The navies of Finland and Sweden have conducted a bilateral anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise in the Gulf of Finland.

The exercise aims to develop interoperability and enhance the ASW capabilities of both forces.

The cross-border training (CBT) exercise was conducted as part of the FISE naval cooperation between the two countries.

The objective of the FISE effort is to use the operational capabilities of the two navies to increase maritime situational awareness and cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

The joint effort involves various bilateral trainings, exercises, exchange, development, and acquisition programmes, conducted between the two nations from time-to-time.

The Finnish Navy’s missile boats including Hamina-class fast attack craft Hamina and Tornio along with one Finnish Border Guard’s patrol boat participated in the exercise.

In addition, a Finnish oil and chemical spill response multi-purpose vessel Louhi also took part in the exercise. 

Apart from the Finnish vessels, one Gotland-class submarine HSWMS Uppland from the Swedish Navy took part in the ASW exercise. 

Exercise leader commander Toni Joutsia said: “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.”

Before taking part in the ASW exercise, the Finnish Navy’s Hamina-class fast-attack craft underwent an extensive overhaul to improve its underwater warfare capabilities.

The vessels were integrated with variable depth sonar (VDS) and torpedoes.

The surface warfare and air defence capabilities of the Hamina-class vessels also received an update. 

Joutsia added: “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.”