Norway to build three large Coast Guard ships for Arctic

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Norwegian Coast Guard ships KV Svalbard (left) and KV Barentshav (right) in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. The KV Svalbard is currently the Coast Guard’s biggest ship, but will be surpassed by the new ships once they are operational. (Bjoertvedt/Wikimedia Commons)
With a length of 136 meters, the three will be the largest Coast Guard vessels sailing the European Arctic.

Norway’s Ministry of Defense on Monday signed contract with VARD Langsten yard for construction of the three ice-classed Coast Guard vessels. The contract has a value of 5,2 billion kroner (€552 million).

The vessels will be specially designed to withstand operations in demanding Arctic areas, but will as well be capable of sailing in worldwide operations in all weather and sea conditions. Keywords are strong ocean-going capacities, long-distance transits, search-and-rescue operations, surveillance and oil-recovery.

More waters means more ships

For Norway, these capabilities are important in a time when the Coast Guard gets more waters to patrol as the sea ice in the Arctic melts away in the northern Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean north of Svalbard.

Deliveries are set to beginning of 2022, 2023 and 2024 and the three vessels are to replace the current Nordkapp-class Coast Guard vessels, “KV Nordkapp”, “KV Senja” and “KV Andenes”.

In length, only the new Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker “John G. Diefenbaker” (to be delivered in 2021) will be larger among all Arctic coastal states’ Coast Guard vessels.

VARD Langsten yard is the same yard that built Norway’s current largest Coast Guard vessel “KV Svalbard”.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Ottawa makes deal to buy three icebreakers for Canadian Coast Guard, CBC News

China: China opens bids for its first nuclear-powered icebreaker, The Independent Barents Observer

Finland: US icebreaker investment could bring 2 billions euro windfall to Finland, Yle News

Iceland: Arctic Council forum launches web portal explaining Polar Code, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: A cruise ship bound for the North Pole, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Densely-packed ice makes navigation difficult in Russian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: U.S. Coast Guard turns to Canada for help with designing its new heavy icebreaker, Radio Canada International

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Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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