Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate
Fridtjof Nansen and Helge Ingstad, examples of the class berthed at Oslo, April 2010
|Builders:||Navantia, Ferrol, Spain|
|Operators:||Royal Norwegian Navy|
|Active:||HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen
HNoMS Roald Amundsen
HNoMS Otto Sverdrup
HNoMS Helge Ingstad
HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl
|Type:||Multi-role Frigate (Guided Missile and ASW)|
|Displacement:||5,290 tons full load|
|Length:||134 m (440 ft)|
|Beam:||16.8 m (55 ft)|
|Draft:||4.6 m (15 ft)|
|Propulsion:||Combined diesel and gas (CODAG)
Two BAZAN BRAVO 12V 4.5 MW diesel engines for cruising
One GE LM2500 21.5 MW gas turbine for high speed running
two shafts driving controllable pitch propellers
Bow Thruster Retractable (Electric)1 MW Brunvoll
Diesel Generators 4 × MTU 396 Serie 12V 1250 KVA
|Speed:||26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)+|
|Range:||4,500 nmi (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)|
|Complement:||120, accommodations for 146|
|Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1F 3-D multifunction radar
Reutech RSR 210N air/sea surveillance radar
Sagem Vigy 20 Electro Optical Director
Kongsberg MSI 2005F ASW combat system
MRS 2000 hull mounted sonar
Captas MK II V1 active/passive towed array sonar
2 × Mark 82 fire-control radar
|Condor CS-3701 ECM:/ESM: suite Terma DL-12T decoy launcher, Loki torpedo countermeasure|
|Armament:||1 or 2 × 8-cell Mk 41 VLS w/ 32 × RIM-162 ESSM
8 × Naval Strike Missile SSMs
4 × torpedo tubes for Sting Ray torpedoes
1 × 76 mm OTO Melara Super Rapid gun
4 × 12.7 mm Browning M2HB HMG Sea Protector
2 × LRAD Long Range Acoustic Device
Prepared for, but not equipped with:
1 × Otobreda 127 mm/54 gun to replace the 76 mm
1 × spare 76mm OTO Melara Super Rapid gun
1 × spare CIWS gun w/ calibre 40 mm or less
1 × spare 8- cell Mk41 VLS launchers
Low cost ASW
ECM: Active Off-board Decoy
|Aircraft carried:||1 × NH90 helicopter|
The Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates are the main surface combatant units of the Royal Norwegian Navy. The ships are named after famous Norwegian explorers, with the lead ship of the class bearing the name of Fridtjof Nansen, the Norwegian scientist, explorer and humanitarian. Five ships were ordered from Spanish shipbuilder Bazan (now Navantia). As of 2011, five ships are in active service. The total projected cost for all five ships is NOK 21 billion (about USD 3.61 billion).
The frigates were originally intended as a replacement for the aging Oslo-class frigates, with a primary focus on antisubmarine warfare (ASW). Eventually, the need for a robust anti-aircraft defense as well as the possibility of incorporating the Naval Strike Missile SSM produced by Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace led to a more multi-role design. The selection of Navantia as prime contractor led to the design being very similar to the Spanish Navy's Alvaro de Bazan-class frigates, including the incorporation of Lockheed Martin's AEGIS combat system.
The new frigates will prove a great improvement over their predecessors, the Oslo-class frigates, not only in size, but also in personnel, capabilities and equipment. Compared to the old Oslo-class vessels, the new ships will be 35 meters longer, nine meters taller and two meters deeper below water. They will also be five meters broader and have three times the water displacement of the old ships. This will go a great way to solving one of the problems with the Oslo class: lack of space and much discomfort for the crew. The frigates will also operate six new NFH NH90 helicopters, with the role as an extended "arm" of the frigates' ASW and ASuW capabilities.
On 26 February 2009, the Norwegian government decided to deploy Fridtjof Nansen to the Gulf of Aden, thereby participating in the ongoing Operation Atalanta, the European Union's counter-piracy campaign in Somalia. Fridtjof Nansen joined the campaign in August 2009.
