Currently, the Finnish Navy operates four Hamina-class missile boats, including Hamina, Tornio, Hanko, and Pori.

Since joining the NATO military alliance earlier this year, Finland has begun a major reform to upgrade its defense capabilities. In an effort to increase the firepower of the surface fleet, Hamina-class missile boats have received a new weapons system modernization package. The modernisation programme has officially concluded and all four vessels have been returned to active duty. The contract was implemented by the indigenous manufacturer Patria, and includes the modernization of the vessels’ torpedo, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missile systems besides inducting new ASW capabilities.

Currently, the Finnish Navy operates four Hamina-class missile boats, including Hamina, Tornio, Hanko, and Pori. They are classified as “missile fast attack craft”. The vessels were built in the late 1990s, early 2000s, and are the fourth generation of Finnish missile craft. The Hamina Class fast attack craft is capable of conducting patrolling and combat missions as a missile boat. This modernisation contract will allow the Navy to counter maritime threats, repel attacks at sea, protect sea lines of communication, and secure territorial integrity – all relevant criteria to US and Nato objectives for securing a free and open maritime strategy around the world.

The vessels have undergone an extensive modernization program spanning from 2018 to April 2022. The modernization program incorporates an impressive suite of new systems and places a renewed emphasis on anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities. The craft have been up-armed with four Israeli Gabriel V antiship missiles, known as PTO-2020 in Finnish service, and replace the RBS-15 missiles previously carried. The Gabriel V can engage enemy ships or land targets more than 100 nautical miles away. A maximum range of up to 216 nautical mile (nm) has been reported.

The Haminas’ antisubmarine capabilities have been enhanced with the addition of a Kongsberg ST-2400 variable-depth sonar. A 400-mm torpedo launcher was added on the starboard side near the ship’s stern for employment of Saab Type 45 lightweight torpedoes or the more advanced Type 47 torpedo once that weapon becomes operational in 2023. These lightweight torpedoes can be fired against both enemy submarines and surface ships. To offset increased weight, the class has received a 40-mm Bofors Mk 4 multipurpose gun in place of the larger 57-mm Bofors L/70 Mk 3.

The modernization program also adds a Saab Trackfire remote weapon and sensor station capable of operating with a 12.7-mm or 7.62-mm machine gun. Saab’s 9LV combat management system was installed as part of the overhaul, but the defensive armament remains largely unchanged. This includes Multi-Ammunition Softkill System decoy launchers and eight Denel Umkhonto surface-to-air missiles carried in vertical launch system (VLS) cells.

From the outset, these stealthy missile patrol craft have incorporated numerous signature-reduction measures, such as modern shaping designs and a composite superstructure coated in radar-absorbent materials. The ships have specialized engineering mountings to minimize radiated noise, and their exhaust systems can be ducted through seawater or directed upward to further decrease infrared or acoustic signatures.

The Hamina class, which has also been known as the Rauma 2000 class, was built by Finland’s Aker Finnyards in Rauma. Each ship displaces 268 tons fully loaded and measures 167 feet long, with a 28-foot beam and a 7-foot draft. Crew size is reportedly 20–29 personnel. Propulsion is provided by two diesel engines powering two waterjets. This enables a top speed of 32 knots and a range of 500 nm when operating at 30 knots. Current plans call for the modernized warships to remain in service well into the 2030s.


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