WARSAW, Poland — With Russia’s invasion of its neighbor Ukraine accelerating a number of procurements in Poland, Warsaw plans to boost its naval capacities in the Baltic Sea through the acquisition of three new mine countermeasure vessels (MCVs) in the coming months, according to Polish National Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
“We want this contract to be signed in June, at the latest. This will allow to maintain the competences and preserve the continuity of production activities of Polish shipyards,” Błaszczak said in a tweet.
With the planned procurement, the Polish Navy is to reach a total of six modern MCVs in its fleet. To date, the defence ministry has ordered three Kormoran II-class vessels from a consortium formed by the Gdansk-based Remontowa Shipbuilding shipyard and the country’s defense giant PGZ.
The first of the three acquired MCVs, ORP Kormoran, was ordered in 2013 and commissioned four years later. A further two vessels of this class, ORP Mewa and ORP Albatros, are to undergo final tests before they will be delivered to Poland’s naval forces.
Last week, the lower chamber of the Polish parliament passed a bill that is to increase the country’s defense spending to 3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) next year. The legislation currently awaits approval by the parliament’s upper chamber, after which it could be signed by the Polish president.
For 2022, the defense ministry’s budget is set at the level of about PLN 57.1 billion (US$13.3 billion). However, some of Poland’s military acquisitions are financed directly from the state budget.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.