VESSEL REVIEW | U501 – Finnish Navy’s newest workboat to perform logistical support duties

Photo: Kewatec Aluboat

The Finnish Navy has taken delivery of a new logistics support workboat built by local company Kewatec Aluboat.

The all-aluminium U501 is the first in a planned class of nine to be built by Kewatec to replace many of the Finnish Navy’s aging coastal auxiliary vessels. Deliveries of all nine vessels that will comprise the Uto-class will be completed by 2024.

Photo: Finnish Defence Forces

The workboat has a length of 19.2 metres, a beam of 5.3 metres, a draught of 0.8 metres, and a displacement of 21.5 tonnes. There is also space for two crewmembers, a Fassi F120 deck crane with an 11-tonne lifting capacity, a bow door for loading and unloading, and capacity for 15 tonnes of cargo or additional personnel.

The transport capacity enables to Uto-class to fill the capability gap between the navy’s smaller landing craft and the 680-tonne Pansio-class mine countermeasures vessels that have also been configured for supply duties. The shallow draught means the Uto-class can also access areas of coastline with limited jetty insfrastructure, giving the workboats increased operational flexibility.

Photo: Kewatec Aluboat

Two Scania DI13 diesel engines will drive Kongsberg KaMeWa S36-3 waterjets to propel the workboat to speeds of up to 25 knots. Fuel is fed by two 1,000-litre tanks while a keel cooling system will allow operations during winter without the risk of freezing.

Kewatec said the new vessel is a fast workboat that is ideal for sea transport of materiel and troops in the shallower waters of the Finnish archipelago.

Photo: Kewatec Aluboat

Facilities include a toilet, a galley, and accommodations for the two crewmembers. The onboard electronics meanwhile include a radar and a rotating thermal camera.

Type of vessel: Naval support workboat
Flag: Finland
Owner: Finnish Navy
Builder: Kewatec Aluboat, Finland
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Deck construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 19.2 metres
Beam: 5.3 metres
Draught: 0.8 metres
Deadweight tonnage: 15
Main engines: 2 x Scania DI13
Propulsion: 2 x Kongsberg KaMeWa S36-3 waterjets
Maximum speed: 25 knots
Crane: Fassi F120
Other equipment installed: Keel coolers
Type of fuel: Diesel
Fuel capacity: 2,000 litres

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