Charles Forrester, IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
8 September 2015
The Polish government is considering procuring its submarine replacement in collaboration with another NATO country, such as the Netherlands or Norway, Deputy Defence Minister Czeslaw Mroczek told Polish media.
Speaking to the PAP press agency on 6 September, Mroczek said that such a teaming would aim at reducing costs.
Both Norway and the Netherlands confirmed to Reuters that their respective governments were open to the possibility of partnering to buy submarines with Poland.
So far, DCNS, Saab Kockums, and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems are understood to have shown interest in a tender for building the submarines.
A tender for the submarines was expected at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, with a contract signing taking place in 2016 or 2017. However, this date appears to have been pushed back as the country continues to define the technical capabilities of the new boats ahead of issuing tender documentation, as well as the acceleration of other procurements such as ground-based air defence systems.
Initial plans had two submarines being procured by 2022, and a third by 2030.
The news of the submarine procurement comes as Poland's prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, revealed that the country would spend PLN1.6 billion (USD422 million) in 2015 on the navy, as part of the naval modernisation plan 'Operational Programme - Countering Threats at Sea 2013-2022/2030', announced in 2014.
Kopacz added that the plan is valued at PLN13.2 billion, of which the submarine procurement is expected to account for nearly half of the shipbuilding allocation.
Poland hopes to recapitalise its fleet by 2030, and will be decommissioning a number of US and Soviet-era platforms by 2022.