Monday, 24 June 2013

MBDA Increases its Influence in Precision Attack Weapons

MBDA unveiled CVS302 HOPLITE that is designed to supply an indirect precision attack capability for land and naval artillery in 2035 and beyond, representing the fourth and latest of MBDA’s annual Concept Visions projects. The HOPLITE system consists of a mission control system and two missile variants, HOPLITE-S and HOPLITE- L, both of which can fly over 37.5nm (70km) in less than two minutes at low altitude or up to 92nm (160km) at high altitude in less than four minutes.
HOPLITE-S is a 3.2m long, 120kg ‘utility’ missile for simple, supported engagements, carrying a spot-scanning LADAR (Laser Radar) seeker for SAL (Semi Active Laser) detection among other functions. When the missile is third party-designated or attacks on coordinates, its LADAR sensor is used for aim-point refinement. One-way data link allows mission updates and re-tasking. HOPLITE-S can be utilised in more complex scenarios with targeting assistance from the 135kg HOPLITE-L missile.
The latter is designed for complex, isolated engagements, requiring an operator-in-the-loop (OITL) capability. Its multi-mode seeker allows passive and active 3D imaging. According to MBDA, it is robust to adverse weather conditions, heavily cluttered scenes, and countermeasures. HOPLITE-L can decelerate to subsonic speeds to provide time for OITL targeting over its two-way data link. This, and its LADAR channel, can be used to direct HOPLITE-S onto targets in coordinated salvo attacks, resulting in a high-value increase in capability compared to current systems.
The overall system is able to quickly traverse contested airspaces, and closely coordinate salvo firings to provide an exceptional fire support capability. Its one-shot one-kill precision simplifies operations while reducing collateral damage risk and mission cost.

In its upcoming fourth issue, NAVAL FORCES will report at length on the CVS302 HOPLITE project.

HOPLITE-S (top) and HOPLITE-L (below) use an Air Turbo Rocket (ATR) propulsion system, with its integrated boost motor, to cruise at over Mach 2.
(Photos: Courtesy of MBDA)


Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Clarion Events Middle East Signs Media Partnership Agreement with Mönch Publishing Group


Mönch Publishing Group’s CEO and NAVAL FORCES Publisher Volker Schwichtenberg signs a media partnership agreement with DIMDEX Director Joanna Edwards (Clarion Events Middle East), appointing NAVAL FORCES magazine as the Official Naval Media Partner for DIMDEX 2014 in Doha, Qatar, seen here at the NAVAL FORCES stand during UDT 2013 in Hamburg on 17 June 2013.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

Mönch Publishing Group Marketing Director Stephen Elliott Esq (left) shakes hands with Staff Brig. (SEA) Abdulbaqi Saleh Al-Ansari (right), Deputy Chairman  of DIMDEX, and presents  Col. (SEA) Ahmed A. Al-Haroon (centre), Operations Director of DIMDEX at UDT Hamburg, after the agreement that NAVAL FORCES will be the Official Naval Media Partner at DIMDEX 2014 in Doha, the world's most prestigious international naval defence and maritime security conference and exhibition.
(Photo: Courtesy of DIMDEX)

Upcoming: Interview with Commander (E) E.P.M. van der Klip MSHE, Royal Netherlands Navy Programme Manager Heavyweight Torpedoes & Submarine Sonar Systems, on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Navy's Walrus Engineering Support Project (WESP).

(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

News from the UDT 2013 International Fair, Hamburg, Germany

Deep Trekker Inc.|Canadian UUV specialist Deep Trekker Inc. introduced DTG2, a portable, low maintenance submarine mico-ROV suited for a wide variety of underwater inspection and monitoring missions. DTG2 weighs some 8.5kg (in air), is made of diecast aluminium with high toughness coating, and carries a high-resolution colour camera with 270 degrees of rotation, making this extremely manoeuvrable vehicle best suited for military/naval applications in ports/harbours and coastal waters. The tethered vehicle can be operated at a maximum depth of 75m, said Ms. Sam MacDonald, President of Waterloo, Ontario-based Deep Trekker Inc. The tether that contains embedded lightweight synthetic fibres has a diameter of 5mm. The vehicle’s extreme manoeuvrability is provided by a patented pitching system. According to Deep Trekker, the vehicle’s portability and accessibility is what makes it so attractive. Established in 2010, Deep Trekker believes that there is a worldwide increasing demand for the unique technology found in the DTG2 ROV, with the robust, easy-to-use vehicle filling in the gaps left by traditional ROV/AUV systems.

