Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. begins construction of the future ORP Rybitwa  -
Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. begins construction of the future ORP Rybitwa
Date of publication: 21.01.2024
With the participation of representatives of the domestic shipbuilding industry, involved entities and the command staff of the Polish Navy, the ceremony of starting the construction of the fifth project 258 minehunter took place. This unit will be part of the 12th Minesweeper Squadron of the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla, stationed in the Świnoujście Naval Port.

In recent years, subsequent events related to the construction of ships for the maritime branch of the armed forces have become the norm. The Gdańsk shipyard will provide it with five ships by 2027 - three Kormoran II-class minehunters and two radio-electronic reconnaissance ships of the "Delfin" program. Rybitwa is the second future project 258 ship, after Jaskółka, to be built on its premises. That unit, in turn, has been under construction since March 28 last year, and the keel was laid on July 25 of the same year. Let us remind you that Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. delivered three units of this series to the ordering party in the years 2017-2023, ORP Kormoran, ORP Albatros and ORP Mewa. All of them are part of the 13th Minesweeper Squadron of the 8th FOW and are stationed at the Gdynia Naval Port.

Representatives of the shipbuilding industry were present during the ceremony: Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. headed by the vice-president of the management board, Bartłomiej Pomierski, and representatives of Remontowa Holding, as well as the president of the management board of PGZ Stocznia Wojenna Sp. z o. o. Paweł Lulewicz. Additionally, the event was attended by Sławomir Cichocki, director of the Armament Policy Department at the Ministry of National Protection, Piotr Grzelak, vice-president of Gdańsk, Kacper Płażyński, member of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, and president of the management board of Polish Ship Register Henryk Śniegocki and members of the command staff of the Polish Navy, including the commander of the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla, Rear Admiral Piotr Sikora, head of the Maritime Technology Department in the Armament Inspectorate, Captain Piotr Skóra, commander of the 12th Minesweeper Squadron, captain Sławomir Góra, and the future commander of ORP Rybitwa, Lieutnant Rafał Duszewski.

- The security of the Polish Baltic coast, critical infrastructure and freedom of navigation is of key importance for the development and smooth functioning of our homeland. A modern navy, capable of carrying out various types of tasks, both in times of peace, crisis and war, is necessary to maintain this security. The Kormoran II type minehunters built in a Polish shipyard are modern units specializing in a narrow but important aspect of operation. The ship, the construction of which symbolically begins today, is the fifth in the series. This is a successful project that is of great value to our fleet. The creation of this series of ships is an expression of the ability to cooperate between the armed forces and the Polish shipbuilding industry and proof of the potential of this industry. The Polish Navy will receive a unit ready for the challenges of the 21st century, said Minister of National Defense Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz in a letter read during the ceremony.

- This ceremony makes us all happy because as a consequence, the Navy will receive another modern ship. Kormoran II type minehunters undoubtedly contribute to ensuring maritime security not only of Poland, but also of its allies. We are proud of our participation in the implementation of the technical modernization program of the armed forces, which is so important for us and the Ministry of National Defense. This ship is already the fourteenth unit that we have just started implementing within this framework over the course of a decade. We make every effort to ensure that the ships built in our Shipyard perform their tasks reliably and effectively, in accordance with their intended purpose, said Bartłomiej Pomierski.

The culminating moment of the ceremony was the launch of a sheet metal cutting machine, which began cutting out elements that will in the future become part of the project 258 minehunter, the future ORP Rybitwa. Then, the director of project 258/4-6 from the Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. shipyard. Robert Stola, Captain Piotr Skóra and Henryk Śniegocki signed a document approving the construction of the ship. On the one hand, it was the end of the official part of the ceremony, on the other hand, it confirmed the beginning of the construction of the ship.

Project 268 minehunters are one of the most modern units in their class. They are characterized by modern, multi-sensor equipment, allowing them to operate both directly in the minefield and outside it. Their length is 58.50 meters and their displacement is up to 850 tons. It can reach speeds of up to 15 knots and has a crew of 45 officers and sailors. The equipment will enable operations outside the naval base for a period of 10 days, and its range will be no less than 2,500 nautical miles. The ship will be able to reach a speed of 15 knots.

The decision to deliver three more minehunters to the 8. FOW was made in March 2022, and the contract in connection with the planned construction was signed in June of the same year. The construction of the first of them, the future ORP Jaskółka, and the fourth of the "Kormorans", began exactly a year later. All will be delivered in 2026-2027. They are built according to a design developed by the Remontowa Marine Design & Consulting Sp. design office, which is part of the Remontowa Holding capital group. z o. o. under the supervision of the classification society Polish Register of Ships S.A. and with the participation of a wide, national chain of cooperators and suppliers. Cutting of sheet metal for the construction of the sixth ship in this series, the future ORP Czajka, is also scheduled for October this year.

Kormoran II-class ships are intended for operations in the Polish economic zone as well as missions in tactical groups in the Baltic and North Seas, including Standing Teams of NATO Mine Countermeasure Ships Group 1 and 2. Their tasks include the destruction of both World War II and contemporary dangerous objects. underwater, threat identification, control and monitoring of critical infrastructure, as well as acting as a multi-task platform for the mentioned unmanned vehicles. Although the construction of the future ORP Rybitwa has only just begun, the future commander of the unit, Capt. mar. Rafał Duszewski has the unique task of assembling and implementing the future crew. As the commander of ORP Drużno, he will also use the experience of his own service and that of sailors serving on other project 258 mine destroyers. Due to the fact that there are already three ships of this series in service, this will allow for efficient training of new naval personnel.

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