Britain’s world-leading defence supplier, Babcock International, says that the Polish Navy’s Miecznik (or ‘Swordfish’) frigate programme “continues at pace” with support from the company.

Following its transfer of knowledge and technology framework agreement with Poland’s PGZ-Miecznik consortium, signed in 2022, Babcock has provided a lot of support in the construction of the three Polish frigates with an integrated combat system.

Notably, the Miecznik is modelled on the British Arrowhead-140 (AH140) concept. This is a multi-purpose light frigate design being developed by Team 31, which is led by Babcock.

Team 31 comprises Thales, Harland and Wolff, BMT, OMT and Ferguson Marine. Launched in May 2018, the AH140 is designed to meet the requirements of the British Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigate programme.

The UK Government is procuring five Type 31 Inspiration-class frigates to replace the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate fleet, which has been in service since the early 1990s.

‘A range of advice and support’ for Miecznik

In recent months, Babcock has worked with the Polish contractor to offer a range of advice and support, which has included job shadowing at the Type-31 Rosyth site in Scotland, as well as supporting the implementation of a modern approach to warship acceptance.

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Team 31 at Rosyth site in Scotland. Credit: Babcock.

Micro panel line operators from Babcock have also shared first-hand experiences with their counterparts in Poland, who have similar automated equipment newly installed in their Gdynia facility.

The total value of the Miecznik programme, including the fire control systems and logistics package, is approximately zl8bn (approximately $1.9bn), making it the largest contract in the history of the Polish defence industry.

The vessels will be 138m long, 20m wide, and 10m high, with a displacement of approximately 7,000t. They will accommodate between 100 and 120 personnel and have an operational endurance of 30 days at sea without replenishment.

They can achieve a maximum speed of 28 knots and will have a range of 8,000nm.

They feature the vertical launch system Mk41 missile launchers and the new common anti-air modular missile medium range (CAMM-MR) missiles, complementing CAMM and CAMM-ER within the integrated air and missile defence capabilities of the Miecznik programme.

Furthermore, the vessels will be fitted with remotely operated weapons modules that include large calibre machine guns, as well as manually operated large calibre machine guns. The torpedo arsenal will consist of two sets of twin torpedo tubes.