Deep Trekker’s DTG2 micro-submarine ROV is demonstrated here in an approximately, 1,000 litres tank at the 2013 UDT trade fair in Hamburg. Sam MacDonald: “The DTG2 can be ideally employed by the military for mine countermeasures missions and other underwater defence activities.”
(Photos: Stefan Nitschke)

Babcock International / BAE Systems / Rafael | BAE Systems, Rafael, and Babcock International Group have signed a teaming agreement in Hamburg to jointly promote a variant of Rafael’s TORBUSTER submarine-launched torpedo countermeasures system to the UK MoD. TORBUSTER is a fourth generation countermeasures system that combines soft-kill seduction methods and a hard-kill warhead to eliminate or disable acoustic homing torpedo threats. When the torpedo homes in on the countermeasures system, the decoy will sense when it is at the correct engagement point and detonates. This inflicts sufficient damage to the torpedo to neutralise it. TORBUSTER will be proposed for the UK Royal Navy’s “Astute” class and “Vanguard” class submarine life extension programmes. An initial operating capability will be provided on-board the “Astute” class attack submarines. BAE Systems Maritime Services will act as prime contractor in the UK, delivering selected hardware and software algorithms, local assembly, system integration, support to service entry, and in-service support.

On detection of an incoming torpedo, TORBUSTER propels itself to a safe distance from the submarine, then engaging the incoming threat by transmitting specific acoustic signals using technology based on Rafael’s SCUTTER reactive acoustic decoy.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

Northern Diver | Northern Diver International Ltd., headquartered in Wigan in the UK, developed the ARTEMIS handheld diver sonar locator with GPS, the ultimate tool to find mines and other items underwater in low visibility 80m range. It is a modular console that can be configured as a diver target detection sonar and GPS underwater navigation aid. The device has been delivered to Estonia and Ireland as well as the UK Royal Navy’s Special Forces, said Jonathan Warburton, the company’s commercial sales representative.

Primarily developed for use by EOD mine clearance divers, ARTEMIS helps to quickly and safely relocate items of ordnance on the seabed in all states of visibility or when conducting night diving operations.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

Pegasus Manufacturing| US company Pegasus Manufacturing Inc. showcased PEGASUS Thruster, a NiMH-powered underwater vehicle suited for deploying divers to their designated mission area. The vehicle’s endurance is 35 to 45 minutes, and it achieves a maximum speed of 2.5 knots. The 5.9kg (dry weight) vehicle is pressure tested to a depth of 250 feet.

PEGASUS Thruster enhances the diver’s ability to reach his mission area very quickly.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

Clarion Defence & Security Ltd., the organisers of the UDT conference and exhibition, announced that UDT 2014 will be staged in Liverpool from 10 to 12 June, coinciding with the UK Government- backed International Festival for Business. The UDT conference and exhibition will take place at the Arena and Convention Centre (ACC) in Liverpool, which is ideally situated in the Kings Dock next to the Maritime Museum. ACC is a highly accessible location with easy access to local modes of transport, hotels, Restaurants, and regional and international airports. Liverpool has a strong and long established relationship with the maritime sector that remains an important economic driver in the region as it supports more than 30,000 jobs, generating £1.1Bn GVA. The building of a new Panamax Terminal was announced recently, while local industry is backing a bid to establish a new university in the city to develop 'Super Port' skills to complement existing educational courses in the marine environment.
The UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation has pledged its support towards Liverpool as a venue alongside those associations and societies that are historically supportive of UDT. Rear Admiral Simon Williams OBE, Chairman of Clarion Defence & Security, said: "Developments such as the convergence of defence and security and the increasing importance of offshore industries are presenting the undersea community - industry, defence establishments and academia - with formidable challenges. UDT is focused on meeting those challenges, which makes Liverpool a highly appropriate venue for our 2014 event. The city holds academic leadership in oceanography and engineering and is situated close to many key suppliers to the undersea sector, including the UK's only remaining submarine building yard at Barrow in Furness." The Rear Admiral went on to say: "Liverpool is recognised globally as one of the premier maritime centres that will provide a fitting setting for next year's event."
Source: Courtesy of Clarion Defence & Security Ltd.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

