The Navy’s strategic performance project, the Ostrobothnia-class corvette project, is moving forward. The basic planning and equipment procurement for the ships, which started in 2020, are almost complete.
In the fall of 2022, manufacturing planning aimed at starting the construction of the ships began. The planning phase did not go completely smoothly. Basic planning and equipment purchases were delayed from the target schedule, which is why the start of production was not reached at the beginning of 2022. The entire project was rescheduled between the client and the main suppliers.
The last factor that affected the design schedule was the fine-tuning of the ship’s dimensions – the ship’s hull shape had to be modified on the way by slightly widening and lengthening it, so that the amount of payload planned for the ship and the carrying capacity during the entire life cycle could be ensured before production began. The corvette’s military payload (weapons, ammunition, crew, fuel) weighs hundreds of tons, and the ship’s carrying capacity must be adequately reserved for its entire life cycle. The hull shape also has an effect on the ship’s rolling resistance and speed.
The shape of the ship’s hull is estimated to meet the performance requirements set for it even at the end of its life cycle in the 2060s. We can be quite satisfied with the final result of the basic design.
The project is now progressing in a new schedule towards starting the production of the first ship. A huge amount of work is behind us, because in modern shipbuilding the most complicated steps are related to planning. The design provides clear and detailed starting points for the actual construction.
When the ship’s steel structure, equipment and systems are in place in the production photos, it is possible to carry out the production phase efficiently step by step – without forgetting the most complex part of the whole – the integration of the ship’s deck and the combat system.
The production of the first ship will start in autumn 2023, the target schedule is the turn of October-November. The construction of the other three ships of the ship series will start in the following years, so that the sea trials of the first ship will be during 2026 and the entire fleet will be ready by the end of 2029.
Performance for autumn storms and icy winters
The performance of the Ostrobothnia class in the conditions of the Baltic Sea will be excellent. The ship’s ability to move in an environment with exceptionally demanding weather conditions is unique. The Ostrobothnia-class corvettes are capable of operating in an autumn storm and during an icy winter. The calendar year of the Baltic Sea consists of quite harsh conditions that require special abilities. The draft of the ships enables exploitation of the Finnish archipelago and coast, and the speed enables quick transitions in the entire operational area. Sufficient tank capacity and storage facilities enable the ship to operate for a long time without the need for replenishment in ports.
The staff has good working and leisure facilities. The ship fleet is exactly what a country like Finland, which depends on sea connections, needs both under normal conditions and during crises.
The warship’s military payload is available all year round where it is needed. The range of sensors and weapons tailored to Finland’s needs is very capable and versatile. The ship’s carrying capacity makes it possible to transport significantly larger and more numerous weapons than before. A corvette’s ability to carry a military payload is ten times that of a missile boat.