The Finnish Defence Forces have received a mandate from the Ministry of Defence to start the Flotilla 2020 project, in bid to strengthen the country's capabilities with modern vessels.
Finland's six fighting ships are set to complete their lifecycle by mid-2020s.
These vessels include four Rauma-class fast attack missile crafts and two Hämeenmaa-class mine-layers, which were built in the 1990s.
According to Finnish Ministry of Defence, the lifecycle of the vessels cannot be extended in a cost-efficient way.
Currently, the country is planning to build four vessels with a capability to monitor maritime areas above and under the water surface, as well as in the air space.
The new vessels are expected to have the capacity to monitor and secure the country's territorial integrity, as well as protect maritime transport, and counter naval attacks.
Planned to be carried out within the financial framework granted through a separate decision, the Flotilla 2020 project is estimated to require a funding of €1.2bn.
The exact configuration of the battle system will be decided in the course of the planning process, the ministry stated.
The new vessel will also be designed to operate in winter conditions and for use in international crisis management.
The project planning phase is scheduled to take place between 2015 and 2018, with the building phase estimated for 2019 to 2024.
Image: Finland's Rauma-class fast attack missile crafts were built in the 1990s. Photo: courtesy of Tomisti.