The offshore patrol vessel UVL10, currently being built for the Finnish Border Guard at STX Finland Oy’s Rauma shipyard, was named Turva at a festive naming and launching ceremony on Friday 2 August.

Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen acted as godmother for the ship, wishing the vessel and its crew luck and success in their future maritime operations. In her speech as the ship’s godmother, Minister Räsänen stated that taking delivery of the ship is an important part of the preparation for the risks of increasing maritime transport and prevention of environmental damage, written down in the Government Programme.

According to the Minister, the vessel represents the collaborative thinking promoted by the government, since it has been designed by a team of various experts and it supports various authorities at their work.

The technically advanced, 96 metres long and 17 metres wide vessel, scheduled for delivery at the end of year 2013, is now painted blue and white. This colour scheme, echoing the colours of the national flag, lends support to its operations in the international operational environment of our regional waters.

The open ship naming contest produced a total of 1,358 name suggestion for the vessel. Out of these suggestions, the Finnish Border Guard selected a name that has traditions and appropriately fits the key tasks of the Border Guard. When completed, the vessel will be stationed on the Gulf of Finland, where it will sail year round, over 300 days a year.

Tasks and capabilities of the offshore patrol vessel

The offshore patrol vessel will be used for the purposes of frontier supervision, maritime search and rescue (SAR), environmental protection, monitoring of natural resources, oil spill response on the open sea and cooperation with other authorities. The vessel can provide support for the operations of auxiliary ships and helicopters.

The ship will be used under any weather and visibility conditions on the Baltic Sea and it is capable of independent long-term operation at extended ranges. The ship hull and its systems have been designed with seaworthiness and operational dependability in mind to ensure functioning capacity under extreme conditions.

The vessel features a large working deck and an oil recovery system and high-capacity tanks for recovered oil, facilitating long operating times. If necessary, open sea oil spill response activities can be performed on rough seas and in winter conditions. The ship also features capability to respond in case of serious chemical accidents.

The offshore patrol vessels has versatile search and rescue (SAR) capability and she is capable of operating under difficult conditions and it can function as an on-scene command post in the event of multimodal accidents requiring multiple response capabilities. The ship has extensive fire fighting capacity for extinguishing ship fires and the capability to rescue large numbers of people from the sea or from another vessel. In addition, the ship features sickbays and a helicopter deck for potential evacuation of passengers.

The ship’s 100-tonne emergency towing capability is also an excellent feature in situations where large ships in trouble need to be towed. The offshore patrol vessel is also designed to have high tolerance for damage in case of stranding, fire, engine failure or any other problem situation. The vessel features a double hull and double engine rooms for redundancy and separate systems for maintaining functioning capacity.

The ship can also be used for provision of assistance in minor and major maritime accidents within and beyond Finland’s maritime SAR area of responsibility, serving as e.g. evacuation platform, oil recovery unit, on-scene command post, or even refuelling station for helicopters to extend their operating time at the scene of the accident.

In the design of the vessel, special attention has been paid to environmentally friendly and energy-efficient solutions. The ship uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) with low emission levels and diesel oil as fuels, which keeps the ship’s own emissions small.

“The launching and naming ceremonies are unique events in the ship’s building process. They always make us proud - particularly so in case of this technically advanced and environmentally friendly vessel designed for border control duties. From this moment forward, the shipbuilding process will remain intensive until the moment the vessel is handed over to the client at the end of 2013," said Jari Anttila, EVP & COO of STX Finland and Director of the Rauma shipyard.

“The launching and naming ceremonies are from the customer’s point of view, one-time unique events of whisch we can be proud of. The ship will significantly increase our performance in sea area of Finland. This vessel which now was named Turva is a proof of the end user’s and the shipyard’s professional competence in both design and construction. Preparations will proceed aiming for the timely commissioning of the ship”, added Captain (Navy) Jukka Jaakkola, Chief of Technical Department of Finnish Border Guard Headquarters.