HELSINKI, Finland (BulgarianMilitary.com) — Finland will enhance its naval power in the Baltic Sea due to the increasing importance of the region from military point of view and as a potential area of conflict between Russia and NATO, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
Two of the major points of the national defence strategy of Finland remain the strengthening of the presence of the country in the Baltic Sea and protection of its border with Russia.
Therefore, the latest goal of Finland in relation to its naval power is to enhance its open sea surface warfare and anti-submarine capability within its primary territorial Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia areas.
The Defence Minister of Finland Jussi Niinistö said, “It’s critical that Finland has a modern navy that is fit for purpose. The Baltic Sea has become a possible focal point for tension between East and West. We are dealing with a more unpredictable Russia. Increased military cooperation with partners will also see the Navy more engaged in joint international exercises in the region, especially with our Nordic neighbors and NATO forces.”
The enhancement of the naval power of Finland in the Baltic Sea is happening after under the Squadron 2020 Program at the amount of $1.5 billion. Central to the project is the acquisition of four multirole, ice-breaking submarine-hunter corvettes with requisite weapons and control systems.
The Finnish Defence Forces have been allowed by the Ministry of Defence to request final tenders for the ship and combat system under the Squadron 2020.
Atlas Electronik, Lockheed Martin Canada, and Saab are the three companies that have been short-listed for supplying onboard weapons systems if selected.
The complete results from the Squadron 2020 Program will be seen after 2025. It is planned the new fleet to involve the new multirole corvettes, which are the most suitable surface combatants for Finland
capable of carrying out effectively at sea the many tasks of the Navy around the year, as well as upgraded Hamina-class missile boats, Katanpää-class mine countermeasure vessels and Pansio-class mine-layers.
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Source: Defense News, MoD of Finland