The Finnish Ministry of Defence has authorized the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) to acquire an additional fleet of 17 Jurmo-class landing craft, including spare parts. The order, valued at EUR 25.5 million, has been awarded to Marine AluTech Oy AB, as announced in a press release by the Finnish Ministry of Defence in late June 2023. With this procurement, the FDF aims to enhance its naval infantry’s operational readiness until the late 2030s. The Jurmo-class landing craft, designated as U-600 class in Finland, primarily serve as transport vessels for coastal infantry units and facilitate logistical operations within the Finnish archipelago. According to information provided on the FDF website, some of these craft possess combat capabilities and can be utilized for tasks such as patrol, escort, command, support duties, and even minelaying.
It’s worth noting that the Jurmo class differs significantly from the Finnish Navy’s Jehu-class landing craft, which are longer at 19.9 meters, displace 32 tons, and possess capabilities for patrol, escort, and other similar tasks. The Jehu class has also been considered as a potential option for the German Navy’s maritime battalion. Aside from the Jurmo and Jehu classes, the Finnish Navy operates two other smaller landing craft types and the G-boat, which is an 8-meter speedboat designed for rapid deployment of up to eight personnel. The Jehu-class landing craft are part of the Nyland Brigade, also known as the Uusimaa Brigade, and are stationed at the Vaasa Coastal Fighter Battalion in Syndalen. The remaining landing craft classes are under the purview of the Coastal Brigade.
The Jurmo-class landing craft is a type of military transport in use by the Finnish Navy. The manufacturer Marine Alutech designates it as Watercat M12. Measuring 14 meters in length and 3.7 meters in width, the Jurmo-class landing craft have a displacement of 10 tonnes and a top speed of 30 knots. Each craft is operated by a crew of two and equipped with a 12.7 mm machine gun. Starting in 2019, the Finnish Navy initiated an extensive overhaul program for its Jurmo vessels, which were originally procured between 2000 and 2004. The program involved repairing or replacing hulls, engines, transmissions, and cabins, while also focusing on improving safety and ergonomics for the crew members.
The Jurmo-class landing craft was the result of modernisation in the Finnish Navy in the late 1990s. It was designed to replace the existing Uisko class landing craft. Its main purpose is landing and transportation operations for the Finnish Coastal Jaegers in all weather conditions. It has good maneuverability and can come to a full stop in only one ship length from top speed. Low draft makes it suitable for amphibious assault even in shallow waters. The Jurmo can transport 3 tons of cargo or 22 men. The Jurmo is currently being evaluated by the German and Greek navies. Ten of the slightly larger and more powerful M14 version were delivered to the Royal Malaysian Police.