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The MSD Coffee Klatch.  This is the first weekly installment of a series of quick chats planned with various industry insiders who are uniquely-qualified to provide insight on specific subjects.
In this format, Maritime Security & Defence magazine conducts a short interview – taking as much time to read as it would to visit with a colleague over a cup of coffee, sharing knowledge and insights; hence, a “coffee klatch” of a virtual nature.
This week, MSD shares a cup of coffee with  Veli-Pekka Heinonen, Director of Naval Systems at Patria*.

by Stephen Elliott, Publisher


Maritime Security & Defence (MSD): When did Patria start providing naval intelligence and surveillance solutions?
Veli-Pekka Heinonen (VPK): Patria has been in the underwater intelligence and surveillance business since mid-1980’s serving mainly domestic customers in the areas of underwater surveillance and mine warfare. Several systems are currently in operative use in Finland and abroad.

Veli-Pekka Heinonen, Director of Naval Systems, Patria. Photo: Patria

MSD: Why are we learning about Patria’s ASW and MCM capabilities now? (We usually just see land and some training systems at defence expositions.)

VPK: Patria’s Systems business unit has a long tradition with underwater sensors and signature technologies and Mine Warfare and Mine Counter Measure capabilities. Traditionally, our target market has been domestic but now we are actively enlarging our approach also to naval export markets. Patria is a leading domestic provider of naval systems integrations being in charge, for example, Finnish Navy SQ2000 MLU, where new capabilities are introduced into existing, but fully overhauled Hamina-class PGG.

MSD: Please the explain patented sound source technology used by the Patria Sonac ACS solution.

VPK: Patria’s patented sound source technology is based on a combination of magnetostrictive actuators and composite flexitensional elements.

MSD: Where are Patria solutions from the naval product portfolio likely to be found outside of Finland?

VPK: We are working on a global naval market now and seek growth from the export market. Naturally, there are some focus regions for us such as the Baltic Sea, but also other confined and shallow waters where our solutions are optimised.

Patria’s Acoustic Minesweeping System. Image: Patria

MSD: Which other systems and solutions are part of the Patria naval product portfolio?
VPK: Our applied technology base consists of wide range of passive sensor technologies, signal processing and data analytics, just to mention a few. Many of these are applied also to the Naval domain.

Our current naval product portfolio includes Active Towed Array Sonar (Patria SONAC DTS) and Acoustic Sweep (Patria SONAC ACS) and other underwater surveillance, tracking and targeting devices. In addition, Patria’s portfolio is offering solutions also for other C5I tasks. And finally, Patria ARIS and ARIS-E are state-of-the-art ELINT and ESM systems that are aimed to be used also on different types of naval platforms.

MSD: Which areas within this product area are we likely to see growth over the next few years?
VPK: We are expecting to see growth especially in our underwater domain portfolio. There’s international awakening happening right now in this domain and there’s a growing urgency to keep up with the evolution of the emerging autonomous and other underwater threats.

MSD: Without giving away secrets what other solutions for the naval domain will we see and how soon?
VPK: We cannot give any schedules at this time, but perhaps it is fair to say that we are very occupied with underwater solutions right now. We will likely release products like ASW training target system and underwater signature measurement and analysis systems in the short term, so stay tuned.

MSD: Thank you – Kiitos!

* Patria Group is a trusted provider of defence, security and aviation LCS services with personnel over 2900. Patria Systems Business Unit is a leading systems integrator in Finland providing a wide range of defence and security specialists in AI and analytics, airborne support systems, C4ISTAR and fire control, cyber and simulation systems.

Image: Patria