Frag Out! Magazine

Frag Out! Magazine #27

Frag Out! Magazine

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Page 99 of 227

Over the last few years the public discourse concerning the Polish Navy was dominated by the issue of pro- curement of new vessels, that would either be brand new or second-hand. One of the primary problems brought up in the discussion was contained in the question that is at the same time at the core of the issue. This very ques- tion defines the sensibility of acquisi- tion of new, large surface combatants by the Polish Navy. The heated debate would become even more hot, most probably, following the recently announced Technical Modern- ization Plan adopted by the Polish MoD. The document in question, outlining the Polish efforts aimed at modernizing the military, also includes several projects in the naval domain. Miecznik program is to be continued, under a somewhat cryptic name - "coastal defense vessel". Procurement of six missile boats, mean- while, is a novelty that emerged in the new plan - this intention is known as the Murena program. First things first. Not to get lost, we should remind the reader of the basic definitions of the naval terms. Terms "corvette" and "frigate" come from the times of sailing ships. Royal Navy used those terms to define two types of es- cort vessels – smaller than destroyers but larger than small boats, also referred to as cutters (or boats, depending on the terms adopted). The first mass-build Flower-class frigates had displacement of 925 tons and, in the original configura- tion, they were armed with a single 102 mm cannon, single 40 mm AA cannon (more AA guns were being added later) and depth charges. These vessels, being small and not having a very impressive set of armament onboard, were cheap and easy to mass manufacture. Mean- while, River-class frigates with total displacement of 1830 tons were armed with two 102 mm cannons (sometimes with extra 76 mm naval gun), up to 10 AA guns and a depth charge launcher. This division was complicated even fur- ther, by escort destroyers of similar size, such as the Hunt-class vessels. Also, during the Cold War, frigates and corvettes were employed in the escort role - here a good example can be seen in a form the Perry-class vessels of the US Story by: Michał Piekarski Images: Łukasz „Wookie" Krzyżanowski Are frigates too large for the Baltic

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