The TKMS Meko-300 and Babcock Arrowhead 140 frigates on final in Poland

The Polish Navy has traditionally been the poor relation of the Warsaw Defense effort. To date, it has only 13.000 soldiers, and a limited number of ships, including only 2 OH Perry class frigates acquired second-hand from the US Navy in the early 2000s, and a single submarine. Kilo class out of operational service inherited from Soviet times. However, the country has nearly 650 km of coastline on the Baltic Sea, a strategic location for controlling access to this semi-open sea which hosts many critical infrastructures for the country and for Europe. The country therefore launched, a few years ago, an ambitious plan aimed at modernizing this navy, precisely to protect the coast and strategic access to the Baltic Sea.

One of the aspects of this program concerns the acquisition of new submarines, for which the French Naval Group, the German TKMS and the Swedish Kockums face each other. The status of this competition is uncertain, especially since Warsaw seems to have approached Stockholm to acquire the 2 Södermanland class submarines of the Swedish Navye which will soon be replaced by the new A-26 Blekinge. In the field of surface units, Warsaw initially turned to the German TKMS, the British Babcock and the Spanish Navantia for its Miecznik (Swordfish) program, aimed at building 3 coastal defense frigates. Obviously, the Navantia F-125 Frigate did not convince the Polish authorities, who have just announced that competition was now limited to TKMS' Meko-300s, and Babcock's Arrowhead 140.

meko has 300 armaments Defense News | Germany | Laser weapons and directed energy
Like the Israeli Sa'ar 6, the Meko-300 flirt with the notion of arsenal ship, with a (potential) firepower that would have nothing to envy to destroyers twice as large.

Heir to the successful Meko-200 model, nearly 30 of which were ordered by 7 navies around the world, the Meko-300 is a more imposing frigate than its predecessor, with a length of 125 to 130 m, and a displacement of 5.500 tons. It was initially offered to Greece during the competition that ultimately saw the success of Naval Group's FDI. Despite this failure, the Meko-300 is an impressive combat ship, particularly suited to Polish expectations. Indeed, like the Israeli Sa'ar 6, the German frigate is extremely well armed and equipped, with 32 vertical Mk41 silos in the bow, and 36 silos for long-range anti-aircraft missiles in the center, supported by 8 to 16 anti-ship or cruise missiles and two systems self-protection CIWS SeaRam. Beyond the missiles, the ship carries a 127 mm Vulcano gun, two 35 or 40 mm guns, two remotely operated turrets armed with 12,7 mm heavy machine guns, as well as 2 triple 324 mm torpedo tubes for the anti-submarine warfare, and a SeaSpider hard-kill anti-torpedo system.

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