The Finnish Border Guard plans to replace three obsolete offshore patrol vessels with two modern multi-purpose vessels by 2025. The vessels need to be replaced to ensure that we are able to fulfil our duties and to operate more efficiently as providers of security in the Finnish sea areas. We also use our vessels to support the important work of many other authorities at sea and in the archipelago. They are a key tool of the Finnish authorities in the open sea areas.
The Finnish Border Guard maintains a constant presence on the sea, providing security. Our vessels must be able to respond flexibly and effectively to any situation. That is why we use multi-purpose vessels, which are capable of carrying out such diverse tasks as border control, maritime rescue, mass evacuations, international operations, the prevention of environmental damage, surveillance and protection of Finland’s territorial integrity and the management of dangerous special situations. This is a practical, cost-effective and functional solution.
The vessels will be manufactured at Finland, making use of the excellence of many Finnish companies. We want to be pioneers in the use of environmentally friendly solutions in government vessels, so our new ships will also use clean and low-emission technologies.
We have always been able to identify the challenges of the future and to put in place the right tools to overcome them. The independent Finland has been performing coast guard duties for 90 years, during which time the security environment in the Baltic Sea has been undergoing a constant change. Once again, new solutions are needed. We have carefully weighed our options and come to the conclusion that updating our ageing fleet is no longer enough.
The Baltic Sea is a demanding and difficult operating environment in many ways. It is one of the world’s busiest sea areas, and near misses occur. It requires rapid functional capacity and continuous readiness to keep people moving on the sea, property and nature safe.
- New vessels will allow us to respond to a variety of accident situations at sea. With multi-purpose vessels, we will be able to carry out even the most demanding maritime rescue and mass evacuation task under any circumstances. Thanks to their large size and versatile features, the new vessels will serve as command bases that allow other vessels, helicopters, rescue swimmers, divers and rescue services professionals to do their work.
- The Baltic Sea is exceptionally vulnerable to environmental accidents. The Finnish archipelago and coasts are invaluable in terms of their nature values. If a large amount of oil or chemicals enters the sea due to a vessel accident, the damage may be irreversible. Damage to our shores can only be prevented by rapid maritime response capability. The new multi-purpose vessels will increase this capability substantially, as they are equipped with state-of-the-art oil and chemical spill response systems.
- With effective and modern ships, we can better guarantee the safety of our borders and ensure that even dangerous special situations can be dealt with more decisively, also at sea. There is a lot of passenger traffic on the Baltic Sea and the most of all vital freight traffic to and from Finland is carried on the Baltic Sea. The units of different safety authorities can rapidly and easily use the vessels for carrying out their duties on the sea.
The Finnish Border Guard has been authorized by Parliament to procure two vessels. The preparation of the specification of vessel characteristics and the invitation to tender to be submitted to the suppliers is under way. We expect the selection of the supplier and subsequent contract negotiations to take place in 2021.