General Kristoffersen’s advice includes a scalable renewal of both the Navy’s and the Coast Guard’s vessel structure, with a particular focus on the maritime surface structure. The increase in submarines is expected to enhance Norway’s presence, improve the ability to handle multiple assignments concurrently, and significantly boost operational availability.
“Submarines are difficult to detect in submerged state, and in the short and medium term, no technology has been identified that will challenge this. This strengthening will increase the Armed Forces’ ability to deny an adversary freedom of operation and increase the ability to combat an adversary’s maritime forces,” writes general Erik Kristoffersen, the Chief of Norwegian Defence.
The Chief of Defence underscores that the economic feasibility allows for the expansion of the submarine fleet, prioritizing it over increasing the number of frigates. The addition of two more submarines would double the operational availability of Norway’s naval capabilities.
The Norwegian Ministry of Defence previously placed an order for four Type 212 CD submarines from thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) in March 2021. Construction is slated to commence in 2023, with the first submarine anticipated to be delivered to the Royal Norwegian Navy in 2028. The entire project is expected to reach completion by 2033.
Furthermore, the Chief of Norwegian Defence highlights the importance of restoring Norway’s ability to deploy sea mines from various platforms, including surface vessels, aircraft, and submarines. Sea mines are deemed cost-effective tools that significantly contribute to maritime domain protection. The acquisition of mines and the establishment of a center of expertise are among the recommended steps, with existing aircraft and vessels capable of deploying these mines, minimizing the need for significant investments.