Finland picks Saab over Lockheed, Atlas for Squadron 2020 combat systems

The Finnish defense ministry has selected Sweden’s Saab as the preferred bidder for the development and delivery of combat systems for the Finnish Navy’s Squadron 2020 vessels.

Squadron 2020 design. Photo: Saab

Finland’s defense minister Jussi Niinistö announced on April 8 that Saab’s offer performed best in the comparison of quotations.

Other contenders in the program were Atlas Elektronik and Lockheed Martin Canada.

The minister added that the actual procurement decision would be made by the government following the parliamentary elections which are scheduled for April 14.

The combat system to be delivered for Pohjanmaa-class vessels will consist of weapons, sensors, and command and control systems and their integration into vessels. All three contenders were sent a request for a quotation in October 2018, after which the received quotations were evaluated and contract negotiations were conducted.

The signing of a final shipbuilding contract for the four vessels in the class is delayed and is expected to be completed in 2019.

The four modern corvettes designed for Finland’s conditions will replace the Rauma-class fast-attack missile boats and Hämeenmaa-class minelayers that will reach the end of their life-cycle by the mid-2020s. The projected cost of the project is EUR 1.2 billion.

In February this year, Finland announced a contract for the procurement of Raytheon’s Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) systems for the ships. The corvettes will also carry Israeli-delivered Gabriel anti-ship missiles and Saab torpedoes.