• Germany's news in English
 
Poland gives thumbs down to German subs
Photo: DPA

Poland gives thumbs down to German subs

Published: 29 Nov 2013 09:50 GMT+01:00

On May 27th German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière and his Polish counterpart Tomasz Siemoniak signed a “Letter of Intention” to increase co-operation between the two countries’ navies in 28 areas including through a “submarine operating authority”.

The agreement pledged to “provide a sound foundation for the further enhancement of the German-Polish naval cooperation in the future,” in several fields including military procurement. 

Poland is looking to acquire three new submarines by 2030 and reports on Polish news portal Defence 24 in September said “particularly intense talks” were underway between the German makers of the U-212A submarines, TKMS, and the Polish Ministry of Defence to lease two of their submarines.

This prompted a question in parliament by Polish MP Jacek Sasin to the under secretary of state Waldemar Skrzypczak about how far along a deal to buy the submarines was and why a contract worth hundreds of millions of euros had not been put out to tender.

Surprisingly, Skrzypczak admitted Germany’s top submarine did not meet all of the “mandatory requirements of tactical and technical equipment developed by the military, including, in particular,the propulsion system, missile weapons and rescue system.”

He added that the Minister of Defence, at the request of the head of the general staff, had agreed to appoint a specialist to look at the “operational requirements” of the submarine.

But instead of looking elsewhere or getting the Germans to improve their submarines, the Polish navy is expected to water down its demands so a deal with the Germans can still go ahead, an industry source told The Local.

“The Polish MoD has authorized the navy to change their specifications so that the U-212A could fit the new specifications,” they said. "For the cash-strapped Polish Ministry of Defence this offer [of leasing the submarines] is a gift which will avoid a costly tender and certainly an endless diplomatic row [with the Germans]."

Media reports in Poland criticized the MoD for seeming to favour the German U-212As rather than putting a bid for the submarines out to tender.

But on November 15th the Ministry of Defence released a statement denying it had done anything wrong. It did, however, refuse to rule out a deal with the Germans.

“Contrary to media suggestions the Ministry of Defence does not take any particular type of ship into account,” it said.

“We want submarines which, in the future, will become the guardians of Polish security and guard the sea routes to raise the strategic defense potential of our country."

A decision is expected next year.

TKMS, which makes the U-212A submarines, had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

READ MORE: Germans look to sink Swedish sub maker

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Tom Bristow (tom.bristow@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
German kids 'growing up sitting down'
Photo: DPA

German kids 'growing up sitting down'

Too much sitting is bad for you, as we all know. But health experts warned on Monday that half of German children have firmly adopted the sedentary and damaging habits of their parents. READ  

Business makes confident start to 2015
A worker checks compensators in a Baden-Württemberg factory. Photo: DPA

Business makes confident start to 2015

German businesses are confident about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy, a new poll showed on Monday, as a weaker euro and falling oil prices are set to boost the country's exporters. READ  

'Stick to the plan': Germany to Greece
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras celebrates the party's election victory on Sunday. Photo: DPA

'Stick to the plan': Germany to Greece

UPDATE:German Chancellor Angela Merkel expects the new Greek government to uphold its commitments to international creditors, her spokesman said Monday after the electoral triumph of Greece's anti-austerity leftists Syriza. READ  

Give refugees holiday homes: Berlin official
Monika Herrmann attempts to mediate in a refugee dispute in 2014. Photo: DPA

Give refugees holiday homes: Berlin official

Amid rising tensions around the Pegida movement, a Berlin official stirred alarm on Monday with a proposal to commandeer private holiday apartments to house asylum seekers. READ  

Parties welcome Gabriel's Pegida meeting
Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel in Dresden on Friday. Photo: DPA

Parties welcome Gabriel's Pegida meeting

Politicians welcomed Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel's controversial decision to meet members of anti-Islam movement Pegida on Friday. READ  

Self-driving cars to hit German Autobahn
Hopefully there won't be any roadworks on the test stretch. Photo: DPA

Self-driving cars to hit German Autobahn

A section of the A9 Autobahn in Bavaria will be converted into a test route for self-driving cars, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Monday. READ  

 Deutsche Bahn wins allies in air cartel suit
Deutsche Bahn's HQ in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Photo: Volker Emersleben/DB

Deutsche Bahn wins allies in air cartel suit

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn said Sunday it has been joined by several companies in a 2.9 €billion euro lawsuit against Lufthansa and other airlines for fixing air cargo prices. READ  

Merkel phones Putin over Ukraine violence
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: DPA

Merkel phones Putin over Ukraine violence

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Sunday to "put pressure" on Ukraine's pro-Kremlin separatists to end a recent upsurge in violence. READ  

New anti-Islam march draws 17,000  people
The Pegida demonstration in Dresden on Sunday. Photo: Arno Burgi/dpa

New anti-Islam march draws 17,000 people

Thousands of people joined a march by the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement on Sunday, the group's first rally since threats surfaced against the group and its leader resigned over "Hitler" photos. READ  

Anti-Muslim rallies 'hurt Germany's image'
Police prepare for the demonstration on Sunday on Dresden's Theaterplatz. Photo: Arno Burgi/dpa

Anti-Muslim rallies 'hurt Germany's image'

Hours before a new rally in Dresden by the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement on Sunday, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the group's sentiments were harming the nation's image. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,428
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd