Finland stays on new frigate program despite delays

New delays are noted in the construction program of the four new indigenously designed Finnish Navy frigate.

The Pohjanmaa program is Finland’s most ambitious shipbuilding equipment program in which the domestic industry will design and build the platform, namely the ships, and foreign constructors will build and integrate electronics, sensors and weapons systems on the ships.

It is worth noting that while Finnish shipyards are experienced in building commercial and passenger ships, they have never built large warships in the past, unlike the Greek shipyards that have built three MEKO 200HN Mod3 frigates.

According to General Lauri Puranen, Director of Strategic Equipment Programs at the Finnish Ministry of Defense, the prolongation of negotiations on the subcontracts of the shipbuilding program has led to the delay in the start of construction of the four ships.

According to the General, the four ships will have joined the Finnish Navy in 2028, about nine years from now.

Together with the existing four Hamina-class missile boats, the four new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes will form the backbone of the Finnish Navy from the mid-2020s onwards by replacing seven older vessels that have been or are due to be decommissioned: the minelayer Pohjanmaa, two Hämeenmaa-class minelayers and four Rauma-class missile boats.

The Pohjanmaa-class corvettes will be constructed in Finland for reasons of security of supply. In April, Saab was selected as the preferred bidder for the development and delivery of combat systems. The vessels will be equipped with ESSM surface to air missiles, Gabriel V anti-ship missiles and Torpedo 47 torpedoes.