Saturday, 7 July 2018

Finnish Navy to acquire new Surface-to-surface Missile system

Squadron 2020 Class vessel

Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö authorised the Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command to make an agreement on purchasing Surface-to-Surface Missile System 2020 (SSM2020), on 5th July 2018.

The system to be purchased will replace the current anti-ship missile system MTO85M that will reach the end of its life cycle in the 2020s. 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.

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: 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, life-cycle 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 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 acquisition value (VAT 0 percent) is EUR 162 million, with a EUR 193 million option.

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 life-cycle 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.


Gabriel anti-ship missile 


The Gabriel is a family of short-range, sea-, ground-, and air-launched antiship missiles employed in the Israeli Air Force and Navy. Since its initial deployment in 1972, five variants have seen service with the Israeli Defense Force. It has also been exported to at least ten countries.

Gabriel Mk 1
The Gabriel Mk1 was an antiship missile developed in the 1960’s in Israel and was first deployed in 1972. It was first used in combat during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. 

Gabriel Mk 2
In 1976, the longer-range M 2 variant entered service. The Mk 2 is 3.42 m in length,    0.34 m in body diameter, and weighs 522 kg. It has a max range of 35 km and is equipped with a single 180 kg HE semi-armor piercing warhead. With the most basic guidance system of the Gabriel missiles still in service, the Mk 2 uses a semi-active radar and a solid propellant boost and sustainer motor. 

The Mk 2 was exported to Taiwan and South Africa in the late 1970s, where they were produced under the names Hsiung Feng 1 and Skorpioen respectively. 

Production of the Mk 2 has completed, but the missile remains in service.

Gabriel Mk 3
Further improvements were made to the guidance system in 1979, which produced the Mk 3, which entered service in 1980. 

Gabriel III - GNU Attribution

The Gabriel Mk 3 is 3.85 m in length, 0.34 m in body diameter, and has a launch weight of 560 kg. The missile has a range of 35 km and is equipped with a single 150 kg HE semi-armor piercing warhead. The Mk 3 uses a solid propellant boost and sustainer motor and is guided by an inertial navigation system with midcourse update and an active radar seeker. 

An air-launched variant, the Mk 3AS, entered service in 1982. It can be carried by the A-4 Sky Hawk, Kfir, F-4 Phantom, and Sea Scan aircraft.

Production of the Mk 3 has completed, but the missile remains in service.

Gabriel Mk 4
In 1985, a long-range ground-, ship-, and air-launched variant known as the Gabriel 4LR was developed and entered service in 1992. 

The Mk 4LR is 4.7 m in length, 0.44 m in body diameter, and weighs 960 kg. The missile has a maximum range of 200 km and carries a single 240 kg HE semi-armor piercing warhead. Unlike its predecessors, the Mk 4LR uses a Sorek 4 turbojet as well as a solid propellant boost motor. It has the same guidance system as the Mk 3, except it has GPS midcourse updating, and its datalink mid-course command must be updated for ranges beyond 50 km. 

Gabriel Mk 5
The Mk 5 is the latest known Gabriel variant, and is also called the ‘Advanced Surface Attack Missile’ (ASAM). It is believed to have entered service in 2007. This missile is reportedly deployed on the Israeli Navy’s Eilat Saar 5 corvettes. It has estimated range of 200-400 km. 

Gabriel V - GNU Attribution

An additional report in 2009 claimed that another variant of the Mk 5 was in development called the Advanced Naval Attack Missile. This version is to be ship-launched and have an active radar seeker and a two-way datalink with a range of 150 km. 

The missile is said to be optimized with more advanced seeker technology to operate in cluttered or congested littoral environments. 

Variants of the Gabriel missile have been exported to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, and Thailand. 

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