Tuuli class hovercraft

Tuuli class hovercraft

The Tuuli class combat hovercraft (ACV) is a type of vessel designed for the Finnish Navy.

The Tuuli class was also previously known as the T-2000 class. It takes its name from the decommissioned "Tuima" class (modified Soviet OSA-II) FNS "Tuuli" (14) missile boat. Its intended use was a mobile missile platform able to navigate and perform surprise attacks in the fractured archipelago of the northern Baltic sea. Since the surface often freezes over in the winter, parts of the archipelago cannot be navigated, and are accessible only by air or with a hovercraft. However, the focus of the Finnish navy was defined as long-term protection of merchant marine traffic, and missile boats with longer operating time were selected in Tuuli's stead.

Only one Tuuli class vessel was built at the Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland, instead of four that were planned for the "Squadron 2000" ( _fi. Laivue 2000) that the navy has been developing. Further building was cancelled in favour of the "Hamina" class missile boats.

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

Tuuli was commissioned in 2000. Her trial runs proved a success, and her specified capacity and maximum speed were exceeded. Fiscal reasons and doctrine change in the Navy spelled an end for the Squadron 2000 project. On December 19, 2003 it was announced that Tuuli will not enter active service and it would be presented for sale. There has been foreign interest towards purchasing Tuuli, but no further details have been given. The vessel is being stored at Upinniemi.

Vessels

;FNS "Tuuli" (10): Ordered from Aker Finnyards on July 9, 1999 and commissioned on June 10, 2002. Decommissioned.

References

* [http://www.mil.fi Finnish Defence Forces] "Website of The Finnish Defence Forces"
* [http://www.akerfinnyards.com Aker Finnyards] "Website of Aker Finnyards"


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