The Finnish Navy’s Chief of Staff says it will not seek any bids from Helsinki’s Russian-owned Arctech Shipyard.
Since Helsinki’s Arctech Shipyard came fully under Russian state ownership, it has been blacklisted for any future orders from the Finnish Navy, the main Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet (Hbl) reports on Saturday.
In December, the Russian state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) bought STX Finland’s share of Arctech, becoming its sole owner. The shipyard is located in the Hernesaari district near the West Harbour in southernmost Helsinki.
According to Hbl, the Finnish Navy is now looking for a shipyard to take on an order worth at least a billion euros. Seven of the Finnish Defence Forces’ warships are to be replaced in the coming years. The new ships, to be commissioned by the mid-2020’s, are to replace three minelayers and four missile boats.
The Finnish Navy Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Juha Vauhkonen, told the paper that the Navy is not taking part in any talks with the Russian-owned firm.
Higher firepower on new warships
The Navy has launched a ‘Flotilla 2020’ programme to procure a new class of surface vessels, replacing the current warships with modern multi-purpose vessels. The new ships are to be equipped with helicopters and torpedoes, with the ability to sink submarines and warships and to down military aircraft.
The Navy has been in contact with various defence contractors who might be able to supply such vessels – but not with Arctech, even though the Navy has traditionally ordered vessels from shipyards in Finland whenever possible.
USC is included in the United States sanctions against Russian companies, while one of the largest Nordic banks, Nordea, has dropped it as a customer.
Related stories from around the North:
Asia: Full steam ahead for Asian icebreakers in the Arctic this summer, Blog by Mia Bennett
Canada: Canada’s Arctic patrol ships – A $250M mystery, CBC News
Finland: New Finland icebreaker can operate sideways with asymmetrical hull, Yle News
Russia: Russian state company buys out Helsinki shipyard, Blog by Mia Bennett
Sweden: Swedish icebreakers gear up for Arctic role, Radio Sweden
United States: New ferry contract part of effort to create shipbuilding industry in Alaska, Alaska Dispatch