Consortium building Swordfish frigates purchases Sea Ceptor air defence system

The PGZ-MIECZNIK consortium has signed a contract with MBDA to equip three Miecznik frigates under construction with the Sea Ceptor maritime air defence system; its task is to protect against, among others, hostile aviation, drones or anti-ship missiles, the Polish Armaments Group informed.

Sea Ceptor is a ship-based, state-of-the-art system that protects naval and allied vessels against advanced air and surface threats, including supersonic anti-ship missiles and unmanned craft. Sea Ceptor is the naval version of CAMM, currently used on UK missile frigates.

The Miecznik (Swordfish) programme involves the construction of three multi-role frigates for the Navy. The contract between the Defence Ministry’s Armament Agency and the PGZ Miecznik consortium was signed in 2021. Measuring more than 140m, the ships are to, among other things, secure shipping lanes and energy infrastructure, as well as fulfil tasks within the framework of NATO Standing Ship Teams. The first Miecznik frigate will enter service with the Polish Navy in 2029.

Last November, the Polish defence ministry signed a contract with the MDBA for the delivery of more than 1,000 CAMM-ER missiles (a longer-range version of the missile) to be used in the Narew and Pilica+ short- and ultra-short-range land-based air defence systems. According to the arrangements, the missiles for the Narew system and the launchers will be manufactured in Poland.

Poland will benefit from the interoperability of the CAMM missile, designed specifically for land and sea launchers, using the stock already purchased to arm the Swordfish. The CAMM will be installed aboard the ships in a configuration of four missiles per Mk41 VLS (Vertical Launching System) launcher, which will provide high firepower to increase the ships’ survivability in combat, reports MBDA.

MBDA is working with the Polish Armaments Group to establish a sovereign missile capability in the country in the NAREW programme, enabling an unprecedented transfer of knowledge and technology from MBDA. The use of missiles from the CAMM family in the Pilica+, Narew and Miecznik programmes will guarantee Poland significant benefits, while stimulating the development of Polish industry and the creation of skilled jobs. In addition, the contract to arm the Miecznik underlines the strategic relationship between MBDA and PGZ, which also includes the joint development of the CAMM-MR medium-range missile of the future, and the strength of UK-Poland defence cooperation, adds MBDA

The frigates’ main weapon system will be a universal vertical launcher capable of launching missiles of various types, including cruise missiles. The ships will be armed with CAMM, CAMM-ER missiles, and – currently in the concept stage – missiles with a more than 100km range. The Swordfish will also carry cannons of up to 40 km and anti-ship missiles capable of striking targets at a range of more than 200 km.

The three Miecznik frigates will be built at PGZ Naval Shipyard in cooperation with leaders in the defence industry – in addition to Babcock. These are MBDA, Thales UK, and Remontowa Shipbuilding – under a contract awarded to the Polish shipbuilding industry.




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