduce the room for negotiation of the Ordering Party in the planned procedure;
  • No response has been made related to fusion of both procedures (acquisition of the submarines along with the cruise missiles);
  • No response has been provided to the question, whether the government made any efforts to construct the submarines in the Polish shipyards, at least partially.

MoD has changed its approach towards the deterrence policy

Ministry of Defence has changed its approach to the issue of equipping the submarines with cruise missiles, stating that “currently the basic task of the Polish Armed Forces is to defend the Polish territory. The semantic area of this term also includes military deterrence which shall be realized by demonstrating the readiness to defend the country with the existing forces. The new submarines will fall within that category and task.”

There is one more question – why it took so long for the Ministry of Defence to realize the fact that the submarines may be armed with the cruise missiles. Supposedly, a similar question was asked by MP Ludwik Dorn. Deputy Minister Mroczek was to respond: “Better late than never”.

The issue is far too serious to make fun of it – it shall be clarified why the plans of arming the submarines with the cruise missiles were sabotaged. And response to that question shall not be left in the shadows.