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Poland picks Arrowhead 140 over the German Meko design for its frigate program

Arrowhead 140 for Poland
Arrowhead 140 Type 31 frigate design. Photo: Babcock

The Polish defense ministry has chosen the Arrowhead 140 design offered by British company Babcock International for its Miecznik (Swordfish) frigate program.

Poland is buying three frigates under the program, with the local PGZ-MIECZNIK consortium responsible for delivery of the project from the Polish side.

Babcock will act as the platform design provider and technology partner and has today concluded a set of strategic cooperation agreements with the Polish consortium.

The Polish Armaments Agency selected Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 (AH140) over the Meko-A300 design proposal offered by Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems. The F-100 frigate design offered by Spain’s Navantia is believed to have been discarded at an earlier point in the selection process.

Babcock and PGZ-MIECZNIK will now focus on the detailed design and systems integration planning process, which is expected to conclude in 2022.

Following the completion of the design phase, Babcock will support the Miecznik frigate build in Polish shipyards by a local workforce. This will be facilitated through a design licensing agreement, transferring knowledge and technologies to optimize Poland’s shipbuilding and industrial capabilities. Polish companies that constitute the PGZ-MIECZNIK consortium include Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa SA, PGZ Stocznia Wojenna Sp. Z oo and Remontowa Shipbuilding SA.

Poland’s selection of Babcock as the platform design provider for its frigate program follows decisions by the UK and Indonesia to select the AH140 platform as the basis of their new frigate programs in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

“I’m delighted that Babcock has been selected as a platform design provider and technology partner for Poland, and that our Arrowhead 140 frigate has been chosen for Poland’s Miecznik program,” David Lockwood, CEO Babcock said.

“Poland is one of our oldest and closest allies, and we continue to strengthen our partnership to help deter future threats,” UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin said.

“The Arrowhead 140 frigate will be a formidable addition to Poland’s fleet, providing world-leading capabilities to Poland’s growing naval presence.”

Defense technology company Thales announced in a separate statement it would be working with consortium members and Polish industry partners to deliver the integrated air and missile defense capability for the new frigates. The combat management system (CMS) that will be installed on the frigates is the Tacticos, which is service on more than 200 naval platforms, as pointed out by the company.