Norwegian defense white paper outlines operational restructuring

Norway plans to increase the number of crews for the nation’s Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates from three to five in order to be able to operate four vessels continuously.

Additionally the defense white paper, issued June 17, announces that the country would slash the number of mine countermeasure vessels from six to four while five crews will be retained.

Responding to the deteriorated international security situation, “both globally and in Norway’s immediate region”, the long term plan for the Norwegian Armed Forces for the years 2017-2020 recommends a gradual increase in the defence budget over the course of the coming four years to a 2020-level NOK 7.2 billion (approx. $870 million) above 2016-levels, and that over the coming 20 years would see an accumulated total of NOK 165 billion (approx. $20 billion) in additional funding for the Norwegian Armed Forces.

“We are looking to strengthen short-term readiness, to invest in future capabilities and to create real long term sustainability. We have to ensure that we, along with our allies, have the means to present a credible deterrent against the use of force. This plan enables us to do just that,” Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norwegian Minister of Defence, said.

The government currently plans to take delivery of four new submarines during the latter half of the next decade to replace the current six Ula-class submarines. French DCNS and German TKMS have already been downselected as the potential builders.

Moreover, Norway will seek to replace its Maritime Patrol Aircraft after the ageing P-3C Orion is withdrawn from service.