Norway Seeks Partners for the New Frigates
Norwegian Chief of Defence General Eirik Kristoffersen stated that Norway should replace the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates and expand the fleet size to six ships. The Royal Norwegian Navy currently operates four Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates; initially, this number was five ships. Following one of the frigates’ collisions with a tanker, which caused catastrophic damage, one ship was scrapped, reducing the fleet size to four.
Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates have been commissioned between 2006 and 2011. Thus, the acquisition of new frigates will be a long-term plan.
The overall picture in the authorities’ mind is seemingly joining a country building its frigates. Royal Norwegian Navy’s Chief of Navy Oliver Berdal emphasises that the ship to be built should be identical to the partner nation’s. Berdal further explains that any equipment or structural difference will increase costs and cause delays.
The focus will be on anti-submarine warfare capability, but the future frigates are expected to be multi-role in the bigger picture, being able to conduct anti-surface and anti-air warfare as well. The emphasis on anti-submarine warfare can be linked to the increasing concerns regarding seabed warfare and the threat from Russian submarines following the Russo-Ukrainian War.