Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) has conducted a steel-cutting ceremony for the Finnish Navy’s first Pohjanmaa-class corvette.
Also called the Squadron 2020, the Pohjanmaa-class initiative seeks four multi-role corvettes to boost Finland’s capability against current and future maritime threats by 2029.
The resulting vessels will be designed for year-round naval operations across the Baltic Sea in freezing and stormy conditions.
Work for the corvettes is led by Rauma in collaboration with its subsidiary, RMC Defence, at a specialized shipbuilding center in Finland.
For the program, Rauma has invested in steel production to enable the welding of thinner plates according to the navy’s requirements.
A Pohjanmaa prototype was also built to evaluate the production capacity for the actual vessels.
“We are proud of our involvement in a project as significant as this one,” RMC President and CEO Mika Nieminen said.
“The start of production today clearly demonstrates that we have succeeded in completing the demanding design phase and are well-prepared to begin the manufacturing of the vessels.”
Finland’s Squadron 2020 Vessels
Each Pohjanmaa ship measures 117 meters (384 feet) long and 16 meters (52 feet) wide.
It will have a capacity of up to 70 personnel and a maximum speed of 26 knots (48 kilometers/30 miles per hour).
Once completed, the fleet will have enhanced surface, air, and underwater monitoring capabilities compared to Finland’s existing warships.
Alongside local deployments, the corvettes are expected to sail for crisis management missions supporting NATO’s Standing Naval Forces.
“The design of the corvettes pays particular attention to shock resistance, noise levels and stealth technology,” RMC Project Director Timo Ståhlhammar said.
“The multi-role corvettes are the first vessel class in the Finnish Navy that are designed and constructed under the surveillance of the ship classification society, including the ship’s performance in ice.”
“The product development of the technically challenging corvettes will continue after the start of production.”