Poland buys Lockheed Martin Mark 41 VLS launchers for its new frigates

By Defence Industry Europe

The Polish state-owned defence industry group PGZ (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa) has signed an agreement with the American technology giant Lockheed Martin. In the framework of the Direct Military Sales (DMS) procedure, Poland is purchasing the Mark 41 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for its new Miecznik-class frigates.

 

According to PGZ, each of the three new frigates will be equipped with four Mark 41 VLS launchers, each featuring eight launching cells. Poland has also decided to order Extensible Launching System (ExLS) modules, which will enable the Miecznik-class frigates to be armed with CAMM air defence missiles, to be delivered by the European company MBDA.

 

 

The purchase of Mark 41 VLS systems from Lockheed Martin represents another step forward in the Miecznik project, which is the major program for the Polish Navy’s modernization. Under this programme, Poland will receive three multi-role frigates based on Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 design. All three vessels will be built at the PGZ Stocznia Wojenna naval shipyard in Gdynia, Poland. The launching of the first ship is scheduled for 2026.

 

 

Each Miecznik-class frigate is to be armed and equipped with a 76 mm Leonardo OTO Melara Super Rapid Strales automatic cannon, four Lockheed Martin Mk 41 launchers, an OSU-35 artillery system with 35 mm calibre guns, two 324 mm calibre torpedo launchers, and Saab RBS-15 anti-ship guided missiles. The last unknown is the multi-purpose deck helicopter – in this case, the outcome of the Kondor programme, which envisages the purchase of between four and eight aircraft, is awaited. Among the potential options, the Leonardo AW159 Wildcat or Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk are primarily mentioned.

 

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