Finnish minelayer Pohjanmaa

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FNS Pohjanmaa
Name: Pohjanmaa
Owner:  Finnish Navy
Ordered: 1977
Builder: Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard
Laid down: 4 May 1978
Launched: 28 August 1978
Commissioned: 8 June 1979
Homeport: Upinniemi
Status: Laid up
General characteristics
Type: Minelayer
Displacement: 1,450 tonnes
Length: 78.6 m (258 ft)
Beam: 11.2 m (37 ft)
Draught: 3.3 m (11 ft)
Installed power: 2 × Wärtsilä Vasa 16V22
4,280 kW (5,740 hp) (combined)
Propulsion: Two shafts
Speed: 18–19 knots (33–35 km/h; 21–22 mph)
Range: 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi)
Complement: 70 (120 when acting as a training ship)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Signaal DA05 radar
Philips 9LV 220 FCS
Simrad hull-mounted sonar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Decoy: Philax chaff and IR flares
ESM: Argo Systems radar warning system
Armament: 1 × Bofors 57 mm/70 Mk1
1 × Bofors 40 mm/70
2 × Sako twin-barrel 23 mm/87 (modified ZU-23-2)
2 × NSV 12.7 mm machine guns
2 × rails for depth charges
4 × rails for 150 mines (Sea Mine 2000)

Pohjanmaa is a minelayer of the Finnish Navy. The sole member of her class, she was the flagship of the Finnish Navy as well as the largest naval ship in service in Finland as of 2013. The ship has an ice operating classification of ICE-1A so she can operate all year round. During a crisis the main task for Pohjanmaa is mine laying and acting as a command ship. She also acts as a school ship for the Naval Academy cadets. Part of their training includes an annual cruise abroad.

The 34-year-old Pohjanmaa was scheduled for decommissioning in late 2013, but the current schedule is now 2015. In October 2013 Hämeenmaa took over the role of flagship of the Finnish Navy.[1]


The Pohjanmaa was built in 1978 at the Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard, Finland.

The Pohjanmaa first served as a school ship for the Naval Academy until 1992 when she was transferred to the Gulf of Finland Navy (Now called Gulf of Finland Naval Command). When she was completed it replaced the minelayer Ruotsinsalmi and as a school ship the Matti Kurki. On 10 May 1982, she was given the traditional shield of ocean faring vessels previously held by Suomen Joutsen, so in effect the Pohjanmaa continues the tradition of the three ships. The ship underwent a heavy modernization program in 1996-1998, which included a replacing her 120 mm main gun with a more modern Bofors 57 mm fully automatic antiaircraft gun.

The annual training cruise for the cadets has taken the ship as far as Belém, Brazil. The accommodation capacity of the vessel for the long range cruises can be increased with accommodation containers.

On 28 June 2005, as part of their cruise, the Pohjanmaa participated in the International Fleet Review which is a part of the Trafalgar 200 celebrations.

In 2007, the ship was refitted together with the Hämeenmaa class minelayers and her colour scheme changed from camouflage to light grey. Her second aft gun was also removed from the aft deck due to narrow shooting sectors, which were even further narrowed due to a new bigger hydraulic crane of a new seaboat.

In 2010, it was decided that the Pohjanmaa will participate in Operation Atalanta in 2011. On 6 April 2011, Pohjanmaa captured a vessel suspected as pirate mothership along with two speedboats. The search onboard revealed assault rifles, RPGs and other weapons. Eighteen of the suspected pirates were incarcerated onboard Pohjanmaa.[2] Since the Prosecutor General of Finland decided not to prosecute, the pirates were transferred to the jurisdiction of Operation Atalanta, which later released the pirates. The pirate ship and the speedboats were scuttled at sea.


The Pohjanmaa was christened on 8 June 1979 by Aili Haapkylä. The name comes from the Swedish-built pojamas of the 1770s — see "Pohjanmaa" for other uses of the name.

The vessel has been nicknamed Puuhamaa by the Finnish Navy conscripts after the Finnish amusement park.


The Pohjanmaa is over 30 years old and, despite modernizations, will soon reach the end of her lifespan.[3] She will be replaced by the next generation's surface combatant, bigger than the current missile boats and more capable for international co-operation, that is currently in pre-development stage.[4] In addition to the Pohjanmaa, the new class of multi-purpose naval vessels—dubbed MTA2020 (Monitoimialus 2020) in the preliminary papers—is intended to replace also Hämeenmaa-class minelayers and Rauma-class missile boats as they are retired.[5]

Pohjanmaa will be decommissioned in late 2013 and either sold or scrapped if a sufficient buyer is not found.[6] In September 2013, it was reported that the Estonian Navy was interested in purchasing the vessel.[7] However, it was later reported that Estonia decided not to purchase the vessel.[8] Same interest was also expressed by the Croatian Navy in 2014 but the vessel was dismissed as an option due to its age.[citation needed]

In the Finnish Navy, minelayer Hämeenmaa will take up the position as flagship.[9]


  1. ^ Miinalaiva Pohjanmaa jätti hyvästinsä torstaina - katso video. Ilta-Sanomat, 23 August 2013. Retrieved on 2014-05-23.
  2. ^ [1] Article in the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat
  3. ^ Miinalaiva Pohjanmaata ja satoja paseja uhkaa viimeinen käyttöpäivä. Tekniikka & Talous, 31 August 2011.
  4. ^ Merten mittaajat. Ruotuväki, 10/08.
  5. ^ Hallituksen esitys 12/2010. FINLEX.
  6. ^ Miinalaiva Pohjanmaa laitettiin myyntiin. Ilta-Sanomat, 9 July 2013. Retrieved on 2013-07-10.
  7. ^ Viro kiinnostui miinalaiva Pohjanmaasta – neuvotteluja käydään syksyllä. Turun Sanomat, 20 September 2013. Retrieved on 2013-09-20.
  8. ^ Puolustusministeriö: Viro ei osta miinalaiva Pohjanmaata. Helsingin Sanomat, 20 September 2013.Retrieved on 2013-09-20.
  9. ^ Miinalaiva Pohjanmaa. Ruotuväki 9/2013. Retrieved on 2013-05-14.

External links[edit]

Media related to Pohjanmaa (ship, 1978) at Wikimedia Commons