Two Hamina-class fast-attack craft of the Finnish Navy will take part in the annual anti-submarine warfare exercise organised by the Swedish Navy 15-20 April 2021 off the east coast of Sweden. The exercise will enhance the cooperation between Finland and Sweden in anti-submarine warfare. The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down international activities, but this exercise at sea can be executed taking the coronavirus restrictions into account.
“Of course, we will operate observing health safety precautions. Visits at ports, exchanging personnel or other contacts between the crews of different vessels will not be conducted; all personnel will stay onboard their own vessel. Any reinforcements will be conducted safely avoiding close contacts. It is great to be able to continue cooperation with the Swedish Navy in spite of the coronavirus. Activities can not be developed if the cooperation does not continue,” says Commander Villikari emphasises.
The Finnish Hamina-class fast-attack craft will participate in the exercise on the invitation of the Swedish Navy. The exercise will the commanded by the Swedish Navy’s 4th Naval Warfare Flotilla. Finland’s participation in the exercise has been approved by the Ministry of Defence in the Defence Forces’ exercise activities programme 2021. The Hamina-class missile boat is a class of fast attack craft of the Finnish Navy. They are classified as “missile fast attack craft” or ohjusvene, literally “missile boat” in Finnish.
The Hamina class has been designed and constructed as stealth ships with minimal magnetic, heat and radar signatures. The Hamina class have the latest in surveillance and weapons technology all integrated into an intelligent command system. The Hamina class’ primary weaponry is four RBS-15 Mk.3 anti-ship missiles. The vessels are further equipped with a Bofors 57 mm gun against surface and aerial targets as well as the Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missiles, MASS decoy system and two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns. It is also possible to use the ships for mine-laying.