MAST Europe 2013 Wrap-up

Building Assets: Naval Shipyards and Equipment Manufacturers Close Ties to Naval Customers

NAVAL FORCES Visits Polish Shipbuilder and Shiprepair Specialist REMONTOWA Shipbuilding S.A.

The offshore supply vessel “Highland Chieftain” (IMO number 9639359) built by REMONTOWA Shipbuilding is a 2,968 gross tonnage vessel that is specially designed to transport goods and personnel to and from offshore oil platforms and other offshore structures. Her estimated delivery to Gulfmark Offshore of Houston, Texas, is scheduled for September 2013.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

Polish shipbuilder REMONTOWA Shipbuilding S.A., under the leadership of Gdańsk Shiprepair Yard “Remontowa” S.A., seeks to improve its position on the shipbuilding and ship repair market. The shipyard has designed and constructed more than 1,000 ships since its establishment in 1945 as Shipyard No. 3. Michał Jaguszewski of REMONTOWA Shipbuilding told NAVAL FORCES at MAST Europe 2013 that the shipyard owns the essential infrastructure, including a 400m long quay, to construct a wide variety of commercial and military vessels. The Gdańsk-based shipyard owns extra capabilities for the construction of highly advanced offshore support vessels, cargo and container ships, open deck carriers, LNG, LPG and LEG carriers, and tugs. According to Michał Jaguszewski, REMONTOWA Shipbuilding’s order book contains a “considerable number” of building projects, including platform supply vessels (PSV) and passenger ferries. Other technical vessels designed and built at the shipyard for a variety of international customers include anchor handling towing supply vessels (AHTS), ice-breaking emergency evacuation vessels (IBEEV), and multi-function buoy tenders (MFT).

Moving Toward Naval Projects

Currently, REMONTOWA Shipbuilding can construct naval and commercial vessels measuring in length up to 130m and in width up to 24m, Michał Jaguszewski said. The shipyard works on extending its capability in the design and construction of military vessels, he said. With the Polish Navy’s surface fleet facing enormous obsolescence risks, an ambitious programme is underway under the auspices of Program Operacyjny – zwalczanie zagrożeń na morzu w latach 2013-2022/30 (Modernisation Plan 2030 or MP-2030) that foresees the construction of three new patrol vessels, three “coastal defence ships”, two reconnaissance vessels, two hydrographic research vessels, two rescue ships, three mine countermeasures vessels, one large joint support ship, and six auxiliary units.
REMONTOWA Shipbuilding already owns advanced capabilities to participate in the design and construction of naval ships, Michał Jaguszewski said. The shipyard has a history in building naval vessels for the Polish Navy and the Polish Maritime Search and Rescue Service. For future projects, the shipyard plans to acquire additional production facilities (including a larger slipway) for building larger ships, he said. Current production facilities consist of five prefabrication halls and 11 stands for the construction of sections, blocks, and completion of hulls, including a preliminary processing hall with three bays and two large 12.5 tons overhead cranes in each bay, a prefabrication hall (equipped with three 8m long bays served by four 10 tons overhead cranes, one 20 tons overhead crane and one 32 tons overhead crane), and a block assembling hall. The latter encompasses two bays with a length of 74m.

