Norway Reluctant to Renounce Its Submarine Fleet
NATO summit, taking place in Chicago, hosted tabling of various burning topics including reduction of national submarine fleets under the ‘smart defense’ concept, the Barents Observer informed.
Namely, the said concept suggests that not all allied nations should have all possible military capacities, but instead organize them based on a priority basis, whereas the remaining ones should be rationalized and shared.
Having that in mind, while speaking at the summit Volker Rühe, the former German Defense Minister proposed unification of submarine fleets of the countries around the North Sea.
The proposition encountered a fierce block from Norway, which is reluctant to renounce its own fleet.
“I don’t think Norway will ever be without its own submarines, because we have such large sea areas and Russia as a neighbor”, Aftenposten cited Norwegian Defense Minister, Espen Barth Eide as saying.
Even though the proposition sounds reasonable, especially when it comes to cost-effectiveness, Norway will need to have its own submarine fleet.
Presently, Norway disposes of six Ula-class submarines, the most silent and maneuverable submarines in the world. Modernization of the current fleet is under way and it is expected to cost NOK 20-25 billion (€2.6-3.2 billion).
The new submarines should be put into operation by 2020.
Naval Today Staff , May 22, 2012