Patria will support the manufacture of four Pohjanmaa-class corvettes being built as part of the Finnish Navy’s Squadron 2020 project, in an apparent answer to a call by Finland’s Ministry of Defence in 2023 for “experts” to help drive the programme forward.

A 13 June 2024, release from Patria stated that an agreement with the Finland Defence Force (FDF) would see the company continue to provide expertise as systems integrator and naval support provider to the Finnish Navy, specifically detailing support for project management and engineering services for the Squadron 2020 programme.

In 2023, Finland’s Ministry of Defence issued a call for technical experts to join the build of the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes, at the time citing “delays in the initial build phase” of the project.

“Patria’s team of experts will be fully integrated into FDF’s project management team,” a Patria spokesperson told Naval Technology.

Central to Squadron 2020 is the development of a class of four Pohjanmaa-class corvettes, which are being built at Rauma Marine Constructions shipyard in Finland. The corvette development is part of the €1.23bn ($1.36bn) Squadron 2020 project, which will replace seven ageing vessels of the Finnish Navy.

The FDF’s Logistics Command signed the shipbuilding contract with Rauma Marine Constructions for the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes in September 2019.

Veli-Pekka Heinonen, SVP of Patria’s Finland Division Navy business area, said in the 13 June release that the company had been prime contractor and lead system integrator of the Rauma and Hamina-class fast attack crafts’ mid-life upgrades during the 2010s and 2020s.

“Patria´s… expertise will now be utilised also in building [the Finnish] Navy´s Pohjanmaa-class multirole corvettes, which continues the deep cooperation between Patria and the Finnish Navy,” said Heinonen.

The agreement will be valid until the end of 2025, after which its continuation until 2029 will be decided separately each year according to the needs of the Finnish Defence Forces, Patria stated. 

Construction of the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes started in 2023 and the Squadron 2020 programme will be completed by 2029. The first-in-class vessel is planned to be operational by 2027.

Patria’s Western Shipyard “one candidate” for Pohjanmaa sustainment

The integration of ‘experts’ from Patria will not see the company run the programme as prime, nor change the location for the build of the Pohjanmaa corvettes, the Patria spokesperson told Naval Technology.

“Patria will not obtain the responsibility of a prime contractor, but it will support FDF to be successful in the construction of Pohjanmaa corvettes. The shipyard activities will remain in Rauma, Finland, and the construction of vessels will be done by Rauma Marine Constructions.

“There will be no changes to existing sustainment practices,” the spokesperson stated.

In 2020, Patria Group acquired Western Shipyard, located some 50km southeast of the city of Turku, through another of its entities, Millog.

The site “is one candidate” for sustainment requirements through the life of the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes, the spokesperson said.