Finland to send warship to Somali coast against pirate attack
HELSINKI, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) — Finnish President Tarja Halonen has approved the deployment of a warship to the Somali coast to take part in the European Union’s anti-piracy operation, known as Atalanta, according to the press release of Finnish Foreign Ministry on Friday.
The minelayer Pohjanmaa of Finnish Navy with 120 soldiers will participate in the EU Naval Force Somalia – known as Operation Atalanta with the mission of helping protect UN food relief deliveries and cargo ships from pirate attacks. The Finnish warship is expected to perform the anti-piracy task off the Somali coast from February to April 2011.
Pohjanmaa, the flagship of the Finnish Navy, is 78 meters long and has a beam of 11 meters with a displacement of 1,450 tons.
EU launched Operation Atalanta on December 8, 2008, sending aircrafts and warships to protect ships over the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean off Somali coast from pirates.