Finland to Purchase Artillery Systems to Beef up Coastal Defence Capability

Foreign Affairs

Milan: Finland is the latest Nordic country to beef up its coastal defence with the planned acquisition of over a dozen self-propelled artillery systems to protect the country’s territorial waters in the Baltic Sea.

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The Finnish Logistics Command, which oversees military equipment acquisitions, announced a tender to purchase up to 20 artillery systems, depending on available funding, without disclosing the contract value.

The goal of these purchases will be to create a mobile artillery capability dedicated to coastal defence as to engage vessels in “Finnish territorial waters at the littoral area including the archipelago and hostile forces on land,” according to recently published documents.

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Finland’s territorial sea covers an area of 54,130 square kilometres, per the European Commission’s Maritime Spatial Planning database.

Listed requirements for the artillery systems call for them to possess a high degree of mobility so as to allow deployment in the Finnish coastal environment, and for the ammunition to be compatible with NATO’s Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding. An additional option for the period 2029-2031 covers six more systems, “depending on the quantity to be acquired.”

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Last week, Finland’s neighbour, Sweden, launched a call to procure anti-aircraft guns to be placed on the Swedish-made Combat Boat 90 to intercept adversary drones and helicopters. The Nordic strengthening of maritime defence capabilities comes amid growing concerns over Russia’s aspirations in the Baltic Sea region.

Last month, Moscow suggested plans to revisit and expand its sea borders around Russia’s islands in the Gulf of Finland and around Kaliningrad, an initiative that has the potential to stir up territorial disputes with several NATO countries. The Finnish Navy’s Coastal Fleet maintains a high degree of operational readiness, focusing in part on mine warfare and maritime combat service support.

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