Preliminary choice of the frigate MIECZNIK conceptual design

On Thursday, February 10, the Polish Armed Forces made a preliminary selection of the conceptual design of the frigate MIECZNIK for the Polish Navy.

Because of the conducted analyses, three variants of the ship conceptual design together with the Integrated Combat System were evaluated, developed based on proposals from foreign partners. The assessment was based on criteria including tactical and technical parameters, combat potential, the possibility of unifying the acquired military equipment with that currently possessed by the Polish Armed Forces, as well as life cycle costs, proposed solutions and their further modernisation potential.

The score differences in the overall assessment of each solution were minimal, and the selection of each of them ensures the acquisition of comparable operational capabilities for the Polish Navy. Furthermore, it includes the possibility of implementing allied operations within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty, e.g. the execution of tasks within the framework of NATO Standing Groups of Ships.

As a result of the assessment, the first choice and alternative variants of the MIECZNIK project have been selected. The proposals presented by British and German industrial partners – Babcock with the Arrowhead 140PL design and TKMS with A-300PL design – have been found the most advantageous. The score between them did not exceed 5 per cent. The next step will be conducting negotiations between PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium and foreign partners offering technologies of ship platform and Integrated Combat System.

Arrowhead 140 frigate. Image: Babcock
Arrowhead 140 frigate. Image: Babcock

The final signing of the Business-to-Business agreement by the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium with the foreign partner, whose solution has been showed as the first choice variant, will depend on the final conditions and acquisition costs. Another aspect indispensable for the conclusion of the final contract is an agreement between the industrial parties. This agreement must consider the conditions imposed on the contractor, resulting from the assessment of the existence of the primary interest of state security, which is connected to transferring technology and building industrial potential in Polish shipyards and research centres.

In case it is impossible to reach an agreement, as recommended by the Contracting Authority, the contractor should start negotiations with the foreign partner, whose solution has been indicated as the second choice option.

The final frigate platform selection, together with the Integrated Fighting System within the framework of the MIECZNIK programme, will be made public after their conclusion.

TKMS A-300 frigate. Image: thyssenkrupp
TKMS A-300 frigate. Image: thyssenkrupp

The Next Stage of the project will be the preparation of the Preliminary Design for the selected solution and the elaboration of the updated Industrial Feasibility Study and Technical-Economic Analysis. At the same time, the technology and knowledge transfer will be started, and preparing potential to start the production of the prototype of the MIECZNIK frigate together with the Integrated Combat System – the first ship of the series – will begin. According to the schedule, the ship’s construction will start in 2023, and the first unit is to be ready by June 2028, while the deliveries of subsequent units have been scheduled until 2034.

The agreement between the State Treasury – Armament Inspectorate, whose legal successor is the Armament Agency, and the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium was concluded on July 27, 2021. The consortium comprises PGZ S.A. (leader), PGZ Stocznia Wojenna (Naval Shipyard) Sp. z o. o. and Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A.

The subject of the agreement is the acquisition, through development work and purchases, of one prototype frigate, together with combat assets, and the delivery of two ships in the series, together with combat assets with a training and logistics package for three units.

MIECZNIK ships will be equipped with anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, water-to-water and water-to-ground missile systems, and torpedoes designed to combat submarines. These vessels will increase the capabilities of the Polish Navy in observation and control of sea areas, protection of naval bases, fighting against a surface, underwater and land targets in the coastal zone, and conducting naval air defence.

source: Polish Armed Forces/PortalMorski.pl

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