| Condition Based Maintenance

Next Generation Condition-Based Maintenance and Operations
for Fleet Operators Using Total Vessel Monitoring

ESRG|The need for reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for ships through OEM partnering, design improvements, reduced crew size, and remote monitoring has necessarily shifted from worthwhile initiatives to operational imperatives in the wake of the economic slowdown of the past few years. Shipboard condition monitoring (CM) and trending systems provide an effective means of observing equipment performance over time, anticipating failure-based on historical data and planning maintenance-based on material condition. However, shipboard systems by their nature are constrained to equipment operations inside the lifelines of one vessel. Key to optimising remote monitoring for a class of ship or a fleet of ships, is a central module that allows operational and maintenance Managers the flexibility to monitor individual vessel equipment data fed from the site CM systems, Aggregate data by asset and by equipment model, and provide a means by which they can feed back maintenance recommendations to the ship’s leadership in a timely manner.
US-based Engineering Software Reliability Group (ESRG) does remote monitoring and automated analytics for the maritime space to enable Condition Based Maintenance (CBM). The company has worked with the US Navy since 2000 and has recently begun expanding to non-US defence markets, with recent success achieved with the Republic of Korea Navy.
Robert Bradenham in a White Paper presented at the MAST Europe 2013 Conference describes CBM as a process to allow better use of existing data on-board ships for planning efforts to (A) diagnose issues before failure to avoid downtime and penalties, (B) move from scheduled to as needed CBM maintenance to reduce costs and failures, (C) trouble-shoot issues faster to get operations back up and running, and (D) reduce fuel and energy costs for owner and customer. Working closely with ship owner operators, ESRG was able to develop and deploy a
process to conduct assessment procedures remotely utilising actual machinery data and failure algorithms. This process eliminated the need to have an assessment team come on-board the ship and have the Crew operate machinery to conduct assessment procedures. For one organisation, this process was first applied successfully to a small number of ships and has since grown to over 100+ ships. This advanced CBM process can enable payback periods of less than a year.

On-board, fleet, land-based, and enterprise CBM systems should be agnostic with regard to how data is transmitted between them. Ships underway may transmit via EHF or SHF systems and ships in port may opt for traditional T-1 lines. The frequency at which data is transmitted from a ship to any follow-on system should be configurable by the user and independent of the frequency of data processing by those units.
(Photo: Courtesy of Republic of Korea Navy)


Increasing Benefits for Maritime Systems Technology Community and Industry

Building cooperation (f.l.t.r.): Stephen Elliott Esq., Marketing Director NAVAL FORCES; Sam West, Steering Group Chair; Warren Edge, Event Director, MAST Europe 2013; Stefan Nitschke, Editor-in-Chief NAVAL FORCES; Pearl Donvin, Exhibition Logistics and Sales, MAST Europe 2013.
(Photo: MAST Europe 2013)

BONN – 12 June 2013, NAVAL FORCES Magazine announces that Editor-in-Chief Stefan Nitschke Ph.D. and Stephen Elliott Esq. have been admitted to the Steering Committee of MAST – the only organisation dedicated to the advancement of Maritime Systems and Technology.
Long-established as the only international community, conference and exhibition dedicated to senior-level technologists in naval defence and maritime security, MAST opens up debate to global experts from surface, undersea, and air-space domains, providing new perspectives on developments towards capabilities and requirements for national security, regional stability and – eventually – global prosperity.
Stefan Nitschke states that: “…The mission of MAST and its worldwide membership community of leading experts in naval defence and maritime security fits perfectly with the nature and mission of NAVAL FORCES magazine. This calls to mind the Mönch publishing group’s excellent relationship with the Military-Industrial Complex and the way we seek to facilitate progress in this discipline.”
Stephen Elliott assures that: “…The unique international and multi-regional market strength of the Mönch Publishing Group and its maritime ‘Flagship’ magazine NAVAL FORCES means that MAST and its members will reach and influence a wider audience during and after its annual conference and exposition.  This also allows supporting companies to inform and deliver untold benefits to the maritime military-industrial complex.”
MAST 2014 will be in Istanbul, bringing a decidedly “Eurasian” focus on this dynamic region. This will present maritime systems and technology from and for the region and the world in a unique, peerless way. Mönch’s SAVUNMA VE HAVACILIK magazine will play an important role at this unusual event.  More information to come…
Bi-monthly NAVAL FORCES Magazine (in English, est. 1980) has quickly overtaken other older naval publications and enjoys the status as the largest and most respected and influential naval defence and maritime security publication. Covering topics that range from deck equipment to vessel power and technologies keeping them afloat and their crews “alive,” its audited circulation is more than 15,000 – meaning circa 120,000 readers worldwide. Visit or (blog) for more information and insights.
Go to for more information about joining and supporting MAST.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

