Poland: Cathelco Protects Hull of World’s Oldest Destroyer with Its ICCP System
The oldest naval destroyer in the world will be protected against hull corrosion by a Cathelco impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) system. The ORP Blyskawica, a Grom-class destroyer which served in the Polish Navy during World War Il is currently moored in Gdynia as a museum ship.
As the vessel has a length of 114 m, Cathelco will be protecting the hull surface using a 150 amp ICCP aft only system. This will consist of an arrangement of two 75 amp anodes and two reference electrodes mounted port and starboard which are connected to a control panel.
In operation, the reference electrodes measure the electrical potential at the hull/seawater interface and send a signal to the control panel which raises or lowers the output to the anodes. In this way, the hull receives the optimum level of corrosion protection at all times.
The Blyskawica was launched in 1936 at the J. Samuel White yard in Cowes. With a top speed of 47 knots, the vessel was one of the fastest and most heavily armed destroyers on the seas before World War II.
Shortly before the outbreak of the war, the Blyskawica withdrew from the Baltic Sea and sailed to Britain where she acted in tandem with the Royal Navy. She took part in the evacuation from Dunkirk and spent the remainder of the war escorting convoys in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Coincidentally, when the ship had returned to Cowes in 1942 for an emergency refit, she helped defend the town against an air raid by laying down a smokescreen and firing rounds against enemy bombers.
“We are very proud to be supplying an ICCP system for this historic vessel which will help to preserve its structure for future generations”, said Anna Soidlak of Cathelco who has been closely involved in the preparation of proposals for the Polish Navy. The order was won by Ryza Engineering, Cathelco’s well established agents in Poland.
This is an unusual project for Cathelco as the majority of their systems are supplied for modern commercial and naval vessels. However, occasionally equipment is used on historic vessels, a previous example being the USS Missouri which is permanently berthed in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii and was fitted with a Cathelco ICCP system in 2010.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, January 11, 2012; Image: Cathelco