Poland has launched its first naval ship, ORP Slazak, as a part of its naval expansion program.
On Thursday, Minister Siemoniak launched and christened the ORP Ślązak (Silesian) patrol boat at the Naval Shipyard in Gdynia.
“The expansion of our Navy is not just sentiment and love which Poles have for the Baltic Sea, but also a necessity of our time,” Minister Siemoniak said in a statement on Thursday.
The Minister said that, in accordance with the schedule, the ship should begin to serve late next year.
“Now you need to fit it out. We must also train the crew. We anticipate that by the end of next year it will normally come into service. She must also undergo sea trials at this time. This is the plan,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
The ORP Ślązak is the first new Polish-built Navy ship in 21 years.
The negotiations are continuing with Polish Armament Group for the next six ships that includes patrol and coast guard vessels, Minister Siemoniak said.
“Expansion of the Navy is the need of our time. We need new capability in the Baltic Sea, and to cooperate in the framework of NATO. The Alliance, because of what is happening in Europe and around Europe, looks completely different at sea, as was shown be the recent BALTOPS exercise.” said the Deputy Prime Minister during the ceremony.
“The Baltic Sea is of strategic importance for our interests and the interests of NATO. This is an indication that we should develop our naval forces,” Deputy prime minister added.