Babcock hosted partners representing the Polish frigate programme codenamed MIECZNIK (eng. Swordfish) at its Rosyth facility on 26 April for the traditional keel-laying ceremony.
After cutting the first steel in September 2021, the recent keel-laying event, including placing a specially commissioned coin under the keel, formally launched the UK’s Inspiration-class type 31 frigate programme for the Royal Navy.
The ceremony was held in the new build hall, the Venturer Building, which will house two frigates for uninterrupted, parallel assembly and support increased productivity gains through improved access to the platforms and digital connectivity.
The Type 31 programme is an important part of the shipbuilding pipeline set out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy refreshed last month.
– In March, Babcock was selected as the platform of the ship design provider and technology partner for Poland’s frigate programme codenamed MIECZNIK. It was a real pleasure to host our Polish partners at the keel-laying ceremony in Rosyth to witness the progress of the UK’s Type 31 frigate programme – said Will Erith, CEO of Babcock Marine.
The ship to be built in Polish yards – PGZ Stocznia Wojenna (Naval Shipyard in Gdynia) and Remontowa Shipbuilding in Gdansk, which along with PGZ (Polish Armament Group) have been the consortium members, is the Arrowhead 140 frigate (the export variant of the UK Type 31 platform). Babcock had previously secured a design licence agreement with PT PAL Indonesia (Persero) to enable PAL to build two Arrowhead 140 frigates in Indonesia with bespoke design modifications for the Indonesian Navy.
As Will Erith emphasised: “The UK, Indonesia and now Poland have chosen our Arrowhead 140 frigate as the base project for their frigate construction programmes. This event gave our guests from Poland the opportunity to see the many similarities between the UK and Polish MIECZNIK programmes”.
– The PGZ-MIECZNIK consortium intends to set up a production capacity similar to that in Rosyth to construct multi-purpose frigates for the Polish Navy. We will achieve it by constructing facilities and implementing processes and IT tools supporting the production in the shipyards in Gdynia and Gdansk – said Cezary Cierzan, director of the Miecznik Program, PGZ SA (Polish Armament Group).
He added that before the keel of the first Polish frigate is laid, the shipyards will undergo necessary modernisation work, also drawing on the experience of their British partners. As a result, Polish shipbuilders will work in modern facilities based on Industry 4.0 solutions, optimising production processes and bringing many benefits to the local community – many new jobs for qualified personnel.
As a representative of the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium, Cierzan congratulated his colleagues from Rosyth on achieving this important milestone in the timely construction of the first craft.
– I look forward to furthering fruitful cooperation on our programme, and I am convinced that all the experience from building frigates for the Royal Navy in the T31 programme will facilitate the implementation of our ambitious plan for the Polish Navy – Cierzan added.
source: Babcock/Royal Navy/PortalMorski.pl