ORP Ślązak (2015)

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ORP Ślązak
History
Poland
Name: ORP Ślązak
Builder: Stocznia Marynarki Wojennej
Laid down: 28 November 2001
Launched: 2 June 2015
Status: Fitting out
General characteristics
Displacement:
  • 1,800 tonnes (standard)
  • 2,150 tonnes (full load)[1]
Length: 95.2 m (312 ft)
Beam: 13.5 m (44 ft)
Draught: 3.60 m (11.8 ft)
Propulsion:
Speed: 30 kn (56 km/h)
Complement: up to 97
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Thales SMART-S Mk 2 search radar
  • Thales STING-EO Mk 2 fire control radar
  • Thales MIRADOR Electro-Optics
Armament:
Aircraft carried: flight deck, no hangar

The ORP Ślązak (pendant 241) will be an Offshore Patrol Vessel of the Polish Navy, formerly known as Gawron-class corvette. The ship is named Ślązak (Polish: Silesian). It is a licence variant of the MEKO A-100 project developed by Blohm + Voss.

Construction[edit]

In 1997 Poland was invited to join NATO and became a member state on 12 March 1999. In December 1997 representatives of the Ministry of National Defence and the Polish Navy selected a conceptual design for future multipurpose corvettes. Inquiries were sent to four foreign shipyards from the UK, the USA, Germany and Sweden. The commission decided to go with the German MEKO A-100 Corvette design by Blohm + Voss. The technical project was approved in 2001.[2] A final agreement with Stocznia Marynarki Wojennej (Naval Shipyard in Gdynia) was signed on 27 November 2001 for construction of one Projekt 621 (shipyard designation Gawron) corvette, a second (optional) and five consecutive (optional). At the same time the shipyard signed a licensing agreement worth PLN 60 million for the use of the MEKO A-100 concept.[3] The keel of the first ship was laid on 28 November 2001 in the presence of Poland's Prime Minister Leszek Miller.[4]

In 2000 and 2002 Polish Navy commissioned two ex-US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates and on 23 December 2002 financing was cut to a single corvette.[5] Unlike multirole combat aircraft acquisition financed separate of National Defence budget, the program wasn't a priority for the Armed Forces and suffered from insufficient funding. The cost was initially set at PLN 250 million per ship. In 2003 estimated total cost of a single Gawron-class corvette was estimated at PLN 850 million, in 2005 at around PLN 1.1 billion. Finally in 2012 the figures have grown to PLN 1.5 billion (EUR 360 mln).[3][6]

In 2007 a shipyard awarded Italian Avio a USD 10 million deal to provide CODAG propulsion system.[7] In 2008 the hull was at 80% completion when financial crisis broke up. In 2009 the defence budget was cut by 5 billion PLN.[8] This led to postpone the decision to order the combat systems worth PLN 824 million that was negotiated with Thales in 2008.[9] The ships planned armament included RIM-162 ESSM and RIM-116 RAM surface-to-air missiles, RBS-15 Mk 3 anti-ship missiles and MU90 Impact torpedoes.[6] On 16 September 2009 the hull already with engines, turbines, generators, line shafts and air-conditioners completed technical launching for the first time. At the same time the Ministry of Defence decided to suspend corvette financing.[10] In April 2011 the court declared Naval Shipyard's bankruptcy.[11] On 24 February 2012 Gawron program was cancelled.[12] At that time the hull was largely completed at the cost of 402 million PLN (~US$130m), but equipping it with combat systems would have cost an additional 1 billion PLN (~US$320m).[13] On 23 September 2013 an annex to 2001 construction contract was signed to complete the sole unit as patrol vessel.[14] Due to design changes the program code name was changed to Projekt 621M. ORP Ślązak modular design and systems allows to upgrade it to the corvette configuration in the future.[15]

In December 2013 Thales Group was selected as mission suite supplier for 100 million euro worth contract.[16] A contract with Thales for delivery of the integrated combat system for the Ślązak was signed in March 2014. The deal include TACTICOS Combat Management System, SMART-S Mk2 surveillance radar, STING-EO Mk2 fire control radar, MIRADOR electro-optical observation and fire control system and LINK 11/16 tactical data link system.[17]

On 2 July 2015 ORP Ślązak patrol vessel was christened during official launching ceremony, becoming the first new Polish-built Navy ship in 21 years,[18] since ORP Wdzydze (TRB 646) minesweeper launching in 1994. It was expected to be commissioned in November 2016,[19] however in 2016 commission was delayed until 2018[20] and in 2018 further until 2019.[21]

In 2016 ship underwent systems trials, including engine room, power generators, fire control consoles and boats lifting and lowering hydraulic system.[22] It will be equipped with six seats Markos MK-500 and fifteen seats MK-790 rigid-hulled inflatable boat.[23] The units OTO Melara Super Rapid MF L/62 main gun was mounted on June 15, 2016.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ORP Ślązak zwodowany i zważony - wraca do hangaru. (in Polish)
  2. ^ Okręt Gawron – kulisy cz I. 17 August 2012. (in Polish)
  3. ^ a b Okręt Gawron kulisy cz. II. 17 August 2012. (in Polish)
  4. ^ Miało być 7 statków, będzie jeden. Być może. Śledczy badają, jak buduje się jednostkę Marynarki Wojennej. 18 November 2011. (in Polish)
  5. ^ To pierwszy od lat nowy okręt naszej marynarki. wyborcza.pl. (in Polish)
  6. ^ a b ORP Slazak / Gawron / Projekt 621 (Meko A 100). globalsecurity.org
  7. ^ Włoska siłownia Gawrona. 16 February 2007. (in Polish)
  8. ^ Projekt korwety Gawron dla PMW. (in Polish)
  9. ^ Zapaść wojska - biurokracja przetrwa.
  10. ^ Okręt Gawron kulisy cz. III. (in Polish)
  11. ^ Gdynia: Ogłoszono upadłość Stoczni Marynarki Wojennej. (in Polish).
  12. ^ "Tusk terminates 'senseless' warship project" (in Polish).
  13. ^ "Wojsko do remontu, koniec z Gawronem" (in Polish). Gazeta Wyborcza.
  14. ^ Podpisanie Umów Na Okręty Dla Marynarki Wojennej
  15. ^ ORP „Ślązak” zwodowany. Defence24.pl, 2 July 2015. (in Polish)
  16. ^ Thales uzbroi Ślązaka 13 December 2013.
  17. ^ Thales to supply mission suite for Polish Patrol Vessel ORP ŚLĄZAK. March 14, 2014
  18. ^ Defence Minister: We need to expand Polish Navy. 02.07.2015
  19. ^ Wodowanie ORP Ślązak. 3 July 2015. (in Polish)
  20. ^ ORP Ślązak opóźniony o dwa lata. Budowa trwa już 15 lat!. (in Polish)
  21. ^ MON podpisał umowę na dokończenie "Ślązaka". W służbie w przyszłym roku. 29 June 2018 (in Polish)
  22. ^ Trwają testy na ORP Ślązak. 8 August 2016 (in Polish)
  23. ^ Próby morskie łodzi typu RIB, przeznaczonych na okręt patrolowy ORP "Ślązak". 16 January 2016 (in Polish)
  24. ^ Montaż armaty na Ślązaku. 16 June 2016 (in Polish)