By Luca Peruzzi
The Finnish Navy has lifted veil on its future Gabriel V anti-ship missile to be provided by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) under a procurement programme approved by the Finnish Defense Ministry on July 2018.
Designated as PTO2020 by Finnish Navy (but also indicated as SSM2020), the new system under procurement will replace the current anti-ship missile system MTO85M that is the local designation of the Saab RBS-15 SF weapon system that will reach the end of its lifecycle in the 2020s. The new missile will be installed on board the in-service Squadron 2000 programme’s Hamina-class fast attack craft (as part of their mid-life upgrade) and the new Pohjanmaa-class multi-role corvettes (under the Squadron 2020 programme) together with a vehicle platform application, which implies a mobile coastal battery configuration.
According to information and renderings released by the Finnish Navy on 13 December, the missile airframe resembles the Boeing Harpoon configuration with a rear underbelly fixed air intake with middle-airframe and rear foldable fins, together with smaller fixed rear fins. With a 5.5 meters length and a 1,250 kg weight, according to released information, the Gabriel V features a turbojet engine allowing subsonic speed and fuel tanks providing a range in excess of 200 km. The Gabriel V is shown with a rear booster for launch from ships and vehicles.
The new Finnish Navy’s anti-ship missile is fitted with an active radar seeker with advanced anti-jam features, all-weather capabilities, wide search range and good discrimination resolution. The weapon system is equipped with a GPS/INS, multiple waypoints integrated navigation system and a penetrating warhead. According to the Finnish Navy, the Gabriel V can be used against over water and on-land targets.
The new anti-ship procurement programme, which includes an undisclosed number of missiles, launchers and options for additional weapon deliveries, simulators, test equipment, spare parts and training, has a value of € 162 million, with an additional € 193 million for optional missiles and ancillaries. According to available information deliveries should take place between 2019 and 2025. This would mean that Gabriel V has already been qualified and is under production.
The decision to purchase the Israeli Gabriel Missile System has been made as a result of competitive bidding between Kongsberg NSM, MBDA Exocet, Boeing Harpoon, Saab RBS15 and Israel Aerospace Industries Gabriel missiles. According to the Finnish Navy procurement programme press statement, the main selection criteria included performance versus acquisition costs and schedule, life cycle costs, security of supply, and compatibility with existing infrastructure and defence system.
Photos courtesy Finnish Navy