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Nordic navies expand scope
of ambitions
Nordic navies, which were once confined to the Baltic and neighbouring
waters, are spreading their wings.
he clearest sign was Stockholm’s
announcement that it would be
sending the corvettes HSwMS
Stockholm and Malmo with the support
ship HSwMS Trossö to support Operation
‘Atalanta’, the EU’s anti-piracy operations
off the Horn of Africa.
In 2007 Sweden deployed a corvette in
support of UN peacekeeping operations
in Lebanon but this commitment is
unprecedented, and Finland has announced
it will be providing some naval staff officers
for the operation. It is interesting to note
that Sweden is reported to be planning
to build a support ship to aid corvette
deployment in out-of-Baltic operations.
Sweden has already converted five
of the Landsort class minehunters
for international operations through
improvements to habitation, including the HSwMS Visby and her first three sister ships have reached a provisional operational
provision of air conditioning. The ships are capability, but it is certainly not the standard originally envisaged.
then being further upgraded with a new
command system (the Atlas Elektronik
Integrated Mine Countermeasures surface-to-air missiles. in 2008, but HDMS Absalon has been
System) and an integrated mine In 2008, the first two MCMV 2010 deployed to the Horn of Africa where
countermeasures system (Atlas HMS-12M class minehunters, based upon the Gaeta she took some pirates into custody.
hull-mounted sonar, Double Eagle Mk III design, were laid down for Finland at the Unfortunately, the constraints of Danish
with variable depth sonar and the Atlas Intermarine yard in Sarzana, the third law meant that although two boat-loads
Sea Fox reconnaissance/neutralisation vessel will be laid down at the Aker yard of men armed with assault rifles, grapnels
vehicles). The latest of the Koster class (as in Rauma in 2009. and rocket-propelled grenades were put in
the ships have been redesignated) to be These 697ton vessels will have much the brig it was felt there was not enough
recommissioned was HSwMS Vinga on 17 in common with the Swedish Kosters evidence to convict them and they were
November 2008. When sufficient Kosters including the same combat management subsequently put ashore.
are in service the last two Landsorts, system, sensors and remotely-operated Nevertheless, these ships are attracting
HSwMS Landsort and Arholma, will vehicles. When they become operational much favourable attention having taken
be paid off and will probably find in 2015 they will also be capable of the Stanflex concept to a new level and
foreign customers. hydrographic survey/route survey work produced vessels capable of projecting
Finland’s two Hämeenmaa class with Kongsberg Hugin 1000 autonomous Danish power into Blue Water for the first
minelayers have also been converted for underwater vehicles. It should also be noted time since the unfortunate second visit of
operations outside the Baltic and will that the Kuha class inshore minesweepers the Royal Navy to Copenhagen in 1807.
act as strategic transports and command have been upgraded with Reson Seabat They are capable of strategic transport,
ships. Both have received the EADS ANC 6012 mine-avoidance sonars. command and control of both military
2000 combat management system, EADS Denmark’s Flexible Support Ships, and humanitarian relief operations.
TRS-3D radar, Sagem EOMS electro-optic the two 6300ton Absalon class have not A modified version of the design is being
sensor and South African Umkhonto only achieved full operational capability incorporated in the three Patrol Frigates
Warship Technology January 2009 41
WT_Jan09_p41+42+44.indd 41 12/23/08 2:27:51 AM
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