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Finland approves €223 m for arming Hamina FAC with torpedoes
November 20, 2018
Finnish Navy Hamina-class fast attack craft. Photo source: Finnish Navy

Finland approves €223 m for arming Hamina FAC with torpedoes

On December 19 the Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved €223 m for upgrading the Finnish Navy’s four Hamina-class fast attack crafts (FAC) with lightweight anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedoes.

As per the MoD, the Hamina FACs will be armed with a lightweight torpedo (LWT) system from Sweden’s Saab (i.e. Saab Tp 47 LWT). The upgrade is intended to serve as a bridge between the retirement of the Rauma-class FAC and the induction of the Squadron 2020 corvettes.

Finland intends to operate the Hamina FAC until 2035. It is the Finnish Navy’s anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) asset. Currently, it is armed for deterring ships and low-flying aircraft, but the inclusion of the Saab Tp 47 LWT will make it a complete defensively-focused multi-mission asset.

Notes & Comments:

The Hamina FAC has a displacement of 250 tons. Despite its small size, the Hamina FAC is armed with a Bofors 57 mm main cannon, anti-ship warfare (AShW) and anti-air warfare (AAW) munitions that in fact are standard-fare on large corvettes and frigates. Its superstructure is made from carbon fiber composite materials, helping with radar cross-section and weight reduction in the design.

The Hamina FAC is armed with four Saab RBS-15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles (AShM) and eight Denel Dynamics Umkhonto IR surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems. FACs under 500-tons are rarely equipped to this level, such ships are often armed with a main gun, AShM and possibly pedestal-mounted SAM (generally in the range umbrella of under 10 km, while the Umkhonto IR has a range of 20 km).

In the 2020s, the Finnish Navy is slotted to induct four multi-mission corvettes. The aim is to enable the Finnish Navy to replace seven aging ships and to continue providing a “year-round and long-endurance presence [in the Baltic Sea] in all weather and ice conditions.”