Fridtjof Nansen's engagement in Operation Atalanta was carried out without a permanently stationed helicopter. Mainly due to delays in delivery of the new NH-90, the ship was equipped with two ultra-fast RHIBs as a replacement for its onboard contingent of maritime special operations forces (Marinejegerkommandoen).
In November 2009 she became involved in a firefight with suspected pirates after being attacked while inspecting a fishing vessel.
In December 2013 HNoMS Helge Ingstad and the Danish Absalon-class support ship HDMS Esbern Snare were sent to the Syrian port of Latakia to escort the Norwegian registered RoRo cargo ship Taiko and the Danish cargo ship Ark Futura, which will transport Syrian chemical weapons to Italy where they will be handed over to a United States Navy ship for destruction in international waters. 
According to several sources, the Norwegian navy has faced multiple problems related to a shortage of spare parts and a lack of trained crew for the frigates. During the fall of 2013, Bergens Tidende and Aftenposten reported that the navy only had one or two operative frigates, while the Norwegian state broadcasting corporation NRK claimed that only a single frigate was available. According to the same sources the navy only has two crews available for the frigates, with a possible third to be used in an emergency. According to a navy spokesperson this is in line with the approved operational concept, and while it isn't enough to keep the frigates sailing continuously, that was never the plan. As a result of this, the navy has been asked to consider hiring foreign naval officers to be used on the frigates from allied countries such as the Netherlands or the UK, although the outcome of this is unknown at the moment.
List of ships
|F310||Fridtjof Nansen||23 June 2000||9 April 2003||3 June 2004||5 April 2006|
|F311||Roald Amundsen||23 June 2000||3 June 2004||25 May 2005||21 May 2007|
|F312||Otto Sverdrup||23 June 2000||25 May 2005||28 April 2006||30 April 2008|
|F313||Helge Ingstad||23 June 2000||28 April 2006||23 November 2007||29 September 2009|
|F314||Thor Heyerdahl||23 June 2000||23 November 2007||11 February 2009||18 January 2011|
Otto Sverdrup at Haakonsvern Naval Base.
- "Fakta om Nansenklasse fregatter". Norwegian Armed Forces (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2 March 2009.[dead link]
- Norwegian Defence Force official website: "Norsk fregatt til Somalia" (Norwegian)
- "Norwegian frigate to join fight against piracy". The Norway Post. Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
- Dagbladet.no: "Norsk fregatt setter kurs mot Afrika" (Norwegian)
- Norwegian Defence Force official website: "Nansen er klar til dyst" (Norwegian)
- Bentzrød, Sveinung Berg. "Bare et eller to av fem skip er fullt operative (in Norwegian)". Bergens Tidende. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Bentzrød, Sveinung Berg. "Forsvarsministeren om fregattene: Sjøforsvaret har selv ansvaret". Aftenposten. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Milliardfregatter brukes som deleskip (in Norwegian)". NTB/NRK. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Colliander, Arne. "Vurderer utenlandske offiserer (in Norwegian)". Bergens Tidende. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Norwegian Defence Force official website: Første seilas med F311 (Norwegian)
- Norwegian Defence Force official website: Tredje fregatt på norske hender (Norwegian)
- Official Royal Norwegian Navy website on the class (English)
- Official Royal Norwegian Navy website on the class (Norwegian)
- Andrew Toppan's Haze Gray and Underway page for the Royal Norwegian Navy
- Lockheedmartin:Spy-1F makes waves during debut, makes the furthest ESSM intercept ever, outstanding sea skimmer detection
- Norway order Sting Ray mod 1 torpedo for frigates
- Sea Protector remote weapon systems ordered (march 2009) for Nansen frigates
- Norway ordering the AN/SSQ-62E DICASS sonobuoy acoustic emissions detection system (Jan 2010)
- http://www.defpro.com/news/details/18513/ - Reutech radar installed aboard Norwegian frigate (Oct 2010)