Skjold-class corvette

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P965 KNM Gnist.jpg
P965 KNM Gnist
Class overview
Name: Skjold class
Builders: Umoe Mandal, Mandal, Norway
Operators:  Royal Norwegian Navy
Preceded by: Hauk class
In commission: 1999–
Planned: 6
Active: 6
General characteristics
Type: Coastal corvette
Displacement: 274 tonnes full load[1]
  • 47.50 m (155.8 ft)
  • 44.3 m (145 ft) (Length on cushion)
Beam: 13.5 m (44 ft)
Draught: 1.0 m (3.3 ft)
  • In sea state 3: 45 knots (83 km/h)[3]
  • In sea state 5: >25 knots (46 km/h)[3]
  • In calm sea: >60 knots (110 km/h) (classified)
Range: 800 nmi (1,500 km) at 40 knots (74 km/h)[1]
Complement: 15–16
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Thales MRR-3D-NG air/surface radar
  • Saab Ceros 200 FC
  • CS-3701 electronic warfare suite
  • Sagem Vigy 20 electro-optical sensor

Skjold-class corvettes (skjold means "shield" in Norwegian) are a class of six light, superfast, stealth missile corvettes in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy. The boats were formerly classed as MTBs (motor torpedo boats) but, from 2009, the Royal Norwegian Navy has described them as corvettes (korvett) because their seaworthiness is seen as comparable to corvettes, and because they do not carry torpedoes. They were built at the Umoe Mandal yard. With a maximum speed of 60 knots (110 km/h), the Skjold-class corvettes were the fastest combat ships afloat at the time of their introduction.[4]

Development and production[edit]

The Skjold-class vessels began with the development of the Royal Norwegian Navy's "Project SMP 6081", and the first preproduction version was ordered on 30 August 1996. The first ship of its class, P960, was launched on 22 September 1998 and commissioned 17 April 1999. A Norwegian Parliamentary White Paper of 2001 recommended building five additional boats, and this was agreed to in 2002. Six Skjold-class vessels replaced the Royal Norwegian Navy's previous fourteen Hauk-class patrol boats.


The Skjold design is a surface effect craft, constructed of glass fibre/carbon composite materials. Buoyancy is augmented underway by a fan-blown skirted compartment between the two rigid catamaran-type hulls. This provides an alternative solution to the planing hull/vee hull compromise: the air cushion reduces wave slam at high speeds while presenting a low-drag flat planing profile at the waterline.

To ensure stealth capabilities, anechoic coatings of radar absorbent materials (RAM) have been used in the load-bearing structures over large areas of the ship. This strategy leads to significant weight saving compared to the conventional construction technique of applying RAM cladding to the external surfaces. The ship's profile has a faceted appearance with no right angle structures and few orientations of reflective panels. Doors and hatches are flush with the surfaces and the windows are flush without visible coaming (edge of window aperture) and are fitted with radar reflective screens. The vessels are additionally protected by the Rheinmetall MASS sensor / decoy system.

Royal Norwegian Navy corvette Storm.

The final design was changed compared to the prototype Skjold, which itself was rebuilt to the new specifications. Most notably, the vessels use 4 gas turbines combined by Renk COGAG gear units built in a lightweight design. The smaller gas turbines rated 2,000 kW turbines are used for cruising speed. For sprint speed a second, larger gas turbine is combined providing a total of 6,000 kW to the waterjet on each shaft line. Two MTU 123 cruise diesel propulsion units used previously at loiter speeds were removed. The foredeck was strengthened to accommodate the addition of a 76 mm Otobreda Super Rapid gun.

Port side view of Royal Norwegian Navy corvette Skjold.

The hull material was produced by a different method to improve strength and minimize vulnerability to fire. The bridge saw some changes, including an upgrade to six weapon systems control consoles.

In 2020, the Norwegian Government decided to further upgrade the Skjold-class vessels, partially to compensate for the loss of the frigate Helge Ingstad. The upgrades would take place between 2020 and 2024, permitting the Skjold-class to remain up-to-date through to 2030 when replacement vessels were envisaged under terms of the Government's defence plan.[5]

US Navy[edit]

Skjold-class corvettes in harbour at Umoe Mandal shipyard, Norway.
Royal Norwegian Navy corvette Skjold on its American tour, view from astern.

The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard expressed interest in the design and leased the P960 for a period of one year, from 2001 until 2002. During that time it was operated by a 14-man Norwegian crew out of Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek.


Skjold class – significant dates
# Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Notes
P960 Skjold 4 August 1997 22 September 1998 17 April 1999 Name means Shield in Norwegian
P961 Storm October 2005 1 November 2006 9 September 2010 Name means Storm in Norwegian
P962 Skudd March 2006 30 April 2007 28 October 2010 Name means Shot in Norwegian
P963 Steil October 2006 15 January 2008 30 June 2011 Name means Steep in Norwegian
P964 Glimt May 2007 March 2012 Name means Flash in Norwegian
P965 Gnist December 2007 November 2012 Name means Spark in Norwegian

See also[edit]

Similar ships[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Navy Introduces Set-based Design" (PDF). SINTEF. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "The Skjold Class Fast Reaction Craft" (PDF). Umoe Mandal. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 December 2008.
  4. ^ Lundquist, Edward H. "Skjold-class Surface Effect Ship HNoMS Steil". Defense Media Network. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Norwegian state flag
Royal Norwegian Navy patrol boat classes
HNoMS Rap 1873–1920
Rapp 1952–?
Tjeld 1959–1992
Storm 1965–2000
Snøgg 1970–1994
Hauk 1979–2009
Skjold 1999–Present