– 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.
– CIMSEC – This writing discusses the deteriorating strategic environment that will challenge Norwegian security again in the coming decades, and the necessary responses to them. The Norwegian National Security Strategy must address these challenges by refocusing NATO, enhancing bilateral partnerships, and strengthening the Norwegian Armed Forces.
– Independent Barents Observer – Packed with radar- and communication humps on the roof, the 125-meter long new “Marjata” came to Kirkenes Monday morning.
– FoxtrotAlpha – When it was launched it looked like nothing else. Its pizza slice-like design made it one of the most stable ships for its size and it has since spawned a whole new class of crazy looking vessels. Yet this clandestine spy ship is most notorious in Russia, whose military absolutely detests its existence. Meet Norway’s Marjata, one of the most advanced spy ships in the world.
– Defense News – When navies gather this summer in the warm waters near Hawaii for the biannual Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises, among them will be at least one warship more at home in the cold waters of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. The Norwegian frigate Fridtjof Nansen will take part in RIMPAC, aiming to launch a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) at a target ship provided by the US Navy.
Norway’s coastline is huge. The mainland’s rim stretches for more than 2,500km but if you measure it to include all the fjords and nooks and crannies, it comes out at more than 25,000km. Little wonder then that the Scandinavian nation relies heavily on satellites to help it monitor what’s going on around its territory. And it has a fascinating mission, using a nano-sat, launching in the next few days that will enable it to keep even better watch on its waters.
Defense Technology International – Winter Warfare
Cold Response 2010, the multi-national, cold weather military exercise hosted by Norway above the Arctic Circle recently ended. More than 8,500 troops from 14 nations participated in the 16-day exercise in and around northern Norway’s coast and a sliver of neighboring Sweden. Participants included the U.S., Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Poland.
Barents Observer – Norwegian submarines need base in Northern Norway
Norwegian submarines are instructed to sail more outside Northern Norway, but lack important support facilities on land, one year after Norway abandoned its Arctic base of Olavsvern.
Defense Technology International – Norway’s futuristic, high-speed, next-generation surface-effect-ship naval craft are no longer being called “MTBs” or “FPBs” but now are officially designated to be “corvettes.”
Defense Technology International – The Norwegian Chief of Defense is to present his proposal for the country’s next multi-year defense plan on Monday Nov. 5 — and the Skjold-class program to acquire six super-fast (60-kt.) littoral combat craft is expected to be one of the main casualties.