Ula-class submarine

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For other uses, see HNoMS Ula (1943).
Ula class submarine
Ula-class submarines
Class overview
Name: Ula class
Builders: Kongsberg/Nordseewerke
Operators:  Royal Norwegian Navy
Preceded by: Kobben class
Built: 1987–1992
In commission: April 1989[1] – present
Completed: 6
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
  • Surface: 1,040 tons
  • Submerged: 1,150 tons
Length: 59 m (193 ft 7 in)
Beam: 5.40 m (17 ft 9 in)
Draft: 4.60 m (15 ft 1 in)
  • Diesel-electric
  • 2 MTU 16V 396 diesel engines (970kW each)
  • 1 propeller. 1 Siemens Permasyn "silent" electric motor 2,200 kW (3,000 hp).[2]
  • Surface: 11 kn (20 km/h; 13 mph)
  • Submerged: 23 kn (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Range: 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
Test depth: 200 m (656 ft)+[2]
Complement: 21[3]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Notes: Unit cost: 700,000,000 NOK;[1] US$ 111 million
Utstein participating in the exercise Odin-One in August 2003
An Ula-class submarine near Bornholm Island, Baltic Sea in March 2007

The Ula class is a Norwegian submarine type which was assembled in Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The class, consisting of six vessels, is currently the only submarine type in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy.


The ordering of a new Norwegian submersible design stemmed from a 1972 decision to modernize the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) submarine flotilla, which then consisted of the aging Kobben-class submarines. The contract was signed on 30 September 1982 for six boats with Thyssen Nordseewerke, Emden. An option for two more submarines was included in the original deal, however, it was never picked up.[4]

The construction of the vessels was an international project. The combat systems were made in Norway by Kongsberg, the attack sonar is German and the flank sonars French. The hull sections were produced in Norway and assembled in Germany by Thyssen Nordseewerke. In Germany, the design is known as the U-Boot-Klasse 210.

When commissioned, the Ulas were the first Norwegian submarines to have enough bunks for the entire crew and a shower.[1]

The Ula-class submarines are among the most silent and maneuverable submarines in the world. This, in combination with their relatively small size, makes them difficult to detect from surface vessels and ideal for operations in coastal areas. The Ula class is regarded as both the most effective and cost-effective weapons in the RNoN.


In 1989, while undergoing trials, Ula was damaged by a practice torpedo. In March 1991, Uredd was involved in an accident while docking. In February 1992, Uredd suffered a control room fire.[4]

In recent years, several submarines of the Ula class have been deployed in the Mediterranean Sea in support of the NATO Operation Active Endeavour, where their intelligence-gathering ability surpassed expectations. Their operational availability proved to be highest of all ships taking part in the operation. This mission highlighted a need for better temperature regulation for crew comfort in warm waters. As a result, HNoMS Ula was "tropicalized" by the installation of new cooling systems, and two more of the class designated for "tropicalization".

Future submarine capability[edit]

During 2006-2008 the Ula class was slated for modernization. Most notably, new communication equipment (Link 11), new electronic warfare support measures and a periscope upgrade.[5] In May 2008, a contract for new sonars was signed, with the first submarine to have new sonar 21 months after that, and the last 52 months later.[3] Furthermore, Kongsberg was contracted in 2012 to upgrade the submarines' combat systems.[6] The Ula class will probably be kept in service until 2020.[3][7]

In 2014 the MoD will decide on a replacement submarine project, to commence 2020 or thereabouts.[8] In December 2014, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence made the decision to begin the process of replacing the Ulas. As part of that decision, the Ula-class submarines would be kept in service for a further five years, but would not exceed 35 years total service as that would be too costly.[9]


Six submarines were delivered (1989–1992) to the RNoN. All are based at Haakonsvern in Bergen. The boats are all named after places in Norway, with the exception of Uredd ("Unafraid" in English), in honour of the World War II submarine HNoMS Uredd (P-41). The ship prefix for RNoN vessels is KNM (Kongelig Norsk Marine, Royal Norwegian Navy), in English HNoMS (His Norwegian Majesty's Ship).

Vessel list[edit]

Ula class[10]
# Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
S 300 HNoMS Ula 29 January 1987 28 July 1988 27 April 1989 Active
S 301 HNoMS Utsira 15 June 1990 21 November 1991 30 April 1992 Active
S 302 HNoMS Utstein 6 December 1989 25 April 1991 14 November 1991 Active
S 303 HNoMS Utvær 8 December 1988 19 April 1990 8 November 1990 Active
S 304 HNoMS Uthaug 15 June 1989 18 October 1990 7 May 1991 Active
S 305 HNoMS Uredd 23 June 1988 22 September 1989 3 May 1990 Active

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hvem Hva Hvor 1990 (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 1989. ISBN 82-516-1267-5. 
  2. ^ a b "Ula (Type P6071)". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Ula Class Submarines, Norway". naval-technology.com. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Gardiner & Chumbly, 1995. p.292
  5. ^ "Videreutvikling av ULA-klasse u-båter" (in Norwegian). Forsvarsdepartementet. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Kongsberg to Upgrade Norwegian Submarine Combat Systems". DefenseIndustryDaily.com. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Ula-klassen" (in Norwegian). Forsvarsnett. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Request for Information (RFI) regarding submarine capability beyond 2020 has been forwarded to shipyards". Norwegian Ministry of Defence. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Norway Pursues New Procurement for Future Submarine Fleet". DefenseIndustryDaily.com. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 2015. 
  10. ^ Saunders, 2004. p.513


  • Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen; Budzbon, Przemysław, eds. (1995). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7. 
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2004). Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0710626231. 

External links[edit]

(Norwegian) "Oppdaterer ubåtene"
(Norwegian) "Her tar den norske ubåten smuglerskipene"
(Norwegian) "Hestehviskerne"