Poland Steps Towards the Miecznik Programme: Industry as the Key Domain

ORP Gen. K. Pułaski - Image Credit: Polish MoD
ORP Gen. K. Pułaski - Image Credit: Polish MoD

The Polish Ministry of Defence is working on developing its own recommendations associated with the Miecznik-class warships project. Apart from the conclusions gathered over the course of the analytical-conceptual phase of the process, the establishment of capacity within the Polish defence industry is also a major factor in the equation, was told by Major Krzysztof Płatek, spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate.

Currently, the Polish MoD is working on recommendations taking into account both the conclusions of the analytical-conceptual phase, as well as the aspects tied to maintaining the existing, and establishment of new capacity within the Polish defence and shipbuilding industries, based on which decisions could be made, on implementation of the MIECZNIK vessels procurement programme, major Krzysztof Płatek, spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defence told us.

Although the general technical assumptions concerning the Miecznik-class vessel procurement have already been prepared and they are awaiting approval, the involvement of the Polish industry is still being discussed. The industry would be bound to use and expand the capacity at hand. This is aligned with the previous statements suggesting that the Polish defence industry, shipbuilding sector, in particular, shall play the primary role in the Miecznik program, working with the foreign partners.

The coastal defence vessel program was evolving along with the changes made to the Technical Modernization Plan. It is also suffering from many delays, compared to the initial plan. This is a result of the ever-changing design concepts (see below). The original plan was to acquire three corvette-sized warships, as well as three patrol vessels with a minehunting capability (Czapla-Class, “Heron”), based on a similar design. However, the assumption above was abandoned. 

After the National Security Bureau published the Strategic Maritime Security Concept back in 2017, the view suggesting that Miecznik-class vessels should come in a frigate, rather than corvette format has become far more common. This would make the new warships more capable, but also heavier, and more expensive. Ultimately, the decisions on that matter would be known when the procurement is launched.

Miecznik-class vessels should be able to act against the surface, air, and submerged threats, also in collaboration with embarked helicopters. In the Polish Navy the new vessels would be replacing the OHP Frigates - ORP “Generał Kazimierz Pułaski” and ORP “Generał Tadeusz Kościuszko”, dating back to the period between the 1970s and 1980s. They were inducted into the Polish Navy briefly after Poland became a NATO member state. Miecznik vessels are to be the core of the surface combatant force that the Polish Navy would own.