Poland to buy new submarines for navy: defence minister

Poland will this year initiate a procedure for the purchase of new submarines for its navy, as part of efforts to bolster security in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the country’s defence minister has said.

Polands Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak speaks at the Defence24 Day conference in Warsaw on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak speaks at the Defence24 Day conference in Warsaw on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Mariusz Błaszczak announced the move at a defence policy conference in Warsaw on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported

In his speech at the annual event, Poland’s defence minister said that “a full-fledged navy should comprise not only surface vehicles, but also vessels that can stealthily move underwater.”

Blaszczak announced: “We are launching the Orca programme. By the end of the year, the government plans to initiate a procedure to buy submarines and secure the transfer of the necessary technology, which we seek to obtain through an offset agreement.”

The defence minister said that officials would soon announce more details about „the number of ships, their equipment and functions,” the PAP news agency reported.

Błaszczak, who is also a deputy prime minister, stated: “We would like Poland’s submarines to be able to carry out long-term missions, have a high capacity for carrying combat measures and be flexible in terms of configuration–also to be able to move stealthily at high speeds and loiter underwater for long periods.”

Błaszczak added that Poland’s defence ministry was „monitoring the modernisation of underwater fleets” in Europe and globally. 

He mentioned “Australia’s project to obtain new submarines, using solutions that in our view bring unquestionable benefits.”

The Polish defence minister stressed that “buying new submarines is a huge challenge, not just in terms of work culture for crews placed in a new environment, but above all in terms of servicing these vessels and providing them with support infrastructure,” the PAP news agency reported.

Błaszczak encouraged „Poland’s partners to take part in the tender for the purchase of new submarines for the Polish navy.”

‘Europe’s security is too important not to be entrusted to Poland’: top security official

Meanwhile, Jacek Siewiera, who heads Polish President Andrzej Duda’s National Security Bureau (BBN), told the Warsaw conference that “Europe’s security is too important not to entrust it to Poland and other countries on NATO’s eastern flank.”

Siewiera said: “For years, we’ve been told that the security of Europe is too important a matter to entrust it to Poland, the Baltic states and other countries on NATO’s eastern flank.”

He added: “Well, today, after more than a year of war in Ukraine, we can say that Europe’s security is too important a matter not to entrust it to Poland and other countries in the region.”

He told the gathering: “Russia’s policy today leaves no hope for peaceful cooperation in Europe in the coming years … We are seeing further growth of radicalism and determination to wage war, supported by financial resources that had been amassed in previous years.”

Siewiera urged the European Union and the Group of Seven (G7) largest advanced economies and liberal democracies to strengthen sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. 

He said: “Our mission is to convince the unconvinced countries, to minimise dependence on Russia. We must shake off the illusion that conciliatory gestures directed towards the Kremlin will bring effects in terms of peace.”

Siewiera also told the conference that „Poland and the Western world have come a long way” since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

He said Poland had become “one of the main military forces in Europe and the second-biggest provider of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, after the United States, despite being the 25th-largest country in terms of GDP.”

Called Defence24 Day, the Warsaw defence policy conference is a two-day event bringing together top policymakers, senior military officials and arms industry executives from Poland and abroad, the PAP news agency reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.


Source: IAR, PAP, defence24.pl

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