The Finnish government has approved long-delayed contract awards to Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC) and Saab for the delivery of the Finnish Navy's EUR1.32 billion Squadron 2020 corvette programme.
Squadron 2020 covers the procurement of four new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes, capable of operating in ice conditions, to replace the seven existing surface combatants in Finnish Navy service. RMC will build the new ships at its shipyard in Rauma, while Saab will take responsibility for the supply and integration of the combat system (including the combat management system and radar suite), plus the integration of government-furnished weapons and equipment.
The decision was made at the outset of the Squadron 2020 programme to build the new corvettes in Finland to assure security of supply and sustain national shipbuilding capability. A letter of intent and design contract was awarded to RMC in 2016.
It had been planned to award the construction and combat system contracts in 2018, but negotiations between RMC shipyard and the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command were drawn out by disagreements over commercial terms. These have ultimately been addressed by an increase in the overall programme budget.
Following a preliminary invitation to tender in 2017, Atlas Elektronik in Germany, Lockheed Martin Canada, and Saab were shortlisted for the role of combat system supplier and integrator. A final phase of competitive tendering was conducted in 2018, with Saab announced as the winner in April this year.
Following the government approval on 19 September, the Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command plans to formally sign contracts in Turku on 26 September. According to the Finnish Ministry of Defence, the contract value to RMC will be EUR647.6 million, while Saab's contract will be worth EUR412 million.
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