Poland-built stealth ship starts naval tests

"Ślązak" at Gdynia Navy Shipyard. Photo: PAP/Adam Warżawa

The sea trials of the "Ślązak" patrol ship of a stealth type (difficult to detect by radar) have begun, according to the Gdynia-based Navy Shipyard (PGZ Stocznia Wojenna). Work on the ship, initially planned as a corvette, began in 2001.

"The first, port stage of the ‘Ślązak’ "patrol vessel trials has been completed," the statement says. On Wednesday "Ślązak" sailed out of the Gdynia Shipyard for the first time.

The manufacturer stated that "Ślązak" is 95 m long, 13 m wide and sails with a maximum speed of about 30 knots. It is armed with a 76mm OTO Melara cannon, two 30mm Marlin-WS guns, four Grom short-range anti-aircraft missile launchers and four large-calibre 12.7-mm machine guns. The ship has room to accommodate a helicopter.

Long way to the sea

The ship was designed in 1997, originally meant as a multi-purpose corvette of the Gawron type. Its construction started in Gdynia Shipyard in 2001. Initially, the defence resort planned to build seven such vessels, however, over the years, due to budgetary concerns the plans were reduced to just one ship of the patrol, not corvette type.

"Ślązak" was launched in July 2015. Then the port trials began.

The main roles of the ship are to engage maritime and air targets, patrol and protect coastal waters, escort commercial vessels and control maritime shipping routes within the framework of multinational forces. The vessel is also intended for use in missions related to combating piracy and maritime terrorism, securing the activities of special forces and participation in humanitarian and ecological actions.

“Ślązak” is the first navy ship fully designed and built in Poland since the fall of communism in 1989.