The fundamentals of Finnish national defense are general conscription, territorial defense, and military non-alliance. These will remain so in the future. The main task of the Defence Forces is to defend Finland. Additional tasks are to support other authorities and participate in international military crises management. The Finnish Navy will focus on balanced development of its naval and coastal units in accordance with these three tasks. The need to secure the sea lines of communication beyond our territorial waters must be taken into account in future materiel projects.
Defense provides deterrence and is tailored for the operating environment, the available resources, and the security situation. Finland’s defense comprehensively utilizes all resources of society and multinational cooperation. Even though a non-allied country has to maintain all maritime capability areas independently, the navy is increasingly depending on international cooperation, which spawns capability development and increases interoperability.
Regional cooperation tends to be the easiest type of cooperation to execute. The best examples are the well-working Surveillance Cooperation Baltic Sea and common training—for example the NATO–EU Northern Coast 2014 exercise, which will be held in Finnish waters next fall. Future cooperation might deepen and include mutual material procurements as well. The most important framework for doing business together is the Nordic Defence Cooperation. And the closer you are, the easier the cooperation gets. Therefore collaboration with Sweden is naturally a high priority.
Parts of the Baltic Sea freeze every winter. The Finnish Navy is capable of operating in icy conditions, and proven Baltic Sea maritime situational awareness best practices could be extended to cover the arctic area.
The Navy will implement reform by 2015, which will balance the unchanged tasks and available resources. It will form a basis for development toward the 2020s. The end state will be a well-functioning and cost-effective navy capable of carrying out its tasks.