MAST Europe 2013 - A First Glimpse

Polish Navy Modernisation - A Necessity

Vice Admiral Tomasz Mathea, Commander of the Polish Navy, told NAVAL FORCES that modernisation of the Polish fleet is a necessity.
(Photo: Courtesy of Polish Navy)

The Polish Navy’s Modernisation Plan 2030 (MP-2030) calls for a modernisation of the current fleet of 41 surface ships and submarines. The MP-2030 comprises three phases:
Phase 1 (through 2022) entails the modernisation of the two ex-US Navy “Oliver Hazard Perry“ class frigates (including PHALANX Mk15 1B Block 2 upgrade and major hull and engine maintenance) and four ”Sokół“ class (ex-Royal Norwegian Navy “Kobben” class) submarines. The latter will receive complete hull and engine maintenance, with a complete replacement of their batteries.
Phase 2 (through 2026) calls for the procurement of two locally constructed submarines (with technical assistance provided by a foreign shipyard) and two surface combatants.
Phase 3 (through 2030) will result in the procurement of a third locally built submarine and a third surface combatant.
The Polish Navy will also procure up to six attack and six SAR helicopters, up to 10 USV, and six shipboard UAV/UAS. The construction of the first “Slazak” class (Projekt 621) corvette is scheduled to continue under the auspices of the GAWRON programme.
Phase 1 of the Modernisation Plan 2030 calls for the modernisation of the two “General Pulaski” class frigates and four ”Sokół“ class submarines.

The 2,390 tons displacement Projekt 890 logistic support ship “Kontradmirał Xawery Czernicki” (511) was built at the Northern Shipyard (now Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A.) in Gdańsk and serves as a command ship for the Polish Navy's mine countermeasures forces.
(Photo: NAVAL FORCES Special Correspondent Guy Toremans)

Polish Navy – Order of Battle
(Sources: The World Defence Almanac 2013, MILITARY TECHNOLOGY Issue I/2013, pp. 178-179, and Weyers Warships of the World 2008/2010, pp. 248-253)
2 “Generał Kazimierz Pułaski” class frigates
1 “Kaszub” class (Projekt 620) missile corvette
2 “Gornik” class missile corvettes
3 “Orkan” class missile corvettes
4 ”Sokół“ class
1 “Orzeł” class (KILO type – Projekt 877 E)
Mine Countermeasures Vessels
3 “Krogulec” class ocean minehunters
13 “Goplo” class (Projekt 207 D) minehunters
4 “Mamry” class (Projekt 207 M) minehunters
Amphibious Ships
5 “Lublin” class (Projekt 767) LST
3 “Deba” class (Projekt 716) LCU
Auxiliary Ships
1 “Kontradmirał Xawery Czernicki” class (Projekt 890) logistic support ship
2 “Heweliusz” class hydrographic ships
2 “Nawigator” class (Projekt 863) research ships
1 “Baltyk” class (Projekt ZP 1200) tanker
2 “Piast” class (Projekt 570) salvage ships
2 Zbyszko” class (Projekt B 823) salvage ships
1 “Wodnik” class (Projekt 888) helicopter platform
1 “Iskra” class sail training vessel
Naval Aviation
1 An-28
8 An-28B1R
2 An-28E
2 An-28TD
2 W-3T
7 W-3RM
2 Mi-2
10 Mi-14P
2 Mi-14PS
2 Mi-17
4 SH-2G

