MoD approves contract for three mine hunters for Polish Navy

Marcin Bielecki/PAP

Poland's minister of defence said on Sunday he had approved a contract for three further Kormoran II-type mine hunters for the Polish Navy to be built at a Polish shipyard, adding that the Polish armed forces' main task was deterrence.

Speaking at a signing ceremony in the north-western city of Swinoujscie, Mariusz Blaszczak said: "I have had the opportunity to approve a contract in the matter of equipping the Polish Navy with three more mine hunters. They are very good vessels, as I have heard from sailors. I am glad that apart from the one vessel that is already in service, others will soon reach the 8th Flotilla (of the Coast Guard - PAP)."

On Friday, the Gazeta Wyborcza daily reported that the state Armament Agency was finalising a contract with a private shipyard, Remontowa Shipbuilding, on construction of three mine-hunters, a prototype having already been built by the shipyard. Remontowa Shipbuilding is one of the biggest shipyards in Poland.

Blaszczak went on to say that in a few weeks, the vessels ORP 'Albatros' (one of the ships currently undergoing testing) would go into service with another, ORP 'Mewa,' scheduled to enter service in the autumn.

"Three more vessels, produced by a Polish shipyard, will reach the navy as mass-produced ships," the minister continued, adding that it was important for Polish seamen to have the latest equipment to ensure they could effectively protect Poland's shores.

"Our task - the task of the Republic's government - is to create the conditions for the Polish armed forces - including the navy - to be able to develop," Blaszczak said. "It's a fundamental task - the security of our homeland."

Speaking earlier in the day at a ceremony to mark the 1,050th anniversary of the Battle of Cedynia, Blaszczak said the Polish armed forces' main task was deterrence.

"The strength of the Polish Army, which we have been consistently building, in contract to what happened until 2015, when military units were being disbanded, that strength serves deterrence, it serves enemies not daring to attack our Motherland, to attack Poland," he said. "We remember all those who have given their lives for a free homeland. They set an example for today's soldiers of the Polish Army to follow."