Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate
Fridtjof Nansen and Helge Ingstad, examples of the class berthed at Oslo, April 2010
|Name:||Fridtjof Nansen class|
|Builders:||Navantia, Ferrol, Spain|
|Operators:||Royal Norwegian Navy|
|Preceded by:||Oslo class|
|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)|
|Speed:||27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)+|
|Range:||4.500 nmi (8.334 km; 5.179 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)|
|Complement:||120, accommodations for 146|
|Aircraft carried:||1 × NH90 helicopter|
The Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates are a class of frigates that 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, all five are in active service. The total projected cost for all five ships is NOK 21 billion (about USD 2.6 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 Álvaro de Bazán-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 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. 
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). Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
- 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)
- 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)