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New Babcock contracts advance Poland's Miecznik frigate programme

A computer-generated rendering of the Miecznik (Swordfish) frigate. (Babcock)

UK-based engineering and services group Babcock has been awarded two new contracts intended to pave the way for in-country build of Poland's Miecznik (Swordfish) frigates to start in 2023.

Babcock – bidding a variant of its Arrowhead 140 design – was selected earlier in 2022 as the platform design provider and technology partner for the three-ship Miecznik programme. Arrowhead 140 forms the basis for the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) new Type 31 frigate.

In a 7 September statement, Babcock said that the class design contract and the transfer of knowledge and skills (TOKAT) framework agreement “respectively support the further development of the programme and the enhancement of shipbuilding capability in Poland to deliver Miecznik to schedule”. All three frigates are to be built in Poland, and will draw significantly from both local suppliers and Babcock's global supply chain.

The class design contract is crucial in supporting the maturity of the Miecznik frigate and the provision of a design documentation package to Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ SA) for submission to the classification authority. “This critical and timely process in the contract will drive forward the next stage of the engineering process and support the programme to achieve cut steel of ship 1 in 2023,” said Babcock.

Under the TOKAT framework contract, Babcock will share its technology, engineering, and industry expertise with PGZ SA, PGZ Stocznia Wojenna (SW), and Remontowa Shipbuilding with the objective to upgrade their shipyards and deliver the Miecznik programme to the Polish Navy. According to Babcock, this co-operation will include human resources development and staff training, support in infrastructure upgrades planning, and the implementation of tools and technologies.

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