Minehunter ORP Mewa handed over to the Polish Navy
At the Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. shipyard, a handover and acceptance protocol for the third in a series of modern mine countermeasures vessels – the ORP Mewa for the Polish Navy – was signed on Wednesday, 21.
The ORP Mewa MCMV is the third ship of this type and the second serial ship of this class. The first and prototype vessel of the KORMORAN II type (project 258) is ORP Kormoran, side number 601, which was built as a result of the development work under the contract dated 23 September 2013, concluded between the Armament Inspectorate (now the Armament Agency) and a consortium composed of: Remontowa Shipbuilding (leader), the Research & Development Maritime Technology Centre (OBR CTM) S.A. and PGZ Naval Shipyard.
Construction of ORP Kormoran began in April 2014, and a keel-laying and steel-cutting ceremony took place in September. The launch and christening of the ship took place on 4 September 2015, and sea trials began as early as September. Between June and October 2017, the ship underwent qualification tests. Following their successful completion, the ship entered service on 28 November 2017. ORP Kormoran serves in the 13th minesweeper Squadron of the 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla, based in Gdynia.
Two further (serial) Project 258 ships result from a contract dated 27 December 2017 between the Armament Inspectorate and a consortium with Remontowa Shipbuilding as a (leader). Three logistics support packages have also been procured as part of this contract, worth approximately PLN 1.2 billion gross.
– The construction of the KORMORAN II-type mine destroyers is an example of an effectively implemented programme resulting in the strengthening of the potential of our country’s Naval Forces. It should also be emphasised that the introduction into the service of the above-mentioned modern mine destroyers began the generation-wide process of equipment replacement in the Polish fleet. At the same time, the Polish shipbuilding industry has confirmed its competence to design and build modern warships – concluded the Chief of Naval Technology, Capt. Piotr Skóra.
The steel plate cutting for the first serial mine destroyer Albatros, side number 602, took place in September 2018, and the keel for the vessel was laid in December. The ship was launched and christened on 10 October 2019, and sea trials began in June 2021. From March to August 2022, the ship underwent acceptance tests, which were successfully completed, and the unit was delivered to the Polish Navy in August. Finally, ORP Albatros entered service on 28 November 2022, when the first flag raising on the ship took place.
Construction of the second serial minehunter Mewa, side number 603, began with steel cutting in June 2019, and a keel-laying ceremony took place in October. The christening and launching ceremony took place on 17 December 2020, and sea trials began just one year later. Following the successful completion of the shipyard trials, the vessel subsequently underwent ‘state’ acceptance trials, which were completed on 8 December 2022. The handover of the Mewa to the Polish Navy on 21 December is the penultimate step in the unit’s introduction to service. Flag raising on the ship should occur in the first quarter of 2023.
– The Naval Forces are receiving modern mine countermeasures vessels capable of performing various tasks related to countering any mine threat at sea. These are not classic mine destroyers, but ships with functionality in the area of mine warfare and the ability to monitor underwater elements of maritime critical infrastructure – said the Chief of the Marine Combat Systems Branch in the Inspectorate of the Naval Command of the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces, Cmdr Piotr Sikora.
Completing the programme’s implementation is a contract of 26 June this year between the Armament Agency and a consortium comprising: Remontowa Shipbuilding (leader), the Research & Development Maritime Technology Centre (OBR CTM) S.A. and PGZ Naval Shipyard, the subject of which is the delivery of three further MCMVs with logistic support packages in the years 2026-2027. The value of the contract is approximately PLN 2.5 billion gross, and the vessels will go to the 12th minesweeper squadron from Świnoujście, part of the 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla.
Project 258 KORMORAN II mine destroyers are designed to search for, classify and identify sea mines, mark or destroy detected mines, guide different classes of ships through mine threat areas and provide mine defence to other vessels. In addition, they can also carry out high-speed reconnaissance of waterways, remotely control self-propelled surface mine countermeasure platforms, set and sweep sea mines, search for and combat underwater sabotage forces and means, and participate in rescue operations.