I was fortunate to get on board her during her visit, starting at the rear of the ship on the helicopter deck after crossing from the HMCS Iroquois we entered the vessel through the door between the hanger doors and followed a central corridor before turning left and coming out on the port side of the ship. The corridor was guarded by Polish sailors at regular intervals to avoid I presume anyone straying into other parts of the vessel, these guys were enormous - no one was going anywhere apart from along the corridor and then outside! After spending some time at the front of the ship we crossed back to the Iroquois,
The General T. Kosciuszko is the former USS Wandsworth (FFG-9) which was commissioned into the US Navy on 4 April 1980. In 2002 the Frigate was transferred to Poland and renamed General Tadeusz Kosciuszko. She is one of two Oliver Hazzard Perrry Class Guided Missile Frigate in the Polish Navy.
The Oliver Hazzard Perrry Class Guided Missile Frigate was designed to fill the classic Frigate role, she is a combatant designed for air, surface and sub-surface warfare and as she can replenish at sea she can conduct missions and maintain a presence around the world.
She is 135.6m long with a 14m beam and 7.5m draft. The full load displacement is 3638 tons and she has a complement of 220.
Maximum speed is 29 knots although normal cruising speed is 20 knots giving an operational range of 4500nm at this speed.
Kosciuszko is powered by two General Electric Lm2500 gas turbine engines generating 41000hp, propulsion is via a single shaft with a 5m diameter variable pitch propeller.
Main armament includes
- SSM Harpoon
- SAM SM-1MR
- Mk13 Mod 4 launcher for both SAM and SSM missiles
- 76mm OTO Melara mk 75 gun.
- 20mm 6 bareled Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx CIWS
- 4 x 12.7mm machine guns
- Eurotorp MU-90 torpedoes
- Mk 32 - two triple 324mm tube torpedo launchers
The Mk-13 guided missile launching system (GMLS) is a single-arm missile system and on this vessel is equipped to fire the SSM RGM-84 Harpoon and SAM SM1-MR for anti-ship and anti-air defence. It is capable of firing at a rate of up to one missile every eight seconds. Its 40-round magazine consists of two concentric rings of vertically-stored missiles, 24 in the outer ring and 16 in the inner. In case of a fire, the system is equipped with a fire supression system.
The RGM-84 Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile homing to 95km at Mach 0.95. It was originally developed for the US Navy to serve as its basic anti-ship missile for fleet-wide use and was developed by Boeing and initially deployed in 1977.
The SM-1MR, is a medium range surface-to-air missile system (SAM) homing to 38km at Mach 2. This US missile program was started in 1963 with the SM-1MR being initially deployed in 1967 replacing older system that had been in place on a variety of US Warships since the 1950's.
The General T. Kosciuszko is equipped with Eurotorp MU-90 torpedoes.
The MU90 is an advanced lightweight torpedo with a standard NATO calibre of 323.7mm. It has a weight of 304 Kg is 2850mm long and designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine. Of extremely long endurance, the weapon can operate in water depths in excess of 1000m or as shallow as 25m.
The torpedo homing system, matched with the high-energy propulsion system, enables target engagement ranges up to 11,000m at 50 knots or 23,000m at 29 knots.