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Finnish Navy conducts first torpedo firing from Hamina-class fast-attack craft

According to a press release published by the Finnish Navy on August 19, 2020, the Finnish Navy conducted its first torpedo firing from FNS Tornio Hamina-class fast-attack craft in the Archipelago Sea with a TP45 torpedo borrowed from Försvarets Materialverk, FMV, Swedish Defence Materiel Administration.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Finnish Navy conducted its first torpedo firing from FNS Tornio Hamina-class fast-attack craft in the Archipelago Sea with a TP45 torpedo. (Picture source Finnish Navy)

The firing was conducted by Hamina-class fast-attack craft FNS Tornio of the Finnish Navy This was the first time that a torpedo has been launched from a Hamina-class fast-attack craft and the first time in decades that the Navy has operated a piece of torpedo weaponry.

The objective of the launch was to ascertain the capability of the TP45 torpedo system as a part of the upgrade of Hamina-class fast-attack crafts. The tested weaponry will improve the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capability significantly, and it will keep being improved with the introduction of the new TP47 in a few years’ time, says the Commander of the Navy, Rear Admiral Jori Harju.

Sub-surface capability is an essential part of modern naval operations, and when completed, this project will enable the Navy to have striking power against air, surface and sub-surface targets.

The Finnish Navy has placed an order with Saab for torpedo and associated combat system deliveries for the Hamina-class fast-attack craft and future Pohjanmaa-class corvettes. The Saab Lightweight Torpedo (TP47) succeeding the current TP45 system will be installed into these vessel classes.

The TP47 is a lightweight torpedo intended especially for anti-submarine operations in shallow littoral waters. It is effective also in blue water and against surface vessels. Due to its versatile features, it is extremely well suited for operating in the naval operating environment of the Baltic Sea and the Finnish coasts, and it represents the best-in-class technology in underwater warfare.

The TP47 torpedo system will be introduced into service use in 2023. Until then, the TP45 will be in service. The Torpedo project is a practical proof of how well the materiel and training cooperation between Finland and Sweden works.

Traficom and the Border Guard supported the torpedo launch exercise by suspending sea traffic in the exercise area for the duration of the firings.

The Hamina-class is a class of fast attack crafts of the Finnish Navy that were built in the late 1990s, early 2000s, and are the fourth generation of Finnish missile craft. The first vessel was ordered in December 1996 and the fourth was handed over on 19 June 2006. The FNS Tornio was ordered on February 15, 2001, and commissioned on May 12, 2003.

Hamina-class is armed with four RBS-15 mk3 anti-ship missiles that have a firing range of over 100 km as well as 8 Umkhonto-IR a South African family of modern short- to medium-range, all-weather-capable vertical launch (VLS) surface-to-air missiles (SAM) manufactured by South Africa's Denel Dynamics surface-to-air missile system can simultaneously engage up to eight aircraft within a 20 km range. The ship is also armed with a Bofors 57mm gun located at the front deck and two 12.7mm heavy machine guns are also fitted on the craft. The ship can also be fitted with mine rail to detect sea mines.