Finnish hovercraft Tuuli

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Finnish hovercraft Tuuli.JPG
Scale model of FNS Tuuli
Career
Name: Tuuli
Owner:  Finnish Navy
Ordered: 9 July 1999
Builder: Aker Finnyards, Rauma, Finland
Completed: 10 June 2002
Commissioned: Never entered active service
Struck: 19 December 2003
Homeport: Upinniemi
Fate: Broken up in 2013
General characteristics
Type: Hovercraft
Displacement: 84 tons
Length: 27.4 m (90 ft)
Beam: 15.4 m (51 ft)
Draught: -
Installed power: 2 × Vericor TF40 gas turbines (6,000 kW)
Propulsion: Two air propellers
Speed: 50 knots (93 km/h; 58 mph)
Complement: 10
Sensors and
processing systems:
EADS ANCS 2000 combat data system
SAGEM EOMS
Armament: (Note: These are possible combinations. All systems have been transferred to the Hamina class)
Denel Umkhonto-IR VLS SAM system
Saab AB RBS-15 Mk3 SSM
torpedoes or mines (Sea Mine 2000)

Tuuli was a hovercraft built for the Finnish Navy. Originally intended to be the lead vessel of a class of four combat hovercrafts, she was never officially commissioned and after having been laid up for the most of her career, she was broken up in 2013.

Development[edit]

Tuuli was built at the Aker Finnyards Rauma shipyard in Rauma, Finland. Named after a decommissioned Tuima-class (modified Soviet OSA-II) missile boat, she was intended to be the lead vessel of a class of four combat hovercrafts that would form part of Squadron 2000 (Finnish: Laivue 2000), a vessel procurement program of the Finnish Navy. Before naming, the hovercrafts were referred to as the T-2000 class.

The hovercrafts were intended to be used as mobile missile platforms that would be able to navigate and perform surprise attacks in the fractured Finnish archipelago. Since the seas around Finland usually freeze over in the winter, parts of the archipelago cannot be navigated by conventional surface combatants and are accessible only by air or with a hovercraft. However, the focus of the Finnish Navy was redefined as long-term protection of merchant marine traffic, and Hamina-class missile boats with longer operating time were selected in Tuuli '​s stead. As a result, only the prototype vessel was built and never officially commissioned.

Tuuli was completed in 2002. Her trial runs proved a success and her specified capacity and maximum speed were exceeded. On 19 December 2003, it was announced that the Tuuli class would not enter active service and the prototype vessel would be presented for sale. There has been foreign interest towards purchasing Tuuli, but no further details have been given. The vessel was stored at the Upinniemi base.

On 10 July 2013, it was announced that Tuuli will be scrapped as no suitable buyer has been found.[1] She was broken up in October 2013

Design[edit]

The design of the vessel involved technology transferred from the United States. It was constructed from welded panels of thin marine aluminium sheets and extrusions connected with light-weight composite constructions. The special features of the vessel were good mobility, independence of waterways and fixed port equipment, year-around operation and a small crew of only ten owing to the advanced technology.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Merivoimat luopuu kahdesta aluksestaan. Turun Sanomat, 10 July 2013. Retrieved on 2013-07-10.