Polish Navy Perry-class Frigate in Maiden SM-1 SAM Test Firing

The Polish Navy (Marynarka Wojenna) frigate ORP Gen. K. Pułaski successfully completed a live firing exercise of two SM-1 surface to air missiles against an aerial target. It was the very first time that the Polish Navy was firing the SM-1 missile.

Polish Navy Perry class Frigate in Maiden SM 1 SAM Test Firing Author of photos: senior chor. Piotr LEONIAK

The test took place on August 28, at MOD Hebrides Range located off the northwest coast of Scotland. According to the Polish Navy, this was not only a "first" for ship's crew but also a test of skills following dock repairs, modifications and upgrade of the ship.

The test was observed by many officials including: the Inspector of the Navy. Jarosław Ziemiański, commander of the Maritime Operations Center - Maritime Component Command. Krzysztof Jaworski, commander of the third ship flotilla Mirosław Jurkowlaniec, delegation of officers of the General and Operational Command of the RSZ, defense attaché USA accredited in Poland cdr Tom Wypyski and representatives of NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command), the largest of the five technical commands of the United States Navy.

ORP Gen. K. Pułaski is one of two frigates of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class in service with the Polish Navy. It was commissioned in 2000. Previously, the unit served as USS Clark (FFG-11) for 20 years in the US Navy. The unit is stationed at the Gdynia naval base and is part of the Combat Warship Squadron. Pułaski's purpose is ASW, AAW and ASuW. Its mission includes the protection of strategic communication routes at sea.

Polish Navy Perry class Frigate in Maiden SM 1 SAM Test Firing 2 Author of photos: senior chor. Piotr LEONIAK

Production of the SM-1MR Block VI missile ended in 1987. The missile was retired from U.S. Navy service in 2003. It is expected to reach its "end of shelf life" (read "use by date") around 2020. The U.S. Navy announced at the International STANDARD Missile Users Group (ISMUG) meeting in 2012 that support for SM-1 will end in 2020. They have urged all SM-1 users around the world to begin planning on replacing SM-1 aboard the ships they plan to keep past 2020. A solution would be to replace the SM-1 with SM-2 Block IIIA missiles.

This is not the first "SM-1 firing in Europe" this year: The SM-1 may be venerable, but the French Navy conducted a similar test earlier this year.