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Finnish Navy gears up to start construction of Pohjanmaa-class corvettes in 2023

The first of four new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes is set to start construction later this year. (RMC)

The Finnish Navy has confirmed plans to start the build phase of its first new Pohjanmaa-class corvette during the third quarter of 2023 following delays to the programme.

Under its Squadron 2020 programme, the Finnish Navy is procuring four Pohjanmaa-class corvettes from Rauma Marine Constructions (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 Oy.

Under original planning, construction on the first of class was set to begin in 2022, but the programme is running more than a year behind schedule.

In a programme update released on 31 March, the Finnish Navy said design activities were now nearing completion, and the first ship was planned to start production in October-November this year, with a view to beginning sea trials during 2026. All four ships are planned to be delivered by the end of 2029 โ€“ a year later than originally planned.

The navy said the design schedule had been impacted by multiple factors. โ€œThe planning phase did not go completely smoothly,โ€ it said. โ€œBasic planning and equipment purchases [which began in 2020] were delayed from the target schedule, which is why the start of production was not reached at the beginning of 2022. As a result, the entire project was rescheduled between the client and the main suppliers.โ€ The basic planning and equipment procurement for the ships are now almost complete, it said.

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