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Norway to scrap damaged frigate

25 June 2019
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Norway has confirmed that the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM is beyond economic repair after colliding with the tanker Sola TS on 8 November 2018 and will be scrapped. Source: Emil Wenaas Larsen/Forsvaret

Norway's government has confirmed that the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM Helge Ingstad is beyond economic repair and will be scrapped.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed in a press release on 21 June that it had accepted the conclusions of a report submitted by the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (Forsvarsmateriell) in mid-May. This found that repairing the salvaged ship - one of five Fridtjof Nansen-class ships commissioned between April 2006 and January 2011 - would cost more than buying a new-build replacement.

Helge Ingstad was severely damaged on 8 November 2018 after colliding with the tanker Sola TS in waters just outside Ågåtnes oil terminal in Hjeltefjorden. The ship was run aground, but later sank in shallow water.

A salvage operation was undertaken in late February/early March following the recovery of missiles and torpedoes from the submerged frigate. After being lifted onto the submersible barge Boabarge 33, Helge Ingstad arrived at Haakonsvern Naval Base, Bergen, on 3 March.

Following surveys of the ship, the Forsvarsmateriell estimated that repairs to the frigate would cost NOK12-14 billion (USD1.4-1.6 billion) and take more than five years. The cost of purchasing a new similar vessel is estimated at NOK11-13 billion, with a similar time to completion and less risk, leading the government to conclude that it should dispose of Helge Ingstad rather than proceed with repairs.

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