Minehunter ORP Kormoran’s first call at the naval base

Minehunter ORP Kormoran seen at Gdynia naval harbor for the first time. Photo: Polish Navy
Minehunter ORP Kormoran seen at Gdynia naval harbor for the first time.
Photo: Polish Navy

ORP Kormoran, built at Remontowa Shipbuilding for 13. Minesweeper Squadron (8th Coastal Defense Flotilla) has recently been hosted in the Gdynia naval harbor for the first time. The first visit to this port was related to the measurement of physical fields, carried out by the specialists from the Control and Measurement Unit.

In the past four months the minehunter has undergone sea acceptance tests in open waters of the Gdansk Bay. The tests aimed to verify the ship’s readiness in a variety of operational and hydrolocation-related conditions, began in July.

ORP Kormoran during Sea Acceptance Tests in open waters of the Gdansk Bay. Photo: Bogdan Pięta
ORP Kormoran during Sea Acceptance Tests in open waters of the Gdansk Bay.
Photo: Bogdan Pięta

The first set included HAT (Harbour Acceptance Tests) and “typical” sea trials in which the ship’s seaworthiness, maneuverability and functioning of all general and marine systems, appliances and plants were checked.  Also radars, communications and navigational equipment were checked as well as Voith-Schneider cycloidal propellers and silent electrical propulsion, dedicated to combat operations to be carried out by the ship.

The preliminary tests were followed by the qualification tests which included checks related to the command and weapons control system installed on-board the ship.

The “Kormoran II” class minehunter is dedicated to mine hunting tasks in Polish EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), as well as in tactical task forces in the Baltic and the North Sea and other auxiliary tasks defined by Polish Ministry of Defence. The ship once introduced into use, would also be probably expected to be involved in the operations carried out by the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups.

The vessel is designed to achieve low signature and high maneuverability, owing to use of cycloid propellers driven by diesel engines. Its mine countermeasure tasks are supported by the Morświn multi-mission ROV, developed by PG CMTM (eng. Centre for Marine Military Technology at the Gdańsk University of Technology). The Morświn is capable of performing missions including mine disposal, underwater survey, identification and detection of underwater objects.

The ship is also equipped with HUGIN 1000 MR autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) delivered by Kongsberg Maritime and SAAB Double Eagle mk. III, self-propelled sonar (SPVDS).

Combat management system SCOT-M is one of the key systems installed on-board the minehunter. Fig.: CTM
Combat management system SCOT-M is one of the key systems installed on-board the minehunter.
Fig.: CTM

The main task for the ORP Kormoran is to detect and act against naval mines, lead vessels through the mine-infested areas, carry out reconnaissance within the sea routes and remotely controlling a variety of anti-mine warfare. The vessel has also been tailored to act as a mine-layer.

Along with the communications, navigational and observation equipment the ship is also equipped with the key systems, essential for the combat operations to be effectively carried out. Among them are i.a.: a combat management system (SCOT-M), a ship signatures monitoring system and a triple frequency wideband, high resolution hull mounted MCM sonar.

All the above-mentioned solutions are developed by the Polish engineers and delivered by indigenous OBR Centrum Techniki Morskiej SA (eng. Maritime Technology Centre Research and Development Facility), which acts as an integrator and supplier of the command and control systems installed on-board the ship.

– We may expect taking over the ORP Kormoran by the end of this year. Then we begin the final phase of training of the crew. We would like to hoist the flag in the first half of 2017, and then she goes into the service – said cmdr Krzysztof Zdonek, commander of the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla, in a statement given to a web portal “Armed Poland” in October, 2016.

GL, PBS

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