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Norway's defence chief recommends increasing RNoN submarine and frigate numbers

The RNoN Ula-class submarine, HNoMS Utsira (foreground), and Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate HNoMS Otto Sverdrup operate together during NATO's ‘Dynamic Mongoose' anti-submarine warfare exercise in the North Atlantic in 2020. Under the defence chief's recommendations, Norway could expand both its submarine and surface fleets. (NATO Maritime Command Flickr feed)

Norway's Chief of Defence General Eirik Kristoffersen has called for an increase in the Royal Norwegian Navy's (RNoN's) submarine and frigate force levels within wider recommendations regarding the future structure of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

Gen Kristoffersen has also recommended a rationalisation of the navy's overall surface force structure, including to provide greater mass at sea.

Norway's Ministry of Defence published The Military Advice of the Chief of Defence 2023 on 7 June, following a government request in November 2022 for recommendations on how the armed forces should be structured.

“The armed forces must maintain their ability to inflict losses on an adversary, both on their own and alongside allies,” the defence chief's report said. “To ensure sufficient firepower and mobility, the armed forces must retain a core set of capabilities.” Such capabilities include submarines and frigates, the report added.

The chief's advice was that the RNoN's future submarine and frigate force levels should number six hulls each. This recommendation would bring a return to six boats for the submarine flotilla. The RNoN currently deploys a fleet of six Type 210 Ula-class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs). However, two are scheduled to be retired, with the remaining four planned for one-for-one replacement by the new Germany/Norway-built Type 212CD (Common Design) SSK.

A six-ship class of new frigates will increase numbers compared with the current surface fleet. The RNoN operates four Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates from an original fleet of five. Fourth-in-class HNoMS Helge Ingstad

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