Finnish Navy to Acquire Israeli Gabriel Anti-Ship Missile Systems for its Hamina, Squadron 2020 Class Vessels

Finnish Navy will acquire Gabriel anti-ship missile systems, developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), as part of its Surface-to-Surface Missile System 2020 (SSM2020) program.

Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö authorised the Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command to make an agreement on purchasing SSM2020 on July 5, said a Ministry of Defence statement.

The Gabriel system will replace the Navy’s current anti-ship missile system MTO 85M (Finnish designation of Saab RBS-15 Mk. III/ RBS-15SF-3 AShM) that will reach the end of its lifecycle in the 2020s.

The decision to purchase the Israeli Gabriel Missile System has been made as a result of competitive bidding. The submitted quotations were from the following systems: Naval Strike Missile (NSM -Kongsberg, Norway); EXOCET (MBDA, France); Harpoon (Boeing, USA); RBS15 (SAAB, Sweden) and Gabriel (Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel).

The main selection criteria included performance vis-à-vis acquisition costs and schedule, lifecycle costs and security of supply, and compatibility with existing infrastructure and defence system. Details concerning quantities of the system to be purchased will not be made public.

The acquisition value (VAT 0 percent) is EUR 162 million, with a EUR 193 million option. The purchase will include the launchers, the missiles, simulators, test equipment, spare parts and training. The deliveries will take place between the years 2019 and 2025.

The new SSM2020 missiles will be installed on board the Hamina Class and Squadron 2020 Class vessels and on a vehicle platform. The procurement will have an impact on the Finnish Defence Forces’ operations and on the Finnish Navy’s capabilities until the 2050s.

FNS Hanko (82)
FNS Hanko (82), a Finnish Navy Hamina-class missile boat with an Army NH90 helicopter.
Finnish Navy Squadron 2020 Corvette
Rendering of the Pohjanmaa-class corvette currently under development for the Finnish Navy as part of the Squadron 2020 (Finnish: Laivue 2020) project.

SSM2020 is an important part of the Finnish Defence Forces’ performance and that is why the maintenance capabilities will be in Finland. The security of supply for the whole lifecycle will be insured. The domestic employment effect of the procurement is approximately 179 persons between the years 2022 and 2050.

Surface warfare refers to the ability to use fires against enemy’s surface vessels. The surface warfare capability of the Finnish Navy includes the use of missiles, naval mines and coastal artillery fires. The missile is capable of long range effect and can also be able to be used against land targets. The new system will create a deterrent and a threat to the adversary as well as a capability for Finland to respond to the threats of the modern and developing battle field also in the future.

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