With the signing of a contract on July 27 between the Polish Armament Inspectorate and a consortium led by the Polish Armaments Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa SA, or simply PGZ), the Miecznik program – intended to deliver three new coastal defense frigates equipped with air-defense systems – was launched.
The Miecznik program was first announced way back in 2012, but it wasn’t until March 15, 2021, that an actual procurement procedure was launched.
The aim, according to Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, is for the consortium to prepare three ship designs custom-tailored for Polish requirements by November. Following this, a downselection of the most competitive bid will be made in the first quarter of 2022. The first warship will be launched within four years of the finalization of the winning design, with the entire program wrapped up by 2034.
.@Poland_MOD signed off on a deal for #Miecznik frigates, but the final industrial partner and project will be chosen either at the end of 2021 or at the beginning of 2022 | #Defence24 https://t.co/Kkp9bYShzQ
— Defence24.pl (@Defence24pl) July 27, 2021
The estimated value of the program – including design concepts through full production of all three vessels – is placed at roughly PLN8 billion ($2 billion).
The new ships are to feature a displacement of greater than 2,000 tons and be equipped with modern sensors, weapon systems, and an integrated combat system. They are to have to the capability of conducting combat missions versus air, sea, and land targets.
The PGZ Group is heading a consortium consisting of the PGZ SW shipbuilding facility and Remontowa Holding shipbuilding group. It will begin with the Miecznik program by conducting a research and design (R&D) study of three ship designs submitted by shipyards from the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany (likely being Babcock, Navantia, and TKMS). Once the Armament Inspectorate selects a preferred design, the consortium will work on finalizing it to custom-tailored requirements of the Polish Navy. All shipbuilding work will be conducted in Poland.
The Miecznik program forms one leg of a naval modernization plan, “Operational Program – Countering Threats at Sea 2013-2022/2030,” announced by Warsaw in 2014.