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PGZ helds keel laying of 1st future Polish Navy Miecznik class frigate Wicher.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by PGZ on January 31, 2024, the laying of the keel for the future Miecznik class frigate ORP Wicher took place at the PGZ Naval Shipyard in Gdynia.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Keel laying ceremony of the first Miecznik class frigate ORP Wicher. (Picture source: PGZ)

This event, attended by government officials, local authorities, Polish Armed Forces representatives, defense industry leaders, business partners, and other stakeholders, was the first keel-laying for a new combat vessel for the Polish Navy in 23 years at Jan Śmidowicz Street in Gdynia.

The keel, formally identified as the bottom block DB 04 for the future ORP Wicher, weighs over 120 tons and measures 24 meters in length and 18 meters in width. Complying with classification society regulations and standards, this keel signifies the commencement of more intricate construction phases for this class of ship. The ceremony included the welding of a commemorative coin and a plaque with the date into the ship's keel.

The keel, known as the bottom block DB 04, is a crucial component of the future ORP Wicher. It weighs over 120 tons and has dimensions of 24 meters in length and 18 meters in width, meeting the strict requirements set by classification societies for this type of vessel. A special feature of the ceremony was the embedding of a commemorative coin and a plaque with the keel-laying date into the ship's structure.

The keel-laying is a traditional maritime ceremony, symbolizing the start of a ship's construction. The Miecznik-class frigates, also known as Project 106, are set to enhance the Polish Navy's capabilities in various maritime operations, including surveillance, base protection, and air defense, making them a valuable asset in NATO operations.

The Miecznik-class frigates will be approximately 138 meters long, 20 meters wide, and have a deck height of about 10 meters. They will displace around 7,000 tons, have a range of 8,000 nautical miles, and reach speeds up to 28 knots.

These ships will be powered by a CODAD propulsion system with four high-speed diesel engines and two adjustable propellers, accommodating a crew of 120 and an additional 60 personnel.

The launch of the ORP Wicher is scheduled for 2026, with its commissioning into the Polish Navy planned for 2029. The completion of the MIECZNIK program is anticipated by 2032.

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