Keel laying for ORP Rybitwa. This is another minehunter being built at the Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. shipyard. -
Keel laying for ORP Rybitwa. This is another minehunter being built at the Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. shipyard.
Date of publication: 20.03.2024

The keel laying ceremony for the project 258 minehunter ORP Rybitwa (605) took place at the Gdańsk shipyard. This is the second ship of the 12th Minesweeper Squadron and the fifth ship of the Kormoran II type to be delivered to the Polish Navy. The event comes just two months after the sheet metal cutting ceremony that began construction.

The event is part of a series of investments for the development of the Polish Navy. This is also the third ceremony this year related to the construction of ships for the maritime branch of naval forces, which takes place at the Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. shipyard. It was attended by, among others: Head of the National Security Bureau Jacek Siewiera, Pomeranian Voivode Beata Rutkiewicz, President of the Management Board of Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. Dariusz Jaguszewski, president of Remontowa Marine Design & Consulting Mariusz Maciejak, president of the Polish Shipping Register S.A. Henryk Śniegocki, director of the Employers' Association, Forum Okrętowe Ireneusz Karaśkiewicz, head of the Armament Board of the General Command of the Armed Forces, Cdm. Włodzimierz Kułagin, head of the Maritime Technology Headquarters of the Armament Agency, Commander Piotr Skóra, commander of the 12th Minesweeper Squadron of the 8th FOW, Commander Sławomir Góra, future commander of the ship under construction, Capt. Rafał Duszewski, as well as other invited guests, including presidents and employees of companies belonging to the Remontowa Holding capital group.

– In the case of the construction of the fifth ship, in this case the future Rybitwa minehunter, we are witnessing another beginning of the creation process, which is a reproduction of a prototype that was created many years ago, which was put into service, verified, and underwent further tests in fulfilling its combat tasks. It was created thanks to Polish technical thought, and thanks to advanced solutions, the prototype has reached the point where its production is almost serial. More units are being built almost simultaneously for subsequent orders. It is good to be a guest in a company that has sound foundations, sound financing, long-term contracts implemented on time, and a proper understanding of its mission. A few years ago, the concept of Maritime Security of the Republic of Poland was created in the National Security Bureau. Today, I can proudly say that work on the new National Security Strategy announced by the President, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has begun. Maritime security will be given special consideration in this National Security Strategy, just as the shipbuilding industry and the navy also deserve a special place in the activities of the Polish state. The security of the Republic of Poland is based on the security of ports, sea supplies, and the possibility of delivering allied aid to the ports in Gdynia, and in the future also in Świnoujście. The security of the Republic of Poland is based on resources that can be exported by sea in the face of a possible conflict – said Jacek Siewiera.

– These are unique ships when it comes to anti-mine defense and they have proven their value on the seas, operating in the navy, as well as in permanent mine defense teams, where they could show their capabilities. The Navy will use six ships of this type. These are very successful vessels, which is emphasized not only by our side, but also by our allies – said Kadm. Vladimir Kulagin.

The main moment of the ceremony was the installation of a symbolic medal in the keel, which signified the act of laying it down and starting a new stage of work. According to tradition, this is to ensure the continued success of the construction and the happiness of the sailors who will serve on the future ship. Then the head of the Maritime Technology Department, president of PRS and president of the management board of Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. signed a symbolic card sealing the act of laying the keel.

Project 258 ships are intended to search for and combat sea mines in the waters of the Polish economic zone and in tactical groups in the Baltic and North Seas. They have high propulsion parameters provided by cycloidal propulsors powered by combustion engines and low physical field signatures. Due to their tasks, they are very important for shipping and strategic supplies, including exports and imports in Polish ports. They provide protection for the expansion of port infrastructure as unexploded ordnance from World War II is constantly discovered. They also help protect energy installations, both gas and wind.

Kormoran II-class minehunters is currently the largest ship series in the Polish shipbuilding industry in the 21st century. Three ships of this line were built in 2013-2022: ORP Kormoran (601), ORP Albatros (602) and ORP Mewa (603). All of them serve in the 13th Minesweeper Squadron of the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla and are stationed at the Gdynia Naval Port. These are also not the only units built by shipyard workers, because in 2017-2021 Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. delivered six B860 tugboats, which are also in service with the maritime branch of the armed forces. Representatives of the shipyard, the authorities and the navy itself have repeatedly emphasized that the units were built on the basis of a Polish design, in a Polish shipyard and by the forces of the Polish port industry.

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