Navy Lookout – In 2021 the Accident Investigation Board – Norway (AIBN) published a detailed report covering the loss of HNoMS Helge Ingstad after she collided with an oil tanker in November 2018. There is much to be learned from this event that is applicable to the RN and global navies. In this in-depth, although far from exhaustive, article we describe the incident and look at some of the key lessons.
Barents Observer – Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Friday said the recent navy visit to Svalbard is the latest step by Oslo in a series of successive actions to include this territory in the sphere of national military development.
News in English – A unique underwater observatory in strategic waters off the coast of Northern Norway has been knocked out of service, after more than 4.3 kilometers of its specially designed offshore fiberoptic and electric cables were cut and then disappeared. Sabotage suspicions are rising, and the damage has been reported to both the military and state police intelligence agency PST.
1945 – James Holmes writes that stationing U.S. forces in a country under threat puts them in harm’s way, ensuring that the United States would fight if that country came under assault. The U.S. Army kept a “tripwire” brigade in West Berlin throughout the Cold War to put the Soviet leadership on notice that America would take up arms to defend that Western enclave behind the iron curtain and, by extension, would uphold its treaty commitments across Europe and the globe. Joint U.S.-Norwegian bases will perform a similar function vis-à-vis Russia today.
Business Insider – A recent deal between the US and Norway will expand the two countries’ defense cooperation, allowing the US to build facilities on Norwegian bases to support operations in a region where Russia’s military is increasingly active.
Barents Observer – Norway’ Minister of Defense, Frank Bakke-Jensen, on Friday signed an agreement with the United States allowing for, among other things, construction of hangar and fuel supply infrastructure for U.S. Navy P-8A maritime patrol aircraft at Evenes airport and the nearby Ramsund naval station.
Barents Observer – Four German-built submarines of the U212CD class will be delivered to the Norwegian Navy from 2029 at a cost of more than €1 billion per vessel.
Navy Recognition – Norway has agreed to order four submarines from Germany’s Thyssenkrupp. Norway and Germany, both NATO members, are jointly procuring identical submarines from Thyssenkrupp’s shipbuilding division.
(Thanks to Alain)
War Zone – Norway sold this once-secret sub base nearly a decade ago, but it has taken on new relevance as Russia steps up its activity in the region.
– RAND – Allied perspectives on strategic options for Norway.
– Barents Observer – There are forces that want to weaken unity in Norway, as well as between western countries, Prime Minister Erna Solberg underlined as she on Friday presented her government’s new long-term plan for the Armed Forces.
– Naval News – From January 1st, 2020, the Royal Norwegian Air Force set up a new Maritime helicopter wing: The 139 Air Wing of Bardufoss Air Station. The new unit will mainly focus on maritime missions, in which the Norwegian NH90 helicopters play a major role.
– Defense News – The bridge watch team on the stricken Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad was distracted, inadequately trained and failed to take adequate precautions while transiting close to land, according to an accident report released Friday by the Norwegian government.
– NPR – There are precisely 525 stairs from the icy waters of the Barents Sea to the top of the observation post in the far northeast corner of Norway, along the Russian border. It’s a steep climb, but once you reach the apex, there’s a good chance one of the young Norwegian conscripts manning the outpost will have a platter of waffles — topped with strawberry jam and sour cream, a Norwegian favorite — waiting.
– Defense News – Norway’s accident investigation board is raising questions about the watertight integrity of the Nansen-class frigates and is pointing its finger at shipbuilder Navantia in the wake of the collision and subsequent sinking of the frigate Helge Ingstad in early November.
– Defense News – The Royal Norwegian Navy was dealt a devastating blow in the early morning hours of November 10 when one of its five capital Nansen-class frigates collided with a fully loaded oil tanker more than 10 times its size while returning NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise.
– War Zone – Reports state that the ship was sinking and grounding it was the only chance the skipper had at saving it.
– War on the Rocks – A look at the Norwegian Naval Special Operations Commando (Marinejegerkommandoen, or MJK).
– Reuters – On the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, the sun does not rise for four months of the year and it is so cold that no trees grow there. But Norway, which has sovereignty over Svalbard, fears tensions between Russia and the West could spill over to this frozen and barren outpost because of growing interest in the Arctic’s valuable oil, gas and shipping routes.
– War on the Rocks – This October, 40,000 U.S. and allied troops will converge on the sea and in the air over Norway for a NATO exercise named Trident Juncture. This will be NATO’s largest exercise since 2002 and will involve 30 allied and partner countries. One-hundred thirty aircraft and 70 ships will churn the waters of the Norwegian Sea and darken the skies above it, while thousands of allied land troops will operate in Norway in what is called a NATO “Article 5” exercise. Article 5 is that part of the North Atlantic Treaty in which members pledge to come to the aid of an ally under attack. For the purposes of the Trident Juncture exercise, that ally is Norway.
– Barents Observer – Several naval vessels are sailing in the Ofoten area and will make port calls to Jarvik.
– Defense News – During the three weeks the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel Harstad sailed around Svalbard in late May, it was the only military ship available to respond to a crisis in the vast waters surrounding the island. But that reality is the norm and likely will be for a long time, even as demands on the service grow by leaps and bounds.
– Defense News – Norway’s procurement of the F-35 joint strike fighter, P-8 anti-submarine aircraft and new high-end submarines is on track, and the government is working to induct both new systems.
– UPI – Naval vessels from Germany and Norway have arrived at the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia to participate in coalition training exercises.
– Breaking Defense – The UK, Norway and the US have signed an agreement to work together on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) in the North Atlantic which will leverage the joint acquisition of the P-8 aircraft, another example of the US and its allies an evolving defense capability in which allies are clearly key partners. The P-8s is part of a cluster of software upgradeable airplanes which are defining the way ahead for combat airpower: the Australian Wedgetail, the global F-35, and the Advanced Hawkeye, all have the same dynamic modernization potential to which will be involved in all combat challenges of maritime operations.