The Finnish Navy is set to take part in the BALTOPS 2021 annual multinational maritime exercise with two vessels in the Baltic Sea.

Set to be held from 4 to 18 June 2021, the exercise is planned by the Naval Striking and Support Force Nato and will be executed respecting the Covid-19 restrictions.

Mine Layer Hämeenmaa and Mine Hunter Coastal Vahterpää are the two Finnish vessels participating in the BALTOPS exercise. They will operate in separate units.

The original plan included the participation of more than 4,000 naval soldiers from 14 countries in BALTOPS 2021.

Through this exercise, the Finnish troops aim to develop national defence and improve the abilities of the personnel to act in a global framework.

Furthermore, the exercise develops the interoperability between Nato and navies, air forces and special forces of partner countries in the maritime environment.

The vessel Mine Layer Hämeenmaa will take part in the surface warfare unit while Mine Hunter Coastal Vahterpää will operate in the mine countermeasures unit, led by the Standing Nato Mine CounterMeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1).

Through training with the SNMCMG1, Vahterpää will be able to prepare for the NRF-period planned for next year.

Prior to this, the Finnish Navy conducted a mine countermeasures exercise along with SNMCMG1 in the Archipelago Sea from 5 to 6 May.

The PASSEX exercise supported the Finnish Katanpää class vessels’ preparations for the next year’s NRF period.

Belgian flagship BNS Godetia, Estonian ENS Ugandi, Dutch HNLMS Zierikzee, British HMS Pembroke, German FGS Sulczbach-Rosenberg and Belgian BNS Crocus vessels participated in the exercise.