Sea trials of the third new Polish minehunter completed
Mewa, the third mine countermeasure vessel of the 258 Kormoran II project, has completed sea trials, Armament Agency spokesman Lt. Col. Krzysztof Płatek said on Friday.
– Further progress is being made on the contract for the delivery of two 258 Project minehunters. The MCMV Mewa completed sea trials carried out yesterday as part of the acceptance tests. Work is currently underway on the ship to prepare her for the handover, Płatek wrote on Twitter.
At the end of November, the flag was raised on the minehunter ORP Albatros – the second unit of the project after the prototype ORP Kormoran was delivered to the Navy in 2017.
The purchase of the ships was written into the modernization program for 2013-2022. The contract for the construction of the first prototype ship of the Kormoran II type with an option to build two more serial ones was signed in September 2013 in the presence of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Defense Minister chief Tomasz Siemoniak. A year later, the keel was laid for the ORP Kormoran MCMV.
The first unit was launched in September 2015, and the flag-raising ceremony took place on November 28, 2017, when the Ministry was headed by Antoni Macierewicz. In late December 2017, a contract was signed for the construction of two further ships in the series. ORP Albatros was launched in October 2019, and ORP Mewa was launched in December 2020, after which sea trials began.
In June this year, with the participation of the head of the Ministry of Defense, Mariusz Blaszczak, an agreement was signed in Swinoujscie for the construction of three more Project 258 minehunters by a consortium with Remontowa Shipbuilding in Gdansk and Gdynia’s PGZ Naval Shipyard and OBR Centrum Techniki Morskiej.
The Project 258 ships are part of the 13th Adm. Fleet Andrzej Karweta minesweeper squadron from Gdynia, subordinated to the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla from Swinoujscie.
They are designed to search for, classify and fight sea mines (they can also lay them), reconnaissance of waterways, guiding vessels through mine threat areas in the waters of the Polish economic zone and in tactical groups in the Baltic and North Sea. Among other things, they are equipped with underwater unmanned mine neutralization vehicles.
The vessel’s displacement is 850 tons, length – is about 58 meters, width – is 10.30, draft – is 2.60, speed – is more than 15 knots, and range – is a minimum of 2,500 nautical miles. The ships move thanks to cycloidal propellers powered by internal combustion engines – a quieter propulsion than traditional propellers. The Kormoran II minehunters are built of non-magnetic steel.