The implementation of the ORKA programme is being launched, the head of the Ministry of Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, announced on Monday. This programme, which provides for the purchase of new submarines for the Polish Navy, is one of the most important modernisation programmes of the Polish Army, the minister stressed.
– The Orka programme is being launched. The Armament Agency has launched initial market consultations for a new type of submarine for the Polish Navy, the head of the Ministry of Defence wrote on Twitter. – The Orka programme is one of the most important modernisation programmes of the Polish Army. Our goal is to purchase submarines together with the transfer of necessary technologies,” he stressed.
Announcing at the end of May the proceedings to equip the Polish Navy with new submarines, the head of the Ministry of Defence said that the aim of the proceedings “will be the purchase of submarines together with the transfer of the necessary technologies, which we want to obtain through an offset procurement”.
The purchase of new submarines had been envisaged for years in technical modernisation plans. The Orka programme was one of the priorities of the 2013-2022 technical modernisation plan, and was also included in subsequent plans for 2017-2026 and 2021-2035.
Originally, as part of the Orka programme, the Ministry of Defence planned to purchase three to four new submarines, with the value of the programme estimated at PLN 10 billion. According to earlier announcements, Poland intended to buy new submarines armed with long-range cruise missiles.
Currently, the Polish armed forces have one submarine on board – ORP Orzeł, which was developed in the USSR and entered service with the Polish military in the mid-1980s. In addition, since 2002, the Polish Navy has also used small Kobben-type submarines acquired from Norway – a total of four, the last two of which were withdrawn from service in 2021.