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Construction starts on Finland's first Pohjanmaa-class corvette

Artist's impression of the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes. (RMC)

Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) has announced the start of production of the first Pohjanmaa-class multi-purpose corvette on order for the Finnish Navy.

A steel-cutting ceremony was staged at RMC's shipyard in Rauma, Finland, on 30 October.

Under its Squadron 2020 fleet renewal programme, the Finnish Navy is procuring four Pohjanmaa-class corvettes from RMC under a EUR647.6 million (USD707.4 million) design and construction contract awarded in 2019, with the build to be carried out by RMC's subsidiary, RMC Defence.

Under current planning, the lead ship is expected to start sea trials in 2026, with all four ships to be delivered by 2029.

Intended to replace the Finnish Navy's four Rauma-class fast attack craft, two Hämeenmaa-class minelayers, and the decommissioned minelayer Pohjanmaa, the Squadron 2020 vessels will be used for a wide range of missions, including anti-surface, anti-submarine, and anti-air warfare, as well as minelaying.

The steel monohull vessels will have an overall length of 117 m, a beam of 16 m, and a draft of 5 m, and will carry a crew complement of 70. Powered by a combined diesel-electric and gas-turbine propulsion system, the ships will have a top speed of 26 kt and an endurance of 14 days. Design features include an ice-strengthened hull to the equivalent of 1A class to enable the ships to operate in the Baltic year-round.

The Pohjanmaa-class corvettes will be constructed in a recently completed assembly hall built specifically for the Squadron 2020 programme, measuring 180×40×30 m and with a floor area of about 13,000 m².

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