A sharp sword for Polish Miecznik-class multi-role frigates

27 December 2023 – An annex to the contract related to the design and delivery of three Miecznik-class multi-role frigates for the Polish Navy has been signed. Pursuant to the annexed contract signed on July 27, 2021, the series ships (i.e. the second and third units) will be additionally equipped with sensors and effectors identical to those contracted for the first prototype unit, thus allowing for the protection of the air and surface domains. According to the provisions of the annex, the second and third frigates will be equipped with a 76 mm medium-caliber OTO Melara Super Rapid Strales cannon, VLS Mk-41 missile launchers, the SeaCeptor CAMM missile system, modern NS50 series radars, as well as home-foreign identification systems.

As a result, the contract, the value of which after signing all the annexes to date is approximately PLN 14.8 billion gross [3.43 billion Euro] (representing over 92% of the total cost of the programme), will allow for the acquisition of all three Miecznik-class frigates within the assumed contractual deadlines, i.e. until 2031, including ships 2 and 3 retrofitted with sensors and effectors, identical to those contracted for the first frigate. The final shape of the equipment of the production ships will result from the conclusions drawn from the tests carried out on the prototype unit No. 1.

In accordance with the contract, the Miecznik-class frigates will be equipped with an Integrated Mission System, including an integrated bridge and an integrated communications system, an integrated platform management system and a combat system, i.e. a combat management system, sensors and effectors including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems.

Ultimately, all ships will have VLS Mk-41 vertical missile launchers and CAMM family missiles. Anti-surface weapons will be used to combat surface ships and land targets. Artillery armament will include a 76 mm medium-calibre OTO Melara Super Rapid Strales cannon, two 35 mm OSU-35K guns equipped with programmable ammunition, remotely controlled weapons modules equipped with large-calibre machine guns and manually guided large-calibre machine guns. Antisubmarine armament will include two twin torpedo tubes. The ships will have medium- and long-range multi-function radars, fire control radar and imaging means, as well as hull and towed sonars. They will also be equipped with electronic warfare and defence means.

In accordance with the choice of strategic partner previously made by the Polish Armed Forces, the contractor’s proposal, i.e. the PGZ-Miecznik Consortium, based on cooperation with strategic partners from Great Britain, i.e. Babcock International Group, the manufacturer of the frigates, was considered the most advantageous solution for the implementation of the Miecznik project. Arrowhead 140 and Thales UK will deliver the TACTICOS Integrated Combat System (ZSW). Based on this decision, the contractor developed the Preliminary Design of the ship for the selected solution and updated the Industrial Feasibility Study together with the Technical and Economic Analysis.

In accordance with the above result documents, and in order to ensure the uniformity of the equipment used and accelerate the construction of the second and third units, the contractor proposed the construction of the Miecznik-class frigates in the “cascade” variant, i.e. by acquiring ready-made elements that will not be subject to further modifications during the implementation of the project, which resulted in a combination of the design and development phase of the first unit and the delivery phase of the next two series units.

The Miecznik-class frigates will increase the capabilities of the Polish Navy in the field of surveillance and control of sea areas, protection of naval bases, combating surface, underwater and land targets located in the coastal zone, as well as conducting air defence of the country from the sea. Due to their high capabilities in the field of air defence they will provide a highly valued contribution to allied operations within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Basic unit data:

  • Total length – approx. 138 m,
  • Maximum beam – approx. 20 m,
  • Height – approx. 10 m (1 deck),
  • Maximum displacement (including additional equipment and plating) – approx. 7,000 t.,
  • Range – approx. 8,000 nautical miles,
  • Maximum speed – 28 knots,
  • Propulsion – 4 diesel engines in the CODAD system, 2 adjustable screws,
  • Crew – 120 people + approx. 60 additional staff.

Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line

Image courtesy PGZ-Miecznik Consortium