Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate

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For other ships of the same name, see HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen.

Fr Nansen frigates Oslo.JPG
Fridtjof Nansen and Helge Ingstad, examples of the class berthed at Oslo, April 2010
Class overview
Builders: Navantia, Ferrol, Spain
Operators:  Royal Norwegian Navy
Preceded by: Oslo-class
In commission: 5
  • HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen
  • HNoMS Roald Amundsen
  • HNoMS Otto Sverdrup
  • HNoMS Helge Ingstad
  • HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl
General characteristics
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: 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
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 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
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Condor CS-3701 ECM:/ESM: suite Terma DL-12T decoy launcher, Loki torpedo countermeasure
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, all five are in active service. The total projected cost for all five ships is NOK 21 billion (about USD 3.33 billion).[1]


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.

Current activities[edit]

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.[2][3]

Fridtjof Nansen‍ '​s engagement in Operation Atalanta was carried out without a permanently stationed helicopter.[4] 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).[5]

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.[6] [7]

List of ships[edit]

The ships are named after explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen, Otto Sverdrup, Helge Ingstad and Thor Heyerdahl.

Fridtjof Nansen class — significant dates
# Name Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned
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[8]
F312 Otto Sverdrup 23 June 2000 25 May 2005 28 April 2006 30 April 2008[9]
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



  1. ^ "Fakta om Nansenklasse fregatter". Norwegian Armed Forces (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2 March 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ Norwegian Defence Force official website: "Norsk fregatt til Somalia" (Norwegian)
  3. ^ "Norwegian frigate to join fight against piracy". The Norway Post. Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "Norsk fregatt setter kurs mot Afrika" (Norwegian)
  5. ^ Norwegian Defence Force official website: "Nansen er klar til dyst" (Norwegian)
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Norwegian Defence Force official website: Første seilas med F311 (Norwegian)
  9. ^ Norwegian Defence Force official website: Tredje fregatt på norske hender (Norwegian)

External links[edit]