The Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command will send requests to 12 domestic and foreign companies to participate in tendering for a battle system for the Squadron 2020 vessels. Replies are expected by 13.2.2017.

After this date an invitation to negotiate and an invitation to tender will be sent to selected suppliers during spring. The battle system will be competitively tendered; this will include the integration of systems into the vessels. The battle system will consist of weapon systems, command and control systems and sensor systems.

The first phase of the call for tender is started by a request to participate; this contains the criteria for participation. After analysing the replies, potential tenderers are selected to participate in the negotiation. An invitation to negotiate and a preliminary invitation to tender will be sent to the selected tenderers.

The first round of negotiations will be conducted in the course of 2017 and the deadline to submit a preliminary tender is in autumn 2017. The second round of negotiations will be started already at the end of 2017 and it will be continued in winter 2018. The final round of tenders and the signing of the agreement will take place during 2018.

The Defence Forces are evaluating the possibility to purchase Squadron 2020 vessels from the shipyard of Rauma Marine Constructions. A statement of intent was agreed with the shipyard through which the company’s shipyard capacity, security of supply and other preconditions to build surface combatants can be assessed.

In December 2015, the Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command sent a Request for Information (RfI) and in spring 2016 it received replies from around 80 domestic and foreign suppliers.

The many research projects, simulations and model studies of the Navy and the Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command have created preconditions for technical specifications and domestic design to meet national special requirements. Preliminary design for the vessels has already been made.

On 23.9.2016, the Minister of Defence gave the Defence Forces a mandate to start the Squadron 2020 project. According to the decision, it must be secured that the services which are required by and critical for the maintenance and repair of the Navy’s capabilities are available in Finland. The vessels will be designed primarily for the needs of national defence. They will ensure or create a capability for creating a situation picture, mobile underwater surveillance, air and surface defence, underwater influence and sea mine warfare. It will be possible to use the chosen vessel to support the other Services and authorities.

The exact configuration of the battle system will be decided in the course of design but at least sea mines and missiles are likely to be included in the main weapon systems. The plan is to construct four vessels which will be capable of navigating through ice-covered waters. As to the Navy’s current surface combatants, the life-cycle of four Rauma-class fast attack missile crafts and two Hämeenlinna-class minelayers will end by mid-2020s. Their life-cycle cannot be extended in a cost-efficient way.