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Vard transfers second Jan Mayen-class OPV to Norway

The Norwegian Coast Guard's second Jan Mayen-class OPV, Bjørnøya, arrives at Vard's Langsten shipyard in Tomrefjord, Norway, on 10 March. (VARD)

The second Jan Mayan-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) on order for the Norwegian Coast Guard has arrived in Norway for outfitting, Vard Shipbuilding announced on 11 March.

Bjørnøya is the second of three Jan Mayan-class vessels being built by Vard under a NOK5.2 billion (USD607 million) contract awarded in June 2018. The acquisition is one of the largest defence acquisitions ever made in the maritime sector in Norway.

As per the terms of the contract, the ship hulls are being built at Vard's Tulcea shipyard in Romania before being transferred to Vard's Langsten yard in Tomrefjord, Norway, for outfitting and sea trials ahead of handover to the Norwegian Coast Guard.

Under current planning Bjørnøya will be handed over to the Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) in 2023, Vard said. Meanwhile, first-of-class Jan Mayen was towed to Norway for outfitting in August 2021 and is on track to be delivered to the NDMA in the third quarter of 2022. The final ship, Hopen, is planned to be delivered in 2024.

The Jan Mayan-class vessels are being procured under Norway's Project 6615 – Nye Ytre Kystvaktfartøy (New Outer Coast Guard Vessel) – programme to replace the coastguard's three ageing Nordkapp-class OPVs, which have been in service since the early 1980s and are due for retirement.

The ships will operate across all of Norway's maritime areas of responsibility, including in the Arctic, with missions to include search-and-rescue, fire fighting, salvage, emergency towing, anti-pollution, and fishery patrols.

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