Polish and German Navies Decide Historically Unique Submarine Cooperation
(Source: German navy; issued June 28, 2016)
(Issued in German only; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Rear Admiral Mirosław Mordel, chief of staff of the Polish navy, and Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, chief of staff of the German navy, hold the MoU on joint submarine operations they signed on June 28. (Bundeswehr photo)
ROSTOCK, Germany --- The inspectors of the German and the Polish naval forces have established a joint "Submarine Operating Authority." Polish-German naval cooperation is thus ever closer - and will overcome traditional strategic reservations.

“It's a very special step to hand over control of such an important national strategic asset as a submarine to a common agency, said Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of Staff German Navy, at the signing of a German-Polish memorandum of understanding. Rear Admiral Mirosław Mordel, chief of staff of the Republic of Poland navy, came to Rostock to sign the agreement by which the two admirals created a common "Submarine Operating Authority."

Organizationally part of the German "Maritime Operations Centre" (MOC), the "GE-POL SubOpAuth" -- the military designation of the new agency – will exercise binational operational control over both German and Polish submarines, although command will basically remain in national hands. The GE-POL SubOpAuth will be integrated into the German MOC in Glucksburg, and will include two Polish naval officers. One of the major advantages of the agreement is that Polish submarines can interface with German command and control systems, including the "Submarine Broadcast Control Authority."

Rear Admiral Mordel said he was "very proud and happy that we were able to do after years of preparation for this project, this major step.” This latest military agreement goes back to basic documents which have increasingly deepened military cooperation between Poland and Germany since 1999, when both governments signed on April 30 in Gdansk an agreement for the mutual protection of security-related information. And on 27 May 2013, the defense ministries agreed an enhanced maritime cooperation.

The German and Polish submarine fleets are approximately equal, albeit of varying technical standards. While the German Navy has six submarines of class 212A, the Polish Navy currently has five submarines: one of the former Soviet Kilo class and four which were originally built by Nordseewerke in Emden for the Norwegian Navy as the Kobben class. They were handed over to Poland in 2002 and 2003. Meanwhile, the Polish underwater component is considering the next step towards modernization.

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