On 2 November 2016, at a ceremony held this morning at Porto Lotti (La Spezia), Intermarine, a subsidiary of the Immsi S.p.A. industrial group, handed over the Vahterpaa, a minehunter in the Katanpää class, to the Finnish Navy.
The formal documentation ratifying the handover of the vessel was signed by the Commander of the Finnish Navy, Rear Admiral Veijo Taipalus, and by the CEO of Intermarine, Livio Corghi.
«Intermarine is a world leader in the design, construction and fitting of special military vessels with particularly stringent operating requirements; these are highly advanced ships which require outstanding levels of expertise at every stage», said Immsi Group Chairman Roberto Colaninno. «Over the years, Intermarine has established a strong position on the international market thanks to the excellent reputation gained as a supplier of special vessels such as this minehunter to the world’s most illustrious navies, and the completion of the order for the Finnish Navy with today’s handover was an important challenge culminating in a success in which we take great pride».
With this delivery, Intermarine has completed the order to supply the Finnish Navy with three minehunters.
The three vessels in the Katanpää class built for the Finnish Navy are the result of a lengthy process to perfect and adapt the Intermarine basic project to the customer’s specific requirements.
A Katanpää class minehunter is 171.9-foot/52.4-meter long LOA with an approximately 32.8-foot/10-meter beam (for a total displacement of 680 tonnes) and is powered by two diesel engines supporting a top speed of more than 13 knots/14 mph/24 km/h. The structure – including the hull – is made with a new type of glass fibre developed specifically for this project, and is built employing the «Unstiffened Monocoque Single Skin» construction technique used for all Intermarine minehunters. The superstructures are made from a «sandwich» material, with two layers of glass fibre and carbon fibre around a balsa wood heart, and built using the vacuum infusion process.
Katanpää class minehunter present a new capability of Mine Countermeasures including minehunting and disposal capabilities along with the already existing minehunting capabilities in the Finnish Navy.
The Procurement is mainly for homeland defense. The Katanpää class minehunter capability can also be used for co-operation between other authorities e.g. seabed mapping, underwater search and identification operations and EOD-operations.
Katanpää class minehunter are EU and NATO operations capable and are designed for international crises handling operations if needed.
Confirming its international leadership in this sector of defence vessels, Intermarine has already built or is building at its facilities, 43 minehunters, in 10 different configurations for the Navies of 9 countries, including the USA, Australia and Italy.
The «Katanpää» class mine countermeasures vessels are based on the «Lat Ya» class vessel constructed by Intermarine for the Thai Navy, which entered service in 1999.
The hull of the Katanpää class vessels (length 171.9-feet/52.4 m, width approximately 32.8 feet/10 m, displacement 680 t) is made from glass fibre reinforced plastic, using the special «unstiffened monocoque single skin» construction technique adopted for all Intermarine mine hunters, but with a new type of glass fibre developed specifically for this project.
The superstructures are built in a «sandwich» configuration (two layers in fibreglass and carbon fibre encasing an internal balsa layer) with the vacuum infusion method, already successfully used by Intermarine to build 42.65 feet/13 m patrol boats and for the bridges of 91.86 and 118.11 feet/28 and 36 m patrol boats, but employed for the first time for minehunter superstructures.
The vessels are equipped with two 1 MW MTU 8V 396TE74 diesel engines, each fitted with a five-blade epicycloidal «Voith Schneider» propeller (size 18”, model GH/135-PP), for a top speed of more than 13 knots/14 mph/24 km/h.
For maximum navigation precision in the tricky waters of the Finnish archipelago, propulsion is implemented with two Schottel tunnel bow thrusters.
The vessels feature a complete and highly versatile «Mission Suite», enabling the Finnish Navy to use the MCMVs as tool boxes, selecting the best system for the mission in relation to environmental and operating conditions.
The Katanpää Class MCMVs are fitted with an advanced command and control system (supplied by Atlas Elektronik, with six consoles) and latest-generation mine hunting and neutralisation equipment.
The ability to search for and locate mines is largely based on the use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), including the HUGIN 1000 (produced by Kongsberg) and the REMUS (produced by Hydroid), flanked by an Atlas HMS-12M hull-mounted sonar and a side scan sonar (supplied by Klein).
Mine destruction capability is guaranteed by a Double Eagle II reusable ROV (from Saab Underwater System) and a Sea Fox underwater vehicle (from Atlas Elektronik).
Armaments consist of a Bofors 40/70-mm gun supplied by the Finnish Navy.
Main technical data
|Dimensions||172 × 32.4 feet/52.45 × 9.87 m|
|Speed||13 knots/14 mph/24 km/h|
|Range||1,500 NM/1,726 miles/2,778 km|
|Engines||2 × MTU 8V 396 TE74 (2 × 1000 kW)|
|Propulsion||2 × «Voith Schneider» epi-cycloidal propellers|
|Armaments||Bofors 40-mm gun|
|Sonar||Hull-mounted, Atlas HMS – 12M|
|R.O.V.s.||SeaFox + Double Eagle|
|Command and control||Atlas IMCMS-FN|
|Underwater vehicles||AUV 1 – Kongsberg Hugin 1000|
|AUV 2 – Hydroid Remus|
|Side Scan Sonar – Klein|