A ceremony to lay the keel for the first frigate of the Miecznik (Swordfish) Programme was held at the PGZ Naval Shipyard in Gdynia. The launching of the ORP Wicher is planned for 2026 and its integration into the structures of the Polish Navy will take place in 2029, reports the Ministry of State Assets (MAP).
“The laying of the keel symbolises the start of the construction of the frigate, and it is a sign that, in addition to the implementation of the modernisation programmes of the air and land components, the Navy will also receive modern and much-needed equipment”, said the MAP Deputy Director Marcin Kulasek at the ceremony.
Multipurpose frigates of the Swordfish type will increase the defence capabilities of the Polish Navy. They will provide observation and control of sea areas, protection of naval bases, fighting against surface, underwater and land targets located in the coastal zone, as well as conducting air defence of the country from the sea. The vessels will also become a valuable contribution to operations within the North Atlantic Alliance.
“It is optimistic that these vessels will be built on the basis of our indigenous potential. The realisation of the Miecznik programme proves that domestic armament manufacturers can find their way to the top league of defence manufacturers”, said the Deputy Minister.
The completion of the entire Miecznik programme (the construction of the other two vessels of this type – ORP Burza and ORP Huragan) is scheduled for 2032. The ships will be the largest units under the Polish flag. The total cost of the three vessels is initially estimated at over PLN 15 billion.
The vessels are being built by a consortium with the participation of foreign partners, including Lockheed Martin and MBDA – a manufacturer of anti-aircraft missiles from the CAMM family. The ships will be equipped with the VLS Mk 41 vertical launching system along with ExLS (Extensible Launching System) modules for the CAMM family of missiles. In this system, launched missiles take off completely vertically, only taking their final course in the air.