MAST Europe 2013: Global Naval Markets Get Optimistic

Endorsed by the Polish Navy, National Security Bureau, Border Guard, and Naval Academy, MAST Europe 2013 represents the only dedicated global conference and exhibition for senior-level maritime security technologists. The event held at Amber Expo in Gdańsk is an important date in the calendar for Navies in the Baltic region and beyond in their search for new systems and capabilities. Numerous shipbuilders, naval design bureaus, and defence equipment manufacturers from Europe, Turkey, North America, Australia, and South Africa identified this year's MAST Europe as a platform to show-off their maritime innovations, not only because of the immense potential of the global naval markets, but also due to the changing behaviour of the maritime security environment.
The large number of technical sponsors and governmental delegates, e.g. from Australia, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, Ukraine, the US, and the NATO Naval Armaments Group, are testament of an accelerating procurement of naval systems and equipment around the globe that is seen as a response to a variety of reasons.
First, challenged by piracy actions along the coastline of East Africa and elsewhere in the world, anti-piracy measures are coming into a wider focus that require versatile naval platforms ranging from patrol ships to manned/unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft.
Second, the protection of territorial waters and coastlines requires an upgrade of existing naval capabilities, namely shipboard and airborne C4ISR, naval gunfire support (NGFS), and ASW.
Third, the countering of asymmetric naval threats requires new seagoing platforms but also new tactics and doctrines.
Shipbuilders and naval equipment manufacturers from a number of countries are keen in addressing the growing demand of naval systems in Gdańsk, including ATLAS Elektronik, BAE Systems, CASSIDIAN Optronics, Damen Shipyards, Diehl Defence, HGH Infrared Systems, Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Kockums, Naval Shipyard Gdynia, Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A., Rheinmetall Defence, Saab AB, and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Inventors and manufacturers from Turkey also represent a major cluster of exhibitors and delegates, including Havelsan and the Turkish SSM Undersecretariat for Defence Industries.

MAST Europe: New Products & Programmes

4 JUNE 2013

ATLAS Elektronik UK|The threat from submerged terrorist divers is very real. One widely-publicised incident in 2008 saw divers from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam insurgent group operating in Sri Lanka sinking a Sri Lankan naval vessel, rather ironically called the MV “Invincible” in her previous life as a freighter, during an attack when the ship was berthing in the northeastern port of Trincomalee.
For detecting such threats, ATLAS Elektronik UK developed the lightweight CERBERUS Mod 2 diver detection system. This Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS) is designed to be much smaller and lighter than the basis CERBERUS system. It is able to cope with the demands of both portable and ship-borne applications, detecting divers, swimmers, AUV, and SDV over distances of up to 1,800m, and alerting operators about their presence. Five systems are on delivery for the German Navy’s Type F125 frigate project. CERBERUS can be operated from the ship’s bridge as well as from a processing and display unit below deck, showing the surrounding area on a sea chart.
The CERBERUS Mod 2 diver detection system detects underwater threats over distances of up to 1,800m, enabling reliable alerting of multiple underwater targets with very few false alarms. Thanks to its low weight (23kg) and compact construction, CERBERUS can be deployed without the need for a crane or davit.

(Photo: Courtesy of ATLAS Elektronik UK)

6 JUNE 2013

HGH Infrared Systems|The French manufacturer showed off the SPYNEL around-the-clock wide-area surveillance system, acquiring near real-time full panoramic images with automatic intrusion detection and tracking capabilities. It provides powerful situation awareness through 360 degree visualisation of the surroundings and can be employed for a wide variety of missions, including maritime wide area surveillance, asymmetrical threat detection, seaport and harbour protection, coastal and border surveillance, UAV and USV low air target tracking, auto-protection of ships, search and rescue, anti-piracy and counter drug trafficking missions, and night-time navigation. A completely passive system, it is invisible to intruders, not vulnerable to camouflage nor jamming, and operates 24/7, whatever the weather. An unlimited number of tracks are immediately recognised on highly resolved images, including hardly detectable threats, such as small, slow or tangential moving targets. It can be a reliable and cost-effective standalone perimeter security solution as well as an added layer of capability to systems already in place.

