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NATO Navies to conduct drills with Finnish Navy amid Ukraine war.

| 2022

According to information published by NATO on April 26, 2022, Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) is scheduled to stop in Turku, Finland, for a port visit.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Belgian minehunter Crocus, Frankenthal-class minehunter Sulzbach-Rosenberg and Katanpää-class Katanpää (Picture source: NATO)

The visit provides the crew an opportunity to collaborate with the Finnish Navy, re-supply, and experience the culture and hospitality of NATO's partner nation, Finland.

Led by Estonian Navy Commander Ott Laanemets, SNMCMG1 comprises flagship Latvian Navy LNVS Virsaitis (A53), Estonian Navy ENS Sakala (M314), and Royal Netherlands Navy NHLMS Schiedam (M860).

Following the visit, SNMCMG1 is scheduled to participate in an exercise led by Finland's Coastal Fleet in the Archipelago Sea in addition to a passing exercise (PASSEX), with a focus on mine countermeasures and seamanship.

The PASSEX is designed to train participants in operating in a multinational framework. Finnish Coastal Fleet Katanpää-class Mine Hunters Purunpää and Vahterpää, and 4th Mine Countermeasures Squadron Staff will participate.

HNoMS Vale (N53) was a Royal Norwegian Navy minelayer. She was built by Mjellem & Karlsen in Bergen in 1978 and named after Odin's son Vale from Norse mythology. Vale was given to the Latvian Navy in 2003. She was renamed Virsaitis, that in translation from Latvian means "Chieftain".

Katanpää-class mine countermeasure vessel

Katanpää-class mine countermeasure vessels are a class of three multipurpose mine countermeasure vessels (MCMV) ordered by the Finnish Navy. The Katanpää class is expected to remain in service until 2040–2042.

The Katanpää-class mine countermeasure vessels are constructed of laminated composite materials. They are 52.45 metres (172.1 ft) long and have a beam of 9.47 metres (31.1 ft) and a draft of 3.15 metres (10.3 ft).

They will have a service speed of 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) and a maximum range of 1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km; 1,700 mi).

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