Finland to acquire Israel’s Gabriel anti-ship missile system

Finland is to acquire Israel Aerospace Industries’ Gabriel anti-ship missile system for its Navy, the Ministry of Defence said in a release.

The new missile system – dubbed Surface-to-Surface Missile System 2020 – will be installed on board the Hamina-class and Squadron 2020-class vessels and on “a vehicle platform,” the Friday, July 6 release said.

The €162 million ($190 million) purchase includes launchers, missiles, simulators, test equipment, spare parts and training, and includes a €193 million ($227 million) option.

Delivery is scheduled to begin in 2019 and to be complete by 2025. The procurement “will have an impact” on the Finnish Navy’s capabilities until the 2050s, the release said.

Israel Aerospace Industries’ Gabriel missiles are a family of sea-skimming anti-ship missiles first developed in the 1960s.

The Gabriel system was competing against Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile, MBDA’s Exocet, Boeing’s Harpoon and Saab’s RBS15.

On February 5, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of 112 RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Finland for $622 million. A DSCA release said that Finland intended to use the missiles on its Hamina-class and corvette ships, as well as from coastal batteries.

Squadron 2020

The Finnish Navy’s Squadron 2020 project aims to replace seven vessels with four modern corvettes to be built in Finland and planned to be used into the 2050s. The ships’ weapons and sensors will be procured from outside the country.

Final procurement decisions will be made in 2018 and the vessels will be built between 2019 and 2024

Other than maritime patrol and air defense, the Navy says corvettes could be used mine-laying and anti-submarine warfare.

On February 21, the U.S. Department of State approved the sale to Finland of four Mk 41 missile launching systems for the new corvettes at an estimated cost of $70 million, and on February 5, the State Department approved the sale to Finland of 68 Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSM) which are used for air defense and can be launched from the Mk 41 systems.

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