Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC Defence) has started constructing the first multi-role corvette of the Squadron 2020 project. The project comprises four corvettes designed specifically for the varying conditions in the Baltic Sea. For security reasons, the globally unique vessels will be built inside a newly constructed multipurpose hall.
On Monday 30 October 2023, Rauma shipyard celebrated the steel cutting ceremony of the first Squadron 2020 multi-role corvette. The traditional ceremony marked the start of the construction phase of the vessel.
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and its subsidiary RMC Defence are building four Pohjanmaa-class corvettes. The high-performance vessels are designed to operate in the Baltic Sea year-round in various circumstances ranging from autumn storms to icy and freezing conditions.
“We are proud of our involvement in a project as significant as this one. The start of production today clearly demonstrates that we have succeeded in completing the demanding design phase and are well-prepared to begin the manufacturing of the vessels,” says Mika Nieminen, CEO and President of RMC.
The multi-role corvettes will be constructed in a new multipurpose hall that has been built specifically for this project. The hall will provide excellent conditions for production and will guarantee security and quality. RMC has also made significant investments in steel production, which will allow for the welding of even thinner plates. Furthermore, RMC has constructed a prototype of the vessel to determine the technical production capacity of the project. This has been done to ensure that the investments are suitable for the production of military vessels, to confirm dimensional and form accuracy, to verify the planned practices and to test technical solutions for various appliances and materials.
Unique military vessels continue the long legacy of the Rauma shipyard
For a long time now, the Finnish maritime defence has relied on shipbuilding expertise from Rauma, as nearly all vessels the Finnish Navy has adopted since 1990 have been built at Rauma. Furthermore, a significant number of vessels owned by the Finnish State, including all multipurpose icebreakers and Finnish Boarder Guard patrol boats, have been built, maintained and repaired at Rauma. The unique know-how and facilities at Rauma shipyard will ensure the successful execution of the project. In addition to building the corvettes, RMC is accumulating a long-time expertise of their life cycle.
The Squadron 2020 vessels have no counterparts worldwide. Pohjanmaa-class corvettes are equipped with remarkable monitoring capacities for air, surface and underwater surveillance. They are also capable of laying navy mines, performing defence actions against surface vessels, submarines and various airborne targets and conducting maritime operations. In addition to domestic operations, the vessels can be used in crisis management measures and as part of NATO’s Standing Naval Forces.
“The design of the corvettes pays particular attention to shock resistance, noise levels and stealth technology. The multi-role corvettes are the first vessel class in the Finnish Navy that are designed and constructed under the surveillance of the ship classification society, including the ship’s performance in ice. The product development of the technically challenging corvettes will continue after the start of production,” says Timo Ståhlhammar, Commodore (N) ret. and Project Director at RMC.
The Squadron 2020 project is scheduled for completion by 2029, and its direct impact on employment in Finland is approximately 3,600 person-years.
Alongside the corvettes, RMC is building two car and passenger ferries to Tasmania
Entirely domestically owned, RMC has an orderbook of over EUR 1 billion. In addition to the multi-role corvettes, RMC is building two car and passenger ferries for Spirit of Tasmania. The first vessel was launched on Friday 27 October 2023 and the hull construction of the second vessel will continue in the construction pool.
Prior to the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes, RMC has built several technologically advanced commercial vessels. Last year, RMC handed over to Tallink Silja the energy-efficient car and passenger ferry MyStar that operates the route between Tallinn, Estonia, and Helsinki, Finland. In 2021, RMC handed over to Wasaline the car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia which has won international awards for its sustainability.