Finnish Navy (Cold War)

The Finnish Navy c136 ships 1947-Today

The Finnish Navy in the cold war: The second armistice in 1944 and the subsequent Treaty of Paris brought problems for the Finnish Navy; a maximum of 10,000t and 4500 men were allowed, and submarines and torpedoes were forbidden. The remaining coast defence ship Vaindmdéinen was taken as ‘reparations’ by the Soviet Union, the submarines were scrapped and the MTBs deprived of their tubes and reclassified as patrol boats.
Throughout the cold war, Finland was in a very difficult position, both geographically and politically, but managed to survive as a free nation, albeit one whose policies were strongly influenced by the need not to offend the Soviet Union. The navy received only small grants from the restricted defence budget and found it difficult to replace the losses to Soviet reparations. The fleet is principally composed of mine warfare vessels, missile boats and patrol vessels, mostly of Finnish construction. The world-famous Wartsila yard was the world’s most successful builder of icebreakers, exporting to the former Soviet Union and Sweden.

Inheritance of WW2

After the Finnish-Soviet armistice, the Finnish Navy was ordered by Soviet authorities to take part in mine clearance operations, until 1950, and this caused many casualties in the crews.
Wartime vessels startred to be replaced by a new generation of ships in the 1950s and 1960s. Neutrality obliged the country balance purchases between West and East and to produce its own ships as much as possible.
British purchases:
1x Bay-class frigate Matti Kurki (training ships)
-2x Dark-class fast patrol boats (Vasama 1 and Vasama 2)
-4x BYMS-class minesweepers
Soviet Purchases:
-2x Riga-class frigates (Hämeenmaa and Uusimaa)
-4x Osa II-class fast attack craft (Tuima-class missile boats)
Local construction:
-2x Turunmaa-class gunboats (Turunmaa and Karjala)
-4x Nuoli-class fast attack craft

The Paris peace talks in 1947 “resulted in a treaty that limited the offensive capability of the Finnish military. For the navy, this meant a limitation to a fleet of no more than 10,000 tons and 4,500 personnel. As for the weaponry, torpedoes, submarines, mines and missiles were forbidden. The restrictions were eased in the 1960s and missiles and mines were allowed. The torpedo restriction was not either fully exercised as the Riga-class frigates were equipped with torpedoes and a number of torpedo boats were manufactured as gunboats that could quickly be converted to carry torpedoes. Torpedoes were re-introduced in 2018.
The Cold War limitations are no longer in place (they were nullified with the breakup of the Soviet Union), but the size of the navy has still remained roughly the same size (with the exception of tonnage).

The Finnish Navy Post 1990

In 1990 the abrogation of various clauses in the Treaty of Paris left Finland free to acquire submarines and torpedo-armed vessels, but financial limitations mean that there is likely to be little construction in the short term.
In 1995 there were 1800 personnel, plus 600 Border Guards. The fleet was organised into four flotillas (gunboats (Turku), missile craft, mine warfare vessels and patrol units (all at Helsinki)), until 1993 when it was reformed into the Archipelago Fleet, based at the main naval base at Turku, and the Gulf of Finland Fleet at Helsinki. FLEET STRENGTH 1947 The coast defence ship Vaindiméinen was ceded to the Soviet Union as part of reparations and renamed Vyborg, capital of the conquered southeast province of Finland, The submarines Vetehinen, Vesthiisi, Iku-Turso, Saukko and Vestkko were all stricken, the last preserved as a museum boat at Sveaborg, outside Helsinki.

“In the late 1990s, the Finnish Navy was developing a new missile squadron called Laivue 2000 (English: Squadron 2000). At first it was supposed to consist of two Hamina-class missile boats (already built at this date) and four Tuuli-class hovercraft. The Navy experimented with one prototype hovercraft, but announced in 2003 that the Tuuli class would not enter active operations and that no more of them would be built. Instead two new Hamina-class missile boats were built, and the extra weaponry from the hovercraft were installed on the Hämeenmaa-class minelayers.
The cable layer Putsaari and pollution control vessel Hylje were replaced in 2011 by a new multipurpose vessel built by the Uudenkaupungin Työvene shipyard.[4] A new icebreaking oil spill response vessel was named Louhi on 8 March 2011.[5]

The 1979-built minelayer Pohjanmaa was decommissioned in 2013, after which the minelayer Hämeenmaa took over the role of flagship of the Finnish Navy.[6]
In February 2015, it was reported that fatigue damage had been discovered in the hulls of the recently refitted Rauma-class missile boats and that the vessels would be removed from active duty to prevent further damage until its cause has been found.[7] However, while peacetime use is now limited, the missile boats can be taken back into full service if needed.[8]

In 2018 Finnish Navy announced procurement of IAI’s Gabriel 5 naval strike missile system. The system will replace the current maritime anti-ship missile 85M (SAAB RBS15) system, which will reach the end of its life cycle in the 2020s. The new PTO2020 missiles will be installed on Hamina- and Pohjanmaa- class ships and vehicle platforms. The planned life cycle of the system extends to the 2050s. As the Finnish Defence Forces are building multi-branch joint strike capability and Gabriel 5 is capable of strikes to both naval and land domain, the new missile was given designation of PTO2020, (Pinta Torjunta Ohjus 2020 or Surface Strike Missile 2020) instead of old designation(Anti Ship Missile).[9]

