Navy modernisation reviewed - National Security deputy head
The present Polish Navy modernisation programme does not include our operational requirements, ally interests and obligations, thus it should be reconsidered, deputy head of the National Security Bureau (BBN) Dariusz Gwizdala has told PAP.
Gwizdala led a team responsible for the Strategic Concept of Naval Security draft.
The BBN official stressed that for years Poland lacked an adequate strategic document which would refer to naval security. In his opinion there is a lack of awareness that Poland is a maritime nation. "By drafting this document we wanted to note that we do have maritime interests, that we are developing an increasingly important maritime economy".
"As a great part of our exports and imports are shipped by sea, in view of the fact that we have an oil terminal in Gdansk and a gas terminal in Swinoujscie, that we are trying to revitalize our ship building industry, we must have a Navy which would secure our interests in these spheres", Gwizdala told PAP adding that one should also have in mind Poland's allied obligations.
As for the question whether the present Navy modernisation programme meets Poland's defence needs and interests, Gwizdala said that surely the programme needed to be thought over. "Apart from our interests and operational requirements there are also allied obligations. I am afraid that the current programme is not fully taking into account these elements. Especially in regard to new types of ships foreseen to be implemented".
The current programme speaks of corvettes and patrol ships, however, in Gwizdala's opinion "if a vessel is to combat threats from air, sea and from underwater, then corvettes will not be able to fully do this...this pushes us to a conclusion that we need bigger, more universal ships, this means we need frigates".
At the same time the BBN deputy head assured that Poland can afford such investment. "We must spend (our funds) wisely and rationally. The Navy modernisation programme must be efficient..."
Referring to the concept on the development of a deterrence force in the Baltic to be based on submarines with traditional propulsion technology, Gwizdala said that without any doubt submarines were a must, but the issue of acquiring vessels with manoeuvring missiles demands a debate. Nevertheless there is no doubt that the Polish Navy should have submarines, stressed the BBN official.