SPYNEL can be quickly deployed to perform multi-events detection over extremely large areas in total darkness, fog, and smoke.
(Photo: Courtesy of HGH Infrared Systems)

U p c o m i n g

NAVAL FORCES speaks with Commander Erik Öhrn, Commanding Officer of the "Visby" class missile corvette HSwMS "Nyköping"

NAVAL FORCES visits REMONTOWA Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk

Monday, 3 June 2013

Statement from the Commander of the Polish Navy, Vice Admiral Tomasz Mathea
The Modernisation of the Polish Navy is a Necessity

Vice Admiral Tomasz Mathea, Commander of the Polish Navy (Photo: Courtesy of Polish Navy)

Speaking to NAVAL FORCES, Vice Admiral Tomasz Mathea, Commander of the Polish Navy, said that the Polish government set a minimum effective force target for surface combatants, logistic support ships, underwater warfare platforms, and naval aviation of various classes, including three new surface combatants, three submarines, and at least three maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), which will be procured under the auspices of the Polish Navy’s Modernisation Plan 2030 (MP-2030). The fleet currently consists of 41 surface ships and submarines plus 12 fixed-wing aircraft and 30 helicopters, many of them of Soviet/Russian, East German, and US origin. The Polish Navy needs new assets for the protection of its EEZ and Sea Lines of Communications (SLOC), as well as to provide a common security picture extending well beyond the Baltic Sea and the Polish area of responsibility. This, however, will require tough collaboration with other partners in the region, including industrial cooperation in specific high-technology fields. The following statement provided by Vice Admiral Tomasz Mathea is here released through courtesy in its original Polish language.

Szanowni Państwo,

Na stan środowiska bezpieczeństwa międzynarodowego Polski wpływają dziś zjawiska i procesy zachodzące w pobliżu jej granic, w otoczeniu NATO i UE, a także w odległych geograficznie częściach globu. Większość tych zjawisk i procesów posiada jednak wspólny mianownik, jakim jest znaczenie mórz i oceanów dla bezpieczeństwa naszego Państwa oraz jego sojuszników. Powszechnie znanym jest fakt, że proces reorganizacji struktur i zadań większości współczesnych sił morskich rozpoczął się z chwilą zakończenia okresu zimnowojennego. Od tamtej pory przeorientowano strategie wykorzystania flot, zmieniono charakter ich działań. Zmniejszyła się ilość okrętów na korzyść ich uniwersalności i nowoczesności. Swój charakter i operacyjny cel działań zmieniła także Marynarka Wojenna RP. W tym czasie rozpoczęliśmy integrację z siłami morskimi państw zachodnich, zapoczątkowaną udziałem polskich okrętów w operacji Desert Storm na Zatoce Perskiej w 1991 roku, a następnie udziałem sił MW w ćwiczeniach pod auspicjami Partnerstwa dla Pokoju. Kolejne lata przyniosły dla polskich sił morskich wzrost zaangażowania w ramach ćwiczeń i operacji NATO. Należy w tym miejscu podkreślić, że proces integracji MW RP z siłami Sojuszu przebiegał w okresie istotnych zmian w środowisku bezpieczeństwa międzynarodowego.

