Poland Commissions Slazak Corvette 18 Years On

 In GDI, Industrial, Defense, Sea, Air, Poland

ORP Ślązak Commissioned

(Source: Defence24.com; post­ed Dec. 02, 2019)

(Edited for style and gram­mar)

It’s tak­en 18 years since her keel was laid, but the Polish Navy has final­ly com­mis­sioned the ORP Slazak, orig­i­nal­ly built as a mine­hunter but since repur­posed as a mul­ti­pur­pose corvette. (Defence24.com pho­to)

Eighteen years after the keel-lay­ing cer­e­mo­ny, the ORP Ślązak patrol corvette has final­ly been com­mis­sioned into the Polish Navy. Her keel-lay­ing cer­e­mo­ny took place on 28th November 2001 at the Gdynia Naval Shipyard, and the pro­gram was final­ly com­plet­ed on November 28, 2019 with her com­mis­sion­ing in the pres­ence of Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

This is the sec­ond new ves­sel that has been trans­ferred to the Polish Navy over the last two years. ORP “Kormoran” mine­hunter was com­mis­sioned on November 28, 2017.

Originally, Ślązak was designed as a mul­ti-mis­sion corvette with anti-air­craft and ASW assets, as well as anti-ship mis­siles. The keel for that ves­sel was laid back in 2001. Back then no deci­sion was made with regards to mis­sile sys­tems and com­bat sys­tem. As the project was under­fund­ed since the very begin­ning, it faced long con­struc­tion delays, and many tech­ni­cal issues trou­bled the builders dur­ing the process.

In February 2012 the process came to a halt, but in late 2012 the deci­sion was changed. Ultimately, an annex of the agree­ment con­cern­ing build­ing of a patrol ves­sel instead of a corvette was signed in September 2013. The agree­ment has been a sub­ject to annex­a­tion lat­er on as well. Ultimately, the ves­sel passed her tri­als and was com­mis­sioned.

Ślązak is 95 meters long, 13 meters wide and has dis­place­ment of 1800 tonnes, with a top speed of around 30 knots. Her arma­ment includes an 76 mm OTO Melara naval gun, two 30 mm Marlin-WS can­nons, four Grom VSHORAD mis­sile launch­ers and four .50-cal. machine guns.

The ves­sel fea­tures an expand­ed CIC and sur­veil­lance suite (SMART‑S Mk 2 3D radar, STING-EO Mk 2 fire con­trol radar and Mirador EO fire control/observation suite). In the future, should the Polish MoD want it, Ślązak can be eas­i­ly fit­ted with a VLS solu­tion for anti-air­craft mis­siles, as her design per­mits retro­fit of such a sys­tem.


Commissioning A Cutting-Edge Patrol Vessel That Showcases Poland’s Naval Aspirations

(Source: Thales; issued Nov. 28, 2019)

The country’s new naval patrol ship, ORP “Ślązak”, marks the country’s mar­itime aspi­ra­tions and a return to naval ship­build­ing. Following a cer­e­mo­ny at Gdynia, the Polish Navy took pos­ses­sion of the new ship in ear­ly November 2019, ready for for­mal com­mis­sion­ing on the 101st anniver­sary of the found­ing of the mod­ern Polish navy.

The navy turned to Thales to help it realise its vision for a robust patrol capa­bil­i­ty. They had already col­lab­o­rat­ed on Poland’s Orkan class fast attack craft, bring­ing Thales’s breadth of sys­tems know-how, and long expe­ri­ence in equip­ping lead­ing navies, to the Polish fleet. Among the care­ful­ly scru­ti­nised com­peti­tors for this project, the navy con­sid­ered that Thales’s approach of com­bin­ing tech­ni­cal excel­lence with a long-term com­mit­ment to its cus­tomers was the right fit to its val­ues of tech­ni­cal rigour and deep under­stand­ing of its sys­tems.

Building on an already suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship, the navy select­ed Thales to sup­ply and inte­grate the entire mis­sion suite for ORP Ślązak. The scope of the work was con­sid­er­able, with Thales’s Tacticos Combat Management System (CMS)—with its open archi­tec­ture and lat­est-sen­sor design—central to suc­cess­ful­ly inte­grat­ing a range of lead­ing-edge equip­ment on board. Thales’s Sting-EO Mk2 Fire con­trol Radar, MIRADOR elec­tro-opti­cal sys­tem for obser­va­tion and tar­get track­ing, LINK 11/16 tac­ti­cal data link sys­tem, Automatic Identification System (AIS), and CCTV, are also inte­grat­ed into the ves­sel.

Hand-in-glove work­ing was essen­tial to a project that marked Poland’s return to naval ship­build­ing, some­thing embod­ied in the strong work­ing rela­tions between Thales and local part­ners. The project was led by Inspektorat Uzbrojenia (Poland’s defence pro­cure­ment agency), with Gdynia-based local play­ers PGZ-SMW (a Polish ship­builder) and Enamor (for nav­i­ga­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions inte­gra­tion) heav­i­ly involved.

But the part­ner­ship also looked beyond the imme­di­ate project and towards build­ing the country’s future defence exper­tise. Thales worked close­ly with Polish indus­tri­al play­ers to trans­fer tech­nol­o­gy and knowl­edge for the long term, with the focus on areas like com­bat sys­tem inte­gra­tion and soft­ware devel­op­ment.

The net result? ORP Ślązak was deliv­ered to the customer’s require­ments, with the con­fi­dence the Polish Navy placed in Thales as its main sys­tems part­ner borne out in suc­cess­ful and high­ly sat­is­fac­to­ry accep­tance tests. The ship’s com­mis­sion­ing rep­re­sents anoth­er mile­stone in Poland’s enhance­ment of its mar­itime capa­bil­i­ty, and in Thales’s devel­op­ing role in help­ing deliv­er this.

It’s a part­ner­ship set to con­tin­ue into the future, with an upgrade of the navy’s Orkan class ships cur­rent­ly under explo­ration.


Source: Defense Aerospace

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