The Finland Ministry of Defence (MoD) has selected Saab as the preferred tenderer to deliver the combat system for the country’s navy Squadron 2020 corvette programme.

Other companies in the race to secure the contract were Atlas Elektronik and Lockheed Martin Canada.

Finland Defence Minister JussiNiinistö made the decision that the Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command will now work towards concluding the contract with Saab.

The final decision on the procurement will be taken by the new government.

Under the Squadron 2020, the ministry will procure four new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes to replace the Finnish Navy’s seven existing surface combatants.

The combat system to be supplied and integrated into the Pohjanmaa-class vessels will include weapons, sensors, and command and control systems.

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“The ministry will procure four new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes to replace the Finnish Navy’s seven existing surface combatants.”

In a statement, the MoD said: “The initial intention was to make the procurement decision on the combat system in connection with a shipbuilding contract in 2018, but since the tendering process concerning the shipbuilding contract has taken longer than expected, it has not been possible to proceed as planned.

“Because of the additional delay, the Ministry of Defence considered that the decision to continue the tendering process with the tenderer that performed best in the tendering process is a fair and equitable way to continue the procurement process, because the tenderers have submitted their final quotations and their comparison has been completed.”

The competitive tender for procurement of the combat system began in 2017 with the preliminary invitation to tender sent to Atlas, Saab and Lockheed.

In February, the ministry approved the acquisition of a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system (ITO20) for the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes.

The system includes Raytheon’s Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSM), launcher units, spare parts, supplementary parts, and associated software.