The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has received approval from the Defence Ministry to acquire a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system (ITO20) for the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes.

Finland plans to install the ITO20 system in all four Pohjanmaa-class vessels of the Squadron 2020 project.

The country will acquire the entire €83m system through a government-to-government agreement with the US.

The ITO20 system will be an integral part of the combat system in the corvettes and includes Raytheon-manufactured Evolved SeaSparrow missiles (ESSM), launcher units, spare parts, supplementary parts, and associated software.

The ministry has not disclosed the number of missiles to be purchased for the ITO20 system.

“The corvettes are set to be built in Finland, while the combat system will be procured from foreign vendors through a separate tendering process.”

In a statement, the ministry said: “The ITO20 system improves the navy’s capability to participate more effectively in national air defence and protect important sites.”

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The procurement agency has already purchased an Israel Aerospace Industries-developed Gabriel surface-to-surface missile system and a torpedo weapon system for the corvettes.

Finland is procuring the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes to replace its seven surface combatants that will soon be decommissioned.

The corvettes are set to be built in Finland, while the combat system will be procured from foreign vendors through a separate tendering process.

The government is in talks on contracts for the shipbuilding and combat systems.

The Squadron 2020 vessels are expected to have the ability to support surface warfare, maritime mine-laying, anti-submarine warfare, and to operate in the Baltic Sea in all weather and ice conditions.

Rauma Marine Constructions is contracted to design the hull for the vessels.