Keel laying of the first multi-role corvette celebrated at Rauma shipyard

The keel of the first Squadron 2020 multi-role corvette was lowered at Rauma shipyard on Thursday 11 April. The traditional keel laying ceremony celebrates in effect the birth of the ship and marks the actual start of construction of the ship’s hull.

The keel of a ship and its cradle were lowered on a building trestle inside a construction hall where the ship is being built. As is the tradition, two lucky coins were placed under the ship that will remain there once the ship is completed.

Due to national security reasons, the corvettes are being built indoors. This is why outsiders were prohibited from also attending the keel laying ceremony. Present in the ceremony were the ordering party, that is the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command, the Finnish Navy, maritime classification society Lloyd’s Reister as well as the Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) management and key employees in the project.

“This day celebrates especially the shared work of the entire shipyard. The ship, today only a keel, can be seen as a symbol representing the commitment our shipyard and personnel have towards national defence. Our work has required smooth, extensive and open collaboration between the ordering party and all those connected to the project. The collaboration we have achieved is an asset that will ensure a successful outcome,” says Project Director Timo Ståhlhammar.

It has been five months since the start of construction, and the operative phase has progressed efficiently. The first part of the keel weighs 56 tonnes. The direct impact the Squadron Project has on employment in Finland is approximately 3,600 person-years.

RMC founded over ten years ago

March 2024 marked ten years since RMC, an entirely Finnish-owned company, was founded. During this time, it has built multiple award-winning car and passenger ferries for commercial use: MyStar for Tallink (2022), Aurora Botnia for Wasaline (2021) and Hammershus for Molslinje (2018).

RMC is building four Pohjanmaa-class multi role corvettes in total for the Finnish Navy. Multi role corvette is a surface combatant capable of effectively conducting a range of Navy tasks at sea all year round. The high-performance vessels are designed to operate in the Baltic Sea year-round in various circumstances, including also icy and freezing conditions.

Several vessels have been built at Rauma shipyard over the years for the Finnish Navy to use: four Hamina-class vessels, two Hämeenmaa-class minelayers, four Rauma-class missile boats, and the hovercraft ITA Tuuli. There have also been several icebreakers and other specialized vessels built at Rauma shipyard.

In addition to the corvettes, RMC is also constructing two car and passenger ferries for the Australian Spirit of Tasmania. The first vessel was launched in October 2023. The construction of the second vessel’s hull is near completion.

RMC has an orderbook of over EUR 1 billion.

The multi-role corvettes in a nutshell:

  • Length: 117 m
  • Width: 16 m
  • Draught: 5 m
  • Speed: 26 knots (48 km/h)
  • Crew: 70

Read the original press release here.

Photo: RMC