The Finnish Defence Forces is set to sign a letter of intent (LoI) and pre-design activities contract with aerospace and defence company Patria for the modernisation and upgrade of the navy’s Hamina-class missile-capable fast attack craft (FAC).

Authorisation for the signing of the deal has been granted by Finland’s Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö.

The Squadron 2000 mid-life upgrade (MLU) for the four Hamina-class vessels will help ensure and augment the Finnish Navy’s mission capability, as well as enhance its capability to protect sea traffic.

The procurement decision for the LoI and pre-design activities agreement have been made to secure various preconditions for the modification initiative, which will ensure the project is carried out within schedule.

An employment effect of 300 man-years is expected to be generated as a result of the complete MLU, while the current contract itself represents nearly 4.5 man-years.

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Additionally, the Hamina-class upgrade project will support Finland’s military security of supply capabilities.

The current contract is valued at approximately €1m.

The four FACs are set to be re-deployed with torpedo capabilities as part of the MLU, which is set to take place from 2019 to 2021, reported IHS Janes.

Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command Maritime Systems Division chief commodore Veli-Pekka Heinonen was quoted by IHS Janes as saying that the four Hamina-class vessels and four other multipurpose offshore patrol vessels will be delivered under a squadron 2020 programme, and will be integrated with the same lightweight torpedo and surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems.