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Polish Navy - Modernization

According to the concept of development of the Polish fleet, the Polish Navy in 2030 is to have modern ships, including three submarines. Four Kobben class submarines are to be withdrawn from service by the end of 2016 (first in 2014), and "Orzel" (a kilo) to serve until 2022. In place of the withdrawn ships there were to be three ships.

According to the plan presented in March 2012, the concept of development of the Polish Navy until 2030 provided for the purchase of three submarines. The acquisition was to be spread over time. By 2022 two units were to be incorporated into service, while the third would enter service between 2026 to 2030. The plan to purchase the first two ships seemed to some to by definition doom to failure the attempt to save the experience and skills possessed by the human team of the Submarine Squadron. The crews of the Kobben boats withdrawn by 2016 would have to create a second, backup crew for ORP Orzel. In the absence of land simulators this could be dangerous to the safety of the Sailors on duty.

In December 2012 the Technical Modernisation Program of the Armed Forces for the years 2013 to 2022 was made public, which coincided with the March concept. In the case of submarines it maintained the number of units and the delivery schedule of the class. In addition it established a requirement for an agreement with supplier in 2013.

The Polish Ministry of Defense subsequently added the acquisition of a new submarine to its list of planned arms purchases of strategic importance, the ministry said in a February 2012 statement. The funds for the new submarine program were to be transferred from these earmarked for the Gawron corvette project, which was not included in the updated priority list. Construction of the corvette was to be stopped after more than a decade. It was estimated that the decision to scrap the Gawron project would allow the Ministry to allocate as much as 1 billion zloty ($316.5 million) for the purchase of a new submarine. Presently, the Polish Navy had one Kilo-class submarine and four Kobben-class submarines. From 2002 to 2004, Poland acquired five modernized Kobben-class submarines from Norway. The four vessels were expected to be withdrawn from service by 2015.

Candidates for new construction included German U-214, French Scorpene, Spanish S-80, though none of these would fit with the allocated money, as unit costa are typically in the range of $500 million, and the Kobben class subs needs to be replaced soon. By mid-2013 it appeared that Germany had advanced a project for leasing a pair of U212 submarines to the Polish Navy, with a signature expected in November 2013. This is based on the inter-governmental MoU signed 27 May 2013. But the Polish shipyards which had hoped for a contract with large-scale transfers of technologies from the foreign shipbuilder selected of the project have denunced this leasing scheme for existing submarines as useless for reconstructing Polish shipbuilding.

According to the Polish Defense Ministry's Military Modernization Plan for the years 2013-2022, two submarines are to be delivered to the Polish Navy by 2022 and a third by 2023. By May 2015 France had stepped up to offer its Missile de Croisiere Naval, should Warsaw opt for French-designed Scorpene subs. Paris had authorized the procurement of the DCNS-built submarines and long-range MBDA missiles by Poland, newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported. Under the plan, Poland could acquire 24 missiles for the three submarines.

In June 2016 Germany and Poland agreed to work together, establishing a joint submarine operating authority. The memorandum signed by both countries established a joint operational control center in Glucksberg, Germany. The Polish Navy also intends to connect its submarine fleet to the German military’s broadcast control system. Combined, the two countries operate 11 submersibles, with six class 212A vessels in the German fleet, and five U-boats in the Polish Navy.

The Polish Armed Forces embarked on a PLN17.9 billion (USD5.8 billion) recapitalisation of the country's naval capability, with plans in 2014 for the procurement of 17 surface ships and submarines together with new fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Under a strategic blueprint known as the 'Operational Programme - Countering Threats at Sea 2013-2022/2030', the Polish Navy laid out plans for three corvette-type coastal defence ships, four offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), three mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs), a military sealift/logistics support ship, three conventionally powered submarines (SSKs), and other specialist platforms. Most of these assets were scheduled to enter service between 2017 and 2022, although a small number - including the final SSK - will not arrive until the end of the 2020s.

In the same timeframe, the Polish Air Force is expected to take delivery of three maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) and 12-14 helicopters optimised for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime search-and-rescue tasks.

The Polish naval air arm has introduced modernized "Bryza" class MPAs - also fitted to the standard of a transport (paratroopers) aircraft, and of an environment monitoring aircraft, They have also acquired new "Anakonda" SAR helicopters, second hand SH-2G Sea Sprite ASW helicopters organic to the missile frigates, modernized transport helicopters (Mi-17) and ASW helicopters (Mi-14 PL). New C3I systems have also been acquired. and implemented.

The most important task for the Polish Navy after the accession was to prepare and detach the ships to the standing NATO naval forces – Mine-counter-Measures Forces North (MCMFORNORTH) and Standing Naval Forces Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), operating in the North Atlantic. Three MCM vessels commenced service in the MCMFORNORTH, and one "Oliver Hazard Perry" missile frigate was being prepared in 2011 to participate in the SNFL, rotated by another one in the future.

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Page last modified: 30-06-2016 19:29:26 ZULU