Defence Minister: We Need to Expand Polish Navy
(Source: Radio Poland; posted July 20, 2015)
Laid down as a missile corvette, the Gawor proved to be beyond the financial capabilities of the Polish navy, which finally decided to turn it into an OPV, the Slazak, which was launched on July 2 in Gdansk. (Polish MoD photo)
The Polish Navy is growing, but more can be done said the Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.
On Thursday, Minister Siemoniak launched and christened the ORP Ślązak (Silesian) patrol boat at the Naval Shipyard in Gdynia. “The expansion of our Navy is not just sentiment and love which Poles have for the Baltic Sea, but also a necessity of our time,” Minister Siemoniak said during the ceremony.
“Before us lies another launch and subsequent decisions about rebuilding the strength of our Navy. […] I think this is good news for the whole of Poland: that we are returning with new ships built in Polish shipyards,” Siemoniak added.
“There is no doubt that we need such possibilities in the Baltic Sea. Even NATO, have started looking at the possibilities of the Sea because of what is happening in Europe and around Europe,” the minister concluded.
The ORP Ślązak is the first new Polish-built Navy ship in 21 years.
Launching and Christening of the OPV
(Source: Ministry Of National Defence; issued July 02, 2015)
(Issued in Polish only; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
“Thanks to Polish shipyard workers in particular. We believed that they would be able to perform this task, and they acquitted themselves well. We look forward to further ships from Polish shipyards,” said the head of the Defense Ministry.
On Thursday, Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak participated in the ceremony of launching and christening of the ship patrol ORP "Slazak," which was held in the Naval Shipyard in Gdynia.
The Minister said that, in accordance with the schedule, the ship should begin to serve late next year. “Now you need to fit it out. We must also train the crew. We anticipate that by the end of next year it will normally come into service. She must also undergo sea trials at this time. This is the plan,” the Deputy Prime Minister said, and he added that he is confident about the continuation of work and schedule adherence.
Minister Siemoniak also said that negotiations are continuing with Polish Armament Group for the next six ships - patrol and coast guard vessels. He added that in his opinion, Polish shipyards are absolutely ready for such projects.
“Expansion of the Navy (...) is the need of our time. We need new capability in the Baltic Sea, and to cooperate in the framework of NATO. The Alliance, because of what is happening in Europe and around Europe, looks completely different at sea, as was shown be the recent BALTOPS exercise. The Baltic Sea is of strategic importance for our interests and the interests of NATO. This is an indication that we should develop our naval forces,” stressed the Deputy Prime Minister during the ceremony.
Construction of the ship patrol in the basic version of "Slazak" is implemented by the Minister of Defence’s decision to use the platform on the multi-purpose corvette platform "Gawron." Upon completion in 2012 of the requisite analysis and consultations, the minister decided that the best solution would be to complete the construction of Gawron as a patrol ship, retrofitting it with equipment and other naval systems required for its re-tasking.
In February of 2013, Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak signed a decision ordering the negotiations for the supply of an Integrated Combat System, and annexing an existing agreement taking into account the new requirements for the ship.
On September 23, 2013 was signed an annex to the original contract directing that the ship be completed by the Naval Shipyard using the existing platform as the patrol ship ORP "Slazak". The contract annex clarifies issues of completing the ship and changing its mission from multipurpose corvettes to patrol boat.
-- Total length - 95.2 m;
-- Width - 13.5 m;
-- Height to deck - 9.35 m;
-- Draught - 3.6 m;
-- Standard displacement - approx. 1,800 tonnes;
-- Autonomy - 30 days;
-- 2 main engines with a capacity of 2 x 3240 kW;
-- Turbine peak power of 25 000 kW;
-- Marine Power Station - 4 generating sets with the 4 x 600 kW;
-- Max speed. 30 knots +;
-- Endurance speeds of 18 knots - the range of 2000 nm;
-- Economical speed of 14 knots - 4500 nm range;
-- Accessories: bow thruster azimuth and active stabilizers swings.