The PGZ-MIECZNIK consortium recently provided detailed insights into the cutting-edge weapons and sensor systems that will equip the three Project 106 Miecznik frigates destined for the Polish Navy. At a press breakfast held on Friday, July 14, Cezary Cierzan, the director of the Miecznik frigate program, shared new information concerning the program’s commencement.
The Cost and Configuration
While the cost of the program was not disclosed during the press briefing, it is anticipated to surpass the originally accepted value of approximately 8 billion zlotys (1.8 billion euros). This increase is primarily attributed to the final configuration of the Integrated Combat System (ZSW) and the rising prices of arms on the global market.
Integrated Combat System (ZSW)
According to the revealed details, the first frigate of the Miecznik-class will be the sole vessel to receive the complete ZSW from the outset. The subsequent ships will be constructed as platforms ready to accommodate combat system components, being “equipped for, but not with” them.
Advanced Weaponry and Sensor Systems
The first Miecznik frigate will be equipped with various state-of-the-art weapons and sensor systems. These include the Combat Management System (CMS), with the Thales TACTICOS system being the likely choice. Additionally, the vessel will house 18 Multifunction Operator Consoles (MOC) in the combat information center (CIC) and 2 consoles in the General Staff room. Furthermore, a national tactical data transmission system will be incorporated.
In terms of missile systems, the frigate will feature the Lockheed Martin Mk 41 VLS Strike Length launcher, capable of deploying the MBDA UK Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile system with CAMM missiles. Moreover, the ship will carry 8 Saab RBS15 Mk3E anti-ship missiles, with an option for an additional 8.
The artillery systems aboard the Miecznik frigate will consist of a Leonardo 76mm Super Rapido main gun with Strales, allowing for the use of trajectory-corrected DART anti-air ammunition. Additionally, the vessel will be equipped with two PIT-Radwar 35mm AM-35 (OSU-35K) Melee Weapon Systems (CIWS), two ZM Tarnów 12.7 mm WKM-Bm machine guns, and two remote-controlled weapon modules of ZM Tarnów 12.7mm ZSMU-1276 A3B.
In terms of torpedo systems, the ship will house two B515/2V launchers for 324 mm ASW torpedoes, with the vendor for this system yet to be selected. The frigate will also feature a range of sensor systems, including the multifunction radar Sea Master 410, NS58 Radar, STIR 1.2 EO Mk2 fire control system, TSA 6000 Interrogator, and IFF TSC 4000 transponder, all supplied by Thales. Furthermore, two PIT-Radwar ZGS-35K surveillance and aiming optronic systems (OSU-35K system) will be integrated with the Combat Management System (CMS).
The Miecznik frigate’s sonar system will comprise the Blue Hunter Hull Sonar, CAPTAS-2 towed sonar, TUUM-6 bathymetric probe, and underwater telephone, all provided by Thales. As for the electronic warfare system, the consortium did not disclose detailed information.
Construction Schedule and Future Enhancements
The construction of the first Miecznik frigate is scheduled to commence with the steel cutting at PGZ SW on August 16. The keel laying is planned for the first quarter of 2024, followed by the vessel’s launching in the third quarter of 2026. Between 2028 and 2030, the ship will undergo sea trials, qualification trials, and final delivery to the Polish Navy. Subsequently, test firings of the missile systems will be conducted.
For the second frigate, steel cutting is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2025, keel laying in the fourth quarter of 2025, launching in the third quarter of 2027, and delivery to the Polish Navy in the second quarter of 2030. As for the final unit, the timeline includes steel cutting in the third quarter of 2026, keel laying in the fourth quarter of 2026, launching in the third quarter of 2028, and delivery in the second quarter of 2031.
There are plans to integrate longer-range missiles into the Miecznik frigates. The CAMM-ER (Extended Range) missiles, with a range of approximately 45 km, are expected to be integrated into the ground system called “Narew.” Moreover, the CAMM-MR (Medium Range) missile, with a range of about 100 km, is being jointly developed by British and Polish industries as part of the Future Common Missile program. There is also consideration to incorporating a long-range cruise missile, pending political decisions and funding availability.
About the Miecznik Frigate
The PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium comprises Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa SA, PGZ Stocznia Wojenna Sp. z oo, and Remontowa Shipbuilding SA. International partners in this program include Babcock International, responsible for the technical design of the platform based on the Arrowhead 140PL (AH140PL); Thales UK, responsible for supplying key elements of the Integrated Combat System; and MBDA UK, the supplier of the air defense system.
The Miecznik frigate is expected to have a total displacement of 7,000 tons, with dimensions of 138.7×19.7×5.5 meters and a crew capacity of 100-120 sailors (maximum accommodation capacity of 160 personnel). Propelled by four diesel engines, the frigate will achieve a maximum speed of approximately 28 knots and have a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 18 knots. The vessel’s autonomy at sea will be 30 days.
In conclusion, unveiling the advanced weaponry and sensor systems for the Miecznik frigates marks a significant milestone in the Polish Navy’s pursuit of enhanced maritime capabilities. The integration of cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art systems ensures that these frigates will be at the forefront of naval defense and security, equipping the Polish Navy with a formidable fleet ready to safeguard national interests and contribute to global maritime stability.