Babcock International, an international company operating in the defence industry has opened a Project Management Office (PMO) of the Polish Armament Group (PGZ S.A.) in Gdynia together with its partners. The office will oversee the implementation process of the MIECZNIK frigate programme in Poland.
Indicating Babcock company as a preferred platform supplier and strategic partner to carry out MIECZNIK program, the Armament Agency in March this year chose Arrowhead 140 frigate from three different platform design proposals presented by PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium.
Babcock is currently working closely in Poland with two other British companies: Thales UK and MBDA UK, the UK government and the UK Royal Navy, supporting a consortium of Polish shipyards and other industrial partners gathered around the implementation of the MIECZNIK programme. On the basis of jointly gathered knowledge and experience of “Team UK”, which Babcock, Thales UK and MBDA UK are willing to share with the Polish partners of the programme within the framework of strategic cooperation agreements, the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium plans to modernise the Polish shipbuilding industry through the transfer of knowledge and technology from the UK.
The new PMO office was officially opened with the support and presence of representatives of all programme partners. Present at the opening were, among others: Sean Donaldson – Managing Director of Babcock Energy and Marine, Sebastian Chwałek – President of PGZ S.A., Cezary Cierzan – Director of the MIECZNIK Programme, Daniel Bishop – Commercial Director at the UK Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Commander Piotr Skóra – Head of the Marine Technology Department at the Armament Agency. The opening programme of the Project Management Office also included the inaugural meeting of the Strategic Committee for the implementation of the MIECZNIK programme.
The event marks a milestone for “Team UK”, including Babcock and its Polish partners, who will work together to create a roadmap and division of responsibilities throughout the project.
The newly opened PMO also hosted the first official meeting between the British DE&S and the Armament Agency, whose representative Commander Piotr Skóra stressed that the MIECZNIK programme is extremely important for all parties involved, and above all – for the security of Poland.
The programme to build modern frigates will be based on the country’s supply chains and close cooperation with higher education institutions in order to improve the qualifications of local workers. The new PMO will be responsible for both defining how to engage local suppliers and for the recruitment strategy of all programme partners to recruit the right specialists to deliver this important national programme, as well as the specialised and skilled personnel to support the teams already operating in Poland.
Babcock will share its knowledge and experience to help create the ‘shipyards of the future’ in Poland. This will be possible thanks to the company’s track record in building warships, investing in the modernisation of shipbuilding facilities and introducing advanced production methods. An example of this is the Rosyth shipyard, upgraded to build Type 31 Inspiration Class frigates for the UK Royal Navy, on which the Arrowhead 140 frigate project is based.
Both PGZ Stocznia Wojenna and Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A., where the frigates will be built, are solid foundations on which Babcock and members of the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium will build a modern infrastructure adapted to current requirements and those of the future.
– It cannot be overestimated how important these three frigates will be for the security of Poland. The opening of the PMO office is very important for the whole programme, because it gives us a common command centre of the programme, where we can cooperate, collaborate and build our team. We are already very much in sync within the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium and with the support of our UK colleagues. Thanks to constant and growing determination I know that the Consortium and our British partners can achieve great things – said Sebastian Chwałek, PGZ S.A. president.
– We are building a team that will cooperate in Poland, support our Polish partners and deliver three proven, reliable and adaptable frigates to the Polish Navy. This is an important milestone in the programme and the PMO supports the development of a highly coordinated team focused on delivering this programme,” added Will Erith, Chief Executive Marine, Babcock International Group.
The MIECZNIK programme is a great opportunity for local suppliers and the whole region. MIECZNIK Program is a great chance for local suppliers and the whole region. It is also a new stage in the history of PGZ Stocznia Wojenna – this project is an ideal way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our shipyard, which will take place on June 24th this year. Building these frigates is the best way to open the next century of work in providing high class solutions for the Polish Navy and our other partners – Wojciech Nowodziński, Project Manager of the Miecznik Program in PGZ SW.
About the ‘Miecznik’ Programme
Miecznik Program is not only a shipbuilding project – it is also a strategic partnership between Poland and Great Britain in the defense sector and an opportunity for industrial cooperation and modernization of shipbuilding industry in Poland through an extensive transfer of knowledge and technology. It aims to guarantee the security and defence of Poland and the entire Baltic region, as well as providing strategic defence capabilities for the Polish Navy integrated with the country’s central air defence system.
At the beginning of March this year. Armament Agency of the Ministry of Defence selected Arrowhead 140 (AH140) from Babcock from among three bids initially proposed by the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium in July 2021 for the delivery of the ship platform design.
The Armament Agency’s order of three frigates from the PGZ-led Consortium as part of the MIECZNIK programme will ensure that Poland acquires sovereign capabilities to combat both air and sea threats to secure Polish maritime and oceanic interests, as well as to support Poland’s operational activities at sea as part of Poland’s NATO membership.
Babcock will provide extensive support to the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium in the construction of three frigates based on the AH140 project in Polish shipyards, by local workers and with significant participation of Polish suppliers and using Babcock’s global supply chain.
By naming Babcock as the platform design supplier for its frigate programme, Poland is the next country after the UK and Indonesia to select the AH140 platforms as the base design for the delivery of their own frigate programmes in 2019 and 2021 respectively.
Babcock is working closely with the UK government to promote the export variant of the AH140 frigate and its interoperability capabilities among navies around the globe.
A key advantage of the AH140 frigate is that its base design can be configured to meet a wide range of maritime operational requirements, wherever in the world they are conducted.