Norway to buy 4 new submarines from Germany
According to a statement from the ministry, the decision involves a broad and long-term Navy-to-Navy cooperation, which will include a purchase of identical submarines and cooperation on training, exercises, spare parts, maintenance and lifetime management of the new submarines.
The submarines will be based on the 212-design already in service in Germany and Italy, it said.
"Submarines are amongst the Norwegian Armed Forces' most important capabilities and is of great significance for our ability to protect Norway's maritime interests," Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Soreide was quoted as saying.
"Submarine cooperation with Germany will ensure that Norway gets the submarines we require, and at the same time contributing to Smart defense and more efficient defense material cooperation in NATO," she said.
Both France and Germany have been given opportunities to come up with offers on new submarines, and Norway finally chose to cooperate with German supplier thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS), the largest producer of conventional submarines in Western Europe, according to the ministry.
The plan is to sign a common contract for new submarines in 2019, which will enable delivery of new submarines from the mid-2020s to 2030, it said.
According to Norway's Long Term Defense Plan for 2017 to 2020, which was published in June last year, the country plans to take delivery of four new submarines during the latter half of the next decade to replace the current six Ula-class submarines. ■