This week, the Finnish and Swedish Navies conducted a joint anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Gulf of Finland. Multi-purpose vessel Louhi, Hamina-class fast-attack craft Hamina and Tornio and a patrol boat of the Border Guard took part in the exercise. The Navies trained anti-submarine warfare in the framework of a CBT (Cross Border Training) exercise part of the FISE cooperation carried out between Sweden and Finland. Sweden sent Gotland-class submarine HSWMS Uppland to the exercise. The exercise serves the objective of developing international interoperability, anti-submarine warfare capability training and contributes to the know-how of the personnel. The air defence and surface warfare capabilities have also been updated.
The exercise is a part of the close cooperation conducted by Finland with Sweden. Participating in international training activities is important, because it demonstrates, maintains and develops our national defence, says the leader of the exercise. In addition to anti-submarine warfare, provision of host nation support will also be rehearsed this week: HSWMS Uppland attached itself to the side of multi-purpose vessel Louhi for maintenance and supplies in Hanko this morning, Jousia continues. The Hamina-class fast-attack craft taking part in the exercise have undergone an extensive overhaul which has improved in particular the vessels’ underwater warfare capabilities, i.a. with the integration of torpedoes and Variable Depth Sonar VDS.
HSwMS Uppland (Upd) is a submarine in the Swedish Navy. It is the second submarine in the Gotland-class. In 2020, HSwMS Uppland did undergo a mid-life upgrade, as her sister HSwMS Gotland after her. During the upgrade, a number of systems that will be used in the next generation submarines, the Blekinge-class (A26), was installed. More than 20 new systems on board the new Gotland-class was implemented, which contributes to their de-risking for the A26. The upgrade process entails many new systems, such as the Stirling AIP, a complete new mast suite, sonars and sensors as well as management and communication systems. In order to host all systems, the submarine has gained length to 62 m and another 200 tons in weight, to reach a displacement (surfaced) of 1580 tons.
Louhi (pennant number 999) is a Finnish multipurpose oil and chemical spill response vessel owned by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), but manned and operated by the Finnish Navy. In addition to environmental duties, Louhi can also be used as a support ship for underwater operations by the Finnish Navy. The Hamina-class missile boat is a class of fast attack craft of the Finnish Navy. The Hamina class’ primary weaponry is four RBS-15 Mk.3 anti-ship missiles. In early 2018, Finland announced the mid-life upgrade program, which will equip all four boats in the class with new Swedish lightweight anti-submarine warfare torpedoes in the years 2023-2025 and extend the life of the boats to 2035.