Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command has signed a new contract with Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) to design four multirole corvettes for the €1.2bn Squadron 2020 project.

The new €7.5m contract follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Defence Forces and RMC in September last year, and includes a design process that further defines the vessel concept and produces the basic design material required for building the new corvettes.

A separate contract relating to the vessels' construction is slated to be signed in the course of next year.

The Finnish shipyard RMC will be responsible for developing a design organisation that would comprise both domestic and foreign companies under the new arrangement.

The most significant requirements concerning the security of supply, and the major objectives of the design organisation, involve the designing of the vessels for Squadron 2020 project in accordance with the contract, as well as enhancing the existing domestic competence in military shipbuilding.

"The new €7.5m contract follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Defence Forces and RMC in September last year."

Additional requirements include familiarising domestic designers with the design of military ships and obtaining the necessary capability from abroad.

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RMC will take into account capabilities and possibilities such as surface warfare operations, anti-submarine warfare, command and control, naval mine warfare, and ability to stay at sea for a longer period of time in all weather and ice conditions during the design process

The Squadron 2020 vessels will replace four fast-attack missile craft of the Rauma-class and two minelayers of the Hämeenmaa-class, as well as the decommissioned FNS Pohjanmaa minelayer.

The first vessels for the project are planned to be commissioned in 2021.