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Babcock's Arrowhead 140 design to form the basis of the future flagships of the Polish Navy

Babcock's Arrowhead 140 design has been selected for the Polish Navy's Miecznik (Swordfish) future frigate programme. (Babcock)

Babcock's Arrowhead 140 design has been selected for the Polish Navy's Miecznik (Swordfish) future frigate programme by the Polish Ministry of National Defence, the UK shipbuilder announced on 4 March.

The Miecznik programme, which is valued at around PLN8 billion (USD1.8 billion), covers the design and build of three new multi-mission frigates for the Polish Navy at local shipyards through a transfer of technology agreement. A consortium led by Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armaments Group, PGZ), and including Gdynia-based shipbuilders PGZ Naval Shipyard and Remontowa Shipbuilding, will be responsible for the delivery of the frigates.

The PGZ-Miecznik consortium has also signed additional strategic partnership agreements with Thales UK, which will supply a modified variant of its TACTICOS combat management system (CMS), and MBDA UK, which Janes understands will supply its Sea Ceptor shipborne local area air-defence system. The Thales CMS has been already mounted on the Polish offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ORP Slazak .

The Polish Armaments Agency selected Babcock's Arrowhead 140 frigate design from three proposals originally downselected by the PGZ-Miecznik consortium in July 2021, which also included German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems's MEKO A-300PL and Spanish shipbuilder Navantia' F-100 frigate designs.

Babcock's Arrowhead 140 design is based on the Iver Huitfeldt-class platform already in service with the Royal Danish Navy, and which also forms the basis of the UK Royal Navy's new Type 31 Inspiration-class general-purpose frigates and Indonesia's Arrowhead 140 frigates, which are being built under contracts awarded in 2019 and 2021 respectively. The Polish order marks Babcock's second export success with the platform design.

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