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Meyer Turku Diversifies by Building Finnish Border Guard Vessels

new patrol vessels for Finnish Border Guard Meyer Turku
Design concept for the new patrol vessels (Finnish Norder Guard)

Published Aug 16, 2021 2:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

Shipbuilder Meyer Turku and the Finnish Border Guard entered into a letter of intent for the construction of two new multi-purpose patrol vessels. The shipyard was the winner of a tender launched by the Border Guard earlier this year and contract negotiations are underway with a goal of signing the construction order before the end of this year.

Winning the project for the new patrol boats is an important step for the shipyard which is seeking to diversify its business in the wake of the pandemic and its impact on the cruise ship construction business. Germany’s Meyer Werft acquired the Turku, Finland shipyard which was known for some of the world’s most famous cruise ship constructions but had been in decline. Meyer was rebuilding the shipyard with a focus on large cruise ships and working to increase production to two large cruise ships. They have orders from Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean International, but slowed the yard’s expansion in response to the impact of the pandemic,

“This is a very important letter of intent for Meyer Turku and the entire Finnish shipbuilding network,” said Tapani Pulli, Executive Vice President of Meyer Turku. “We are emerging from the crisis caused by the coronavirus and the letter of intent signed today will create more stability for our order book, which runs until 2026.”

The Finnish Border Guard's Vessel Ship 2025 project will replace three decommissioned patrol vessels which are at the end of their lifecycle with two new versatile vessels. The Finnish Parliament authorized the procurement of the new vessels with the goal that they are built in Finland and use Finnish technologies.

According to the Border Guard, the Baltic is in many ways a demanding operating environment. It is one of the busiest waterways in the world. Known for its harsh weather conditions, they noted that it is vulnerable to environmental accidents, The new vessels will be larger and designed to fulfill multi-purpose assignments. 

“The acquisition of two multi-purpose patrol vessels will bring Finland's readiness for maritime safety tasks to the level required by the challenges of the operating environment,” said Rear Admiral Markku Hassinen, Deputy Head of the Finnish Border Guard. “The design of new ships takes into account Turva's operational experience, the possibilities of new technology, the environmental impact of ships, and the change in the Finnish security environment.”

Among the diverse tasks the new vessels are designed to fulfill will be border control, maritime rescue, mass evacuations, international operations, the prevention of environmental damage, surveillance, and protection of Finland’s territorial integrity. According to the Finish Border Control, the design is a practical, cost-effective, and functional solution to the challenges they face. 

Thanks to their large size and versatile features, the new vessels will serve as command bases that allow other vessels, helicopters, rescue swimmers, divers, and rescue services professionals to do their work. Specifications were not announced but they noted the new ships will be equipped with high-end oil and oil chemical control systems. Delivery of the vessels is expected in 2025 and 2026.