Przełom XX i XXI wieku przyniósł bowiem nowe zagrożenia. W szczególnie tragiczny sposób stan ten uzmysłowiły nam ataki z 11 września 2001r., które stały się wyzwaniem dla przyjętych wcześniej kierunków demokratyzacji życia i pokojowego współistnienia państw. Reakcją morskich państw NATO na nowe zagrożenia było przyjęcie wyzwania w obszarze walki z terroryzmem, nielegalną emigracją, przemytem ludzi i broni w ramach operacji Active Endeavour na Morzu Śródziemnym oraz walki z piractwem u Rogu Afryki. Stałe źródło zagrożeń dla środowiska bezpieczeństwa morskiego postrzegamy jednak nie tylko w terroryzmie i piractwie, lecz także w wyścigu o dominację w handlu morskim. Nie bez znaczenia pozostają także możliwe zagrożenia wynikające z ewentualnych sporów o akweny połowowe lub te, które są bogate w zasoby surowców naturalnych. Niewykluczone, że w przyszłości, państwa NATO będą musiały zmierzyć się również z wyzwaniami wpływającymi na bezpieczeństwo, takimi jak ubóstwo, migracje, represje polityczne, możliwość odcinania dostaw energii, czy też klęski żywiołowe.

Aby sprostać tym wszystkim nowym wyzwaniom, Marynarka Wojenna RP musi dysponować zdolnościami umożliwiającymi jej, skuteczną realizację zadań zarówno na Bałtyku jak i z dala od własnych portów. Musi także posiadać wystarczający potencjał odstraszania gwarantujący bezpieczeństwo własnego terytorium i interesów, a tym samym zachowania europejskiego, pokojowego „status quo”.

Większość jednostek polskiej floty ma już za sobą okres technicznej świetności i choć utrzymywane są w jak najlepszej kondycji, to jednak bez nowych inwestycji rola i znaczenie MW w systemie obronnym zacznie maleć. Skok technologiczny w rozwoju naszej floty wojennej spodziewamy się osiągnąć dzięki realizacji założeń, ogłoszonej w marcu 2012 roku przez Ministra Obrony Narodowej, Koncepcji rozwoju MW do roku 2022 z perspektywą do roku 2030. Jej treść stała się bazą do przygotowania pod koniec 2012 r. szczegółowego dokumentu wykonawczego, jakim jest Program Operacyjny – zwalczanie zagrożeń na morzu w latach 2013-2022/30. Dokument ten nakreślił nowe kierunki modernizacji MW RP, dzięki czemu mogliśmy zerwać z dotychczasową tradycją „uzdrawiania” jej kondycji poprzez pozyskiwanie okrętów używanych. Program… zakłada bowiem pozyskanie do składu polskiej floty wojennej zupełnie nowych okrętów we wszystkich dotychczas posiadanych przez nas klasach okrętów bojowych i pomocniczych, jak również wprowadza ich nowe rodzaje. Zgodnie z zapisami tego dokumentu Marynarka Wojenna pozyska do roku 2030 ogółem: 3 okręty podwodne, 3 niszczyciele min, 3 okręty obrony wybrzeża, 3 okręty patrolowe, 2 okręty ratownicze, 2 okręty rozpoznawcze, 2 okręty hydrograficzne, 1 okręt wsparcia działań połączonych oraz 6 jednostek pomocniczych. Ponadto przewiduje się pozyskanie całej gamy pojazdów bezpilotowych, 12 śmigłowców morskich, a niedawno do założeń modernizacyjnych wpisano także zakup 3 MPA.

Jestem głęboko przekonany, że rok 2013 stanie się początkiem przełomu w procesie modernizacji MW, a realizacja Koncepcji rozwoju MW… spowoduje znaczący i przełomowy wzrost zdolności bojowych i możliwości operacyjnych sił Marynarki Wojennej. Zdaję sobie sprawę, że rozpoczęty proces modernizacji MW RP będzie długotrwały, wymagający konsekwencji organizacyjnej i dyscypliny finansowej, a przede wszystkim kosztownych zakupów. To duże wyzwanie dla Państwa, ale również niezbędna konieczność wynikająca z troski o bezpieczeństwo polskich i europejskich obywateli. Wierzę jednak, że podjęty trud przełoży się nie tylko na podniesienie potencjału bojowego Marynarki Wojennej, ale umocni pozycję Polski na arenie międzynarodowej, jako solidnego i wiarygodnego sojusznika morskiego.



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