21/03/2014 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter
Enhanced Rauma-class missile boats have been delivered to the Finnish Navy, equipped with upgraded control and command systems, new weapons and more.
Delivered by their manufacturer, Patria, the four fast attack craft have all been modernised through a 2010 contract costing an estimated $97.4m to implement and execute.
Patria spearheaded the Finnish missile boats upgrade programme which also involved subcontractors Saab AB, Kongsberg Maritime AS, Western Shipyard Oy, Valmarine Oy and others. These Rauma-class ships first entered service in the early 1990s. As a result of the modifications, their service life has now been extended well into the 2020s, according to Patria.
Upgraded Finnish Missile Boats
Key upgraded Finnish missile boat features include Saab's 9LV25 system, a MASS decoy system - this in place of the Mistral SAM missiles previously used - and renewed sonar and ASW technologies.
Named the Rauma, Raahe, Naantali and Porvoo, each of these missile boats is 48.5 metres long, displaces 240 tonnes of water and carries 19 Finnish Naval personnel. Powered by twin Riva Calzoni IRC 115 waterjets, they have a maximum speed of 39 miles per hour and, in Finnish Naval service, superseded the Helsinki-class missile boats.
Rauma-Class: Finnish Navy
Besides these Rauma-class missile boats, the Finnish Navy's inventory also includes Hamina-class attack craft plus Kuha- and Kiiski-class minesweepers.
The Finnish Navy was originally established in 1918. Post-WW2, 1947's Paris peace talks limited the Finnish Navy's permitted size and strength but while these restrictions no longer exist, the naval power remains at about the same level nonetheless.
"The Rauma-class Fast Attack Craft life-cycle upgrade project succeeded according to plan", commented Patria Systems' Pasi Niinikoski. "Special thanks are due to the project team, partners and the customer for their smooth and flexible cooperation. The project was challenging because it involved many different system upgrades. Its successful completion is excellent proof of Patria's ability to manage and implement large-scale system integration projects."