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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

“Russian threat” brought to Poland to naval ambitions

The national security Bureau of Poland introduced the strategic concept of Maritime security of the country given the threats, according to the authors of the document from the Russian side. Speech, in particular, about the operations of “on distant shores”, although such a task before the poles does not put even the NATO leadership. What is actually dictated by the ambitions of Warsaw?

In the concept of the Warsaw recommended Navy average strength, able to operate far from territorial waters in cooperation with large fleets. This fleet needs to be modern and meet the requirements of the allied troops, so the ships that do not meet the desired level of combat potential, must be scrapped.

“The destroyer “Blyskawica” saved Providence: at the time of the German attack on Westerplatte he had elective repair in the UK”

“The proposed model of the fleet requires including obtaining multi-purpose frigates, capable of providing air defense, changes in the structure and revitalization of the fleet in allied operations. The only way Poland can neutralize potential threats including from Russia, and to demonstrate allied solidarity,” reads the concept. In the main threats in the Baltic sea region identifies the “militarization associated with the development of Russian military capabilities, in particular, the possibility of deterrence in the Kaliningrad region”. Another threat associated with Russia, in the document called “monopolistic position of Russia in the sphere of deliveries of energy resources”, i.e. the strong dependence of some NATO member States on imports from Russia and from the Russian transport infrastructure.

The strategy also includes the scenario probable (it is probable) conflict in the region of the Baltic sea with the participation of Russia. “In conflict situations in connection with unfavorable geographical conditions in the Baltic sea, Russia will try to use, first of all, the possibility of air attacks to influence NATO countries and Sweden and Finland – without the need of first forces, and conducting landing operations,” say the authors of the document, stressing that in the event of such conflict a strategic role to play outputs from Russian ports located in the North-Eastern part of the Baltic sea. “In the case of cooperation with NATO forces, or at least with Finnish and Swedish, these exits are easily blocked by the Navy of Poland in cooperation with the air force, able to destroy ships,” they soothe.

In response to Russia it is recommended to achieve local benefits of the sea in four areas: in the air, on the surface, at depth and in the field of cybersecurity. And since the likelihood of conflict with high intensity in the Baltic sea can not be excluded that Poland should obtain for use offshore platforms that are best suited to assist the Navy (including missile units) with the components of the air force.

Writing a comely set of platitudes of this kind in the last two or three years, a common practice in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Meanwhile, the real military-strategic challenges in the Baltic sea are just in front of Russia and Sweden, modified over time. The Russian Baltic fleet never set a goal to break the operating room of the North sea, demolishing on the way the famous bridge malmö – Copenhagen. To access the ocean’s Northern fleet, specially enchanted by it. The Swedes, for their part, prudently created two commands, one of which is manic-depressive (cold, fog, expensive vodka) chasing Russian submarines in the archipelago, and the second, based in Gothenburg, holds the Danish Straits with access to the North sea.

But in front of the Polish Navy, if you can count those two American frigate type Oliver Hazard Perry, built the 70-ies of the last century and a dozen minor ships, including four submarines built from 1964 to 1967, no problems and never even put in the framework of NATO. The only reason why it is not sent to the scrapyard – the lack of a real opponent in the Baltic sea until recently.

However, in Poland, historically a powerful naval lobby, which, at first glance, not too related with the country with infantry and cavalry traditions, extending into the distant past. The Polish Navy had been seen for centuries, and the only surface ship, survived the Second world war (for which he became famous), the destroyer “Blyskawica” (“Lightning”) is saved Providence: at the time of the German attack on Westerplatte he had elective repair in the UK, where it was built, since representing the heroism of the Polish Navy as a ship Museum.

In the end, paradoxically, the naval lobby was formed in the socialist era, when the shipyard of Gdynia, Kolobrzeg and Swinoujscie artificially loaded by orders from the Soviet Union. “Preferential right” of the Polish and Finnish shipbuilders on a regular Soviet orders (even to the detriment of the development of heavy shipbuilding in the Soviet Union, for which we are paying now) spawned not only a brash seaside proletariat and “Solidarity” as its personification, but also – subsequently, the shipbuilding concerns that require money.

And here in 2015 for the first time in more than 20 years, Poland pulls on the water on their own built ship – Corvette “Slenzak” project 621М designed most of these these shipyards by shipbuilding companies. Initially in the series “Gawron” (“rook”) with the use of stealth technology had to be six corvettes, and began to build them almost in 2001. Then the number of “rooks” was reduced to three, and life is breathed only one unfinished. Price “Slenzak” with the original 80,9 million dollars in 2011 have increased by half, but the then Prime Minister Donald Tusk has signed the decision about the completion of the ship it is under pressure from the naval industrial lobby. Shipyards have kept their jobs and orders, but what to do with this thing and why do I need it, still nobody knows.

To illuminate the flag at distant shores – a tempting idea for anyone who says in the style of gentry memories od morza do morza. In the same spirit sustained and the statement about rearmament of the Polish Navy. “Revitalization of the fleet in allied operations” is about the potential for a Polish ship to be in the Gulf of Aden as part of joint operations against pirates or, God forbid, to maintain a certain attack Tomahawks. Such plans were hatched in 2013, when all the same lobby proposed a program of modernization of the Polish Navy until 2030, only then it looked much more modestly, since there is no “Russian threat” to Gdynia did not exist. It was supposed to build 20 new warships, but restricted classes, not creeping out from the waters of the Baltic sea. Large ships, the project did not expect, and had planned to focus on missile boats like the former Soviet “Tarantulas”.

Now ambitions grew and he began to talk about “offshore platforms”, it’s a smart word must be identified with something big and multi-purpose that in the conditions of Baltic and Polish experiences of sea tactics no more than a static target.

In the best case, these “offshore platform” share the fate “of Blyskawica” – they will crash somewhere beyond the reach of aircraft turboprop and survive for senselessness.


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