Frigate will not be repaired

The KNM Helge Ingstad was too badly damaged by its November collision with an oil tanker for repair to be cost effective

KNM Helge Ingstad

Photo: KV Bergen / Forsvaret
Damage to the KNM Helge Ingstad.

Pieter Wijnen
Norway Today

The operational capacity at sea has been weakened by the loss of KNM Helge Ingstad. The Norwegian government now proposes to replace, rather than repair the frigate.

“The government has now decided that it is more appropriate to dispose of KNM Helge Ingstad than to repair it,” Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen says.

A condition report from Defense Materials shows that it will cost NOK 12-14 billion to repair the vessel. By comparison, it will cost NOK 11-13 billion to build a similar vessel.

“The capsizing of KNM Helge Ingstad has significant consequences for the defense of Norway. We have a large ocean area and a long coastline. Adequate control of the sea is absolutely essential to the defense of Norway. Therefore, we have been clear all along that the capacity represented by KNM Helge Ingstad must be re-established. I will ask the Chief of Defense about specialist military advice on how that operational capacity can be replaced,” Bakke-Jensen concludes.

The Norwegian Armed Forces have already implemented measures to maintain the operational capability in the short term, by having double crews on the operating frigates, as well as on KNM Maud.

Defense Materials has assessed the extent of damage, costs of repair, assessment of the time it will take to repair the vessel, and costs of decommissioning. The most important findings of the report are:

• The damage is considered total. It is very extensive and expensive work, but technically possible to repair the vessel.

• A repair will amount to NOK 12-14 billion and take more than five years.

• Construction of a similar vessel is estimated at NOK 11-13 billion, with an implementation time of just over five years.

• Technical, economic, and temporal risk is lower for a replacement compared with repairing the vessel.

• Decommissioning of the vessel is estimated to cost NOK 50-100 million. This is the net cost when the value of metals and other recoverable materials is deducted.

• Some parts may be reused after review and repair, but will not significantly reduce repair costs. The parts are considered most relevant as spares for the remaining frigates.

• The value of the parts is estimated at NOK 100-400 million, subject to necessary inspections and repairs.

This article was originally published on Norway Today.

See also

This article originally appeared in the July 12, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.