Norway’s new ice-strengthened coast guard ship on the way

“Senja” is one of the three 35 years old Coast Guard vessel to be replaced. Here from the Varanger fjord near Norway’s maritime border to Russia. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Vanishing sea ice gives Norway more waters to patrol. The hull for the first of three new Coast Guard ships to operate in the Arctic zone is now being towed from the shipyard in Romania.

The hulls are built at Vard Tulcea shipyard in Romania, while it will be the Vard Langsten shipyard in Norway that will complete the three vessels. Deliveries are expected for 2022, 2023, and 2024.

The 136 meters long Jan Mayen class vessels get multiple tasks, including fishery inspections, search- and rescue, territorial guarding and oil-spill preparedness.

With vanishing sea ice east and north of Svalbard archipelago, more commercial shipping, naval activities and fisheries start to sail in waters not earlier accessible. That challenges the Coast Guard, which needs to sail in larger areas of previously partly unmapped waters.

Norway has nearly 2 million square kilometers of waters, or seven times larger than its mainland.

Full load displacement of the new ice-strengthened vessels will be 9,800 tons with a draft of 6,2 meters and a beam of 22 meters. Each vessel can accommodate up to 100 people.

Ships expected to be in operation by 2024

Like Norway’s largest Coast Guard vessel today, the “KV Svalbard”, also the Jan Mayen class will house a hangar and a deck for helicopters.

The three new ships will be named after islands in the Norwegian Arctic: “KV Jan Mayen”, “KV Bjørnøya” and “KV Hopen”.

When all three ships are in operation by 2024, the 35 years old North Cape class today consisting of the vessels “KV Nordkapp”, “KV Senja” and “KV Andenes” will be decommissioned.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada:  44 per cent increase in unique ships entering Canada’s Northwest Passage, says report, Eye on the Arctic

China: Chinese icebreaker sails to North Pole, explores remote Arctic ridge, The Independent Barents Observer

Estonia: Estonian president favorable towards Arctic railway project, cautious about future of Arctic shipping, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Lapland Regional Council in Finland rejects Arctic railway, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Shipping, climate & business opportunities in the North: Q&A with the Arctic Economic Council, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Russian nuclear-powered cargo ship returns to Arctic after troublesome year, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Cruise ship arrives in Skagway, Alaska after passenger flown home with COVID-19, CBC News

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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