Profound expertise unites Nordic partners
Patria, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and Nammo are all leading companies in the Nordic defence sector, yet they are united by many other things in addition to geographical proximity.
“Together, these three companies constitute a leading industrial defence partnership in their region, and many of their products and services also hold a strong position in the growing international defence market,” says Jukka Holkeri, Executive Vice President, Global Division at Patria.
The three companies are bound together by ownership arrangements. Patria is a Finnish company owned by the State of Finland and Kongsberg, which is itself a Norwegian listed company that is half-owned by the Norwegian State. Nammo is in turn owned 50–50 by Patria and the Norwegian State.
Holkeri notes that each company has its own strengths. There are few overlaps in the companies’ product and service offerings, which means they can seek synergy benefits in production and marketing instead of competing against each other.
“Customers also benefit from this, as we’re able to offer value-added packages by working together.”
Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services (KAMS), a joint venture between Patria and Kongsberg, is one good example of a Nordic partnership. KAMS is a strategic partner to the Norwegian Defence Forces in the servicing, repair and maintenance of aircraft and helicopters.
“KAMS’s business is largely based on what Patria has long been doing in Finland. We’ve imported tried and tested operating models from Finland, and have adapted them to the Norwegian operating environment,” says Holkeri.
Together, Patria, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and Nammo constitute a leading industrial defence partnership in their region.
Holkeri is referring to the strategic partnership between Patria and the Finnish Air Force, in which Patria is responsible for heavy maintenance, repairs, upgrades and structural modifications of aircraft and their engines.
“We’ve brought this basic model to KAMS. Joint planning is a key aspect of the partnership. For example, maintenance sessions are not procured individually. Instead, we agree on a whole package for a specific fleet for a period of a year or more.”
Holkeri says that Patria’s operating model also covers exceptional circumstances. Even in the midst of crisis, customers can rest assured that Patria will provide the agreed services.
Patria and Kongsberg have also joined forces in preparation for future mortar projects in the United States. This collaboration will provide the country’s defence forces with a package that combines the Patria Nemo mortar system with Kongsberg’s manufacturing capacity and business experience.
Patria and the US Army are currently engaged in a research and development project to determine Patria Nemo’s suitability and performance as a 120 mm tower mortar system for the US. The project has now progressed to the testing phase.
Mortar system deliveries to the United States would utilise Kongsberg’s production facilities in Pennsylvania.
“Kongsberg has extensive experience in the manufacture of high-tech weapons systems in the United States. Which is why this partner was a logical choice to be Patria’s local Nemo manufacturer.”
Holkeri says that cooperation will enable Patria to harness Kongsberg’s lengthy experience in the US market, and particularly in remote-controlled mortar and machine gun turrets. Over the past two decades, the company has supplied more than 18,000 weapons systems to the US military.
In autumn 2022, Kongsberg signed a USD 1.5 billion contract extension with the United States for the supply of weapons systems.
Holkeri says that Patria can in turn help Kongsberg to market its products in other markets.
“For example, Kongsberg has developed a remote air traffic control system for civil aviation. The centralised remote operation of several air traffic control towers from a single centre could also be a good solution for Finland’s low-traffic regional airports.”
Nammo’s product range consists of commercial ammunition, small and medium calibre ammunition, large calibre systems and aerospace propulsion. Holkeri says that although Patria and Nammo have had relatively few joint delivery projects to date, efforts are being made to intensify cooperation. For instance, Patria has helped Nammo to gain a foothold in certain markets.
“One potential area for collaboration could be a package that combines Patria’s Nemo mortar system with Nammo’s ammunition.”
Cooperation between the Nordic defence companies becomes even more important in the future.
Holkeri expects cooperation between the three defence companies to become even more important when Finland and Sweden join NATO.
“As defence administrations start working more closely together, it will naturally lead to closer industrial collaboration within the sector. We offer a partnership network that promotes defence cooperation.”
Patria, Kongsberg and Nammo are also united by their commitment to responsibility and ethical practices. Transparency and a strong focus on preventing corruption lie at the heart of business management at all three companies.
“In matters of responsibility, we cooperate by jointly developing processes and practices. We organise joint training and discussion events in these areas.”
Patria and Kongsberg have a joint project to promote trade compliance, which is seeking to develop operating models for the companies’ export control by sharing best practices and improving operational capabilities in international business.
Last year, Patria and Kongsberg received the World Export Control Review award in recognition of their work in the small and medium-sized teams category. The grounds for the award praised both the companies’ efficient use of resources and the excellent and innovative way in which they share best practices to promote compliance in export activities.