Polish Navy Fast Missile Boat ORP Orkan Successfully Fires RBS-15 Mk3 Anti-ship Cruise Missile

The Polish Navy fast missile boat ORP Orkan fired RBS 15 Mk3 anti-ship cruise missiles near Härnösand, Sweden. These were the first ever firing RBS missiles on the Polish Navy 3rd Ship Flotilla. The main aim of the exercises was to test the fire ability of the RBS 15 Mk3 missiles at long distances and the compatibility of the ORP Orkan and Piorun crews. The ships of the Gdynia fleet are thus preparing for actual combat operations at the national and international level. The main base of the 3rd Ship Flotilla is Gdynia-Oksywie Naval Base, Poland.

ORP Orkan is an Orkan-class fast missile boat and sister ship of Grom and Piorun. The Orkan class is series of three fast attack craft of the Polish Navy, in service since 1992. The lead ship of the class is named Orkan (Polish: Hurricane), while other two ships are Piorun (Polish: Thunderbolt) and Grom (Polish: Thunderclap). Piorun and Grom were famous Polish destroyers of the Second World War. Orkan was to have been the first destroyer constructed in Poland, but her construction was interrupted by the start of the World War II.

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Polish Navy Fast Missile Boat ORP Orkan
Polish Navy Fast Missile Boat ORP Orkan

The original project was prepared by the German Democratic Republic for its navy and was named Project 660 (Sassnitz class in NATO code). After the Unification of Germany the unfinished hulls were bought by the Polish Navy from VEB Peenewerft shipyard in Wolgast and successfully completed in Northern Shipyard in Gda?sk. After its completion in 1992 the ship was incorporated into the 31st Rocket Warships Squadron, 3rd Ship Flotilla. Since 2015 Orkan and Piorun underwent a 19-month, mid-life refit.

In 2006 Ministry of Defence ordered 36 RBS-15 Mk 3 anti-ship missiles to equip the ships. Since 2007 they carried RBS-15 Mk 2 missiles as interim armament. RBS-15 Mk 3 missiles were first deployed in 2014. Mk.II missiles for Navy mobile land based launchers have also been delivered as part of the offset deal. The RBS-15 (Robotsystem 15) is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface anti-ship cruise missile. The missile was developed by the Swedish company Saab Bofors Dynamics.

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