Actual Plans

Once Squadron 2000 was operational, the Navy shifted its attention to mine countermeasures with a view to replacing the old Kuha- and Kiiski-class minesweepers with three Katanpää-class mine countermeasure vessels, previously known as the MCMV 2010 and MITO classes.[10]

In October 2012, The Finnish Navy signed a 34 million euro contract for 12 fast transport boats with an option for more vessels with Marine Alutech, a Finnish company that had also built the Uisko- and Jurmo-class transport boats. The 19-metre (62 ft) Jehu transport boats can carry 25 troops and have a maximum speed in excess of 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph). Defensive capability is provided by a remotely controlled turret capable of providing fire support during a landing operation.[11][12] The new class of landing craft has been named the Jehu class.

The next-generation surface combatant, which will be larger than the current missile boats and more capable for international co-operation, is currently in the pre-development stage.[13] This new class of multi-purpose naval vessels, referred to as Monitoimialus 2020 (“Multi-purpose vessel 2020”) or Laivue 2020 (“Squadron 2020”)[14] in the preliminary papers, is intended to replace the Hämeenmaa- and Pohjanmaa-class minelayers and Rauma-class missile boats as they are retired.[15] The goal is to replace seven vessels with four new corvette-sized surface combatants.[16] In September 2015, the Finnish Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö officially authorized the Finnish Navy to start developing “Squadron 2020” and an official Request for Information (RFI) was sent to shipyards in December. Consequently, the Finnish Defence Forces signed a letter of intent with Rauma Marine Constructions for the construction of four vessels under the “Squadron 2020″ program on 14 September 2016.[17] The design stage is planned to continue until 2018 and the vessels will be built in 2019–2024. The projected cost of four vessels with a lifespan of at least 35 years is roughly 1.2 billion euro.[18] The new vessels will be called the Pohjanmaa class.[19]

On 5 May 2021 the Finnish Ministry of Defense announced that the Finnish Navy was to obtain four Kewatec Work 1920 vessels for delivery between 2022 and 2024. The deal included options for five additional vessels. The contract (including options) is valued 12.8 million Euros.[20]
An additional 17 Jurmo-class vessels were ordered on 29 June 2023.[21] ”

Ship’s list

SLOOPS Name Launched Disp Fate Hameenmaa class HAMEENMAA 1917 400t BU 1953 UDUSIMAA 1917 400t BU 1953 Kayyala class KARJALA 1918 342t BU 1953 TURUNMAA 1918 342¢ BU 1953 MINELAYERS Name Launched Disp Fate LOIMU, LIESKA 1915-16 60t Stricken 1953 POMMI, MIINA 1917 80t Stricken 1953 RUOTSINSALMI 1940 310t Stricken 1975 PATROL VESSELS Name Launched Disp Fate AURA 1907 350t Stricken 1971 VMV 1, 2, 5, 6 1930-31 30t Stricken 1950-60 VMV 9, 11, 13, 15,16 1935 30t Stricken 1960-70, VMV 11 museum boat TURSAS 1938 360t Stricken 1975 J 144 (ex-Italian MAS 1939 22t Stricken 1961 526-529), JYLHA, JYRY, JYSKE, JYMY H 1 5, HYOKY, 1943 20t Stricken 1963 HIRMU, HURJA, HYRSKY, HAIJY T 2-8, TAISTO, 1942-46 22t Stricken 1962-77 TYRSKY, TUIMA, , TUISKO, TUULI T7,T8 VMV 19, 20 1943 21t Stricken 1970 MINESWEEPERS Name Launched Disp Fate RAUTU 1917 165t Stricken 1950 Pukkto class PUKKIO, 1939-47 162t Stricken PORKKALA, 1974-79 PANSIO Ahven class 1 AHVEN, 2 KIISKI, 1936-37 17t Stricken 3 MUIKKO, 1960-62 4 SARK], 5 KUORE, 6 LAHNA SM 1, 2, 4 1939-40 20t Stricken 1951 54 AJONPAA, 1941 52t Stricken KALLANPAA 1960 and 1962 Ex-US (purchased 1946) DR 2 PYHTAA, 1943-44 150t DR2 DR 7 PIRTTISAARI, stricken DR 10 PURHA 1978, others 1980 KUHA 1, 2, 4, 5, 7-18 1941-46 17t Stricken 1957-62 Porkkala sunk 28 November 1941, was raised and rebuilt. ICEBREAKERS Name Launched Disp Fate MURTAJA 1898 1000 Stricken 1959 SAMPO 1898 1850¢ Stricken 1960 APU 1899 900t Stricken 1959 TARMO 1907 2300t Stricken 1969 OTSO 1936 800t Stricken 1967 LOUHI (ex-Sisu) 1938 2012t From 1975 HQ ship