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Danish ocean patrol vessel procurement programme expected this year

The Thetis-class patrol vessels completed their mid-life upgrade in 2017, extending the units' in-service date for another 10–15 years. (Maritime Photographic)

The Royal Danish Navy (Søværnet: SVN) is expected to announce the formal replacement of its ocean patrol vessels this year, a Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) official said at the 2023 Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology conference held in London on 1 and 2 February.

Speaking to Janes, Commodore Claus Andersen, deputy national armaments director, Planning and Coordination Division at DALO, said he anticipates that the Thetis‐class frigate replacement programme will be formally announced this year as part of the wider Defence Agreement.

The Defence Agreement is projected to be agreed upon in early summer, perhaps in June, which typically details a list of capabilities that will be acquired during the duration of the agreement. The replacement project will likely be part of this, Cdre Andersen said.

He anticipates that the agreement will detail a requirement for four Arctic frigates to replace the Thetis class. The replacement vessels will also have additional capabilities for “military operations and submarine warfare”, suited for the GIUK (Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom) Gap, he said.

The programme's defining phase is likely to start in 2024, with the ships entering service in the early 2030s, he added.

Four Thetis‐class frigates (considered by some to be ocean patrol vessels) entered service with the SVN in 1991 and 1992. The vessels are optimised for long deployments in the Arctic waters off Greenland and the Faroe Islands, providing sovereignty patrol, fishery protection, surveillance, air‐sea rescue, anti‐pollution, and ice reconnaissance missions.

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