WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Finland's navy has began its Laivue 2020, or Squadron 2020, to build a new class of multipurpose offshore patrol vessels to replace aging equipment.
The Finnish Ministry of Defense says the program aims to procure four corvettes to replace two Hämeenmaa-class minelayers, and four Rauma-class fast attack craft set to be decommissioned in the mid-2020s. The Finnish Ministry of Defense says their service life "cannot be extended in a cost-efficient way."
The new vessels will be built with a high degree of indigenous content. Missions will include protecting merchant ships and seaside borders from potential threats, and securing maritime territory.
Squadron 2020 will enable the Finnish Navy to procure some of the largest warships in the maritime force's history. The program will gear the vessels with anti-air, anti-submarine, and anti-shipping capability, ideal for coastal defense and international missions.