Plans change for frigate salvage

After a day of slowly raising the sunken frigate KNM Helge Ingstad out of the Hjelte Fjord, there’s been a change of plan. Fears of rougher seas and weather are prompting salvage crews to now move the wreckage 30 kilometers south to the other side of the fjord, where waters are expected to be calmer. […]

Military faces largest fine ever

Norway’s defense department has been having a miserable time of late. Now it also faces the biggest punitive fine ever issued against it, following a mine-clearing accident in 2017 that killed a 21-year-old soldier. Hågen Skattum, a young sergeant from Voss, died instantly when 11 kilos of explosives blew up in his hands during a […]

Sunken frigate finally being raised

After months of delays, efforts finally got underway during the night to raise the wreckage of the sunken Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad just off Norway’s West Coast. The complex and expensive operation remains threatened by heavy seas, wind gusts and a critical point when massive cranes lift the once-proud vessel from its current forlorn position. […]

Norway’s defense under attack itself

Norway’s military and defense establishment was under attack on a variety of fronts this week. Not only is NATO stepping up demands as calls increase for much more defense spending and preparedness by Norway, a new report reveals widespread sexual harassment and even rape among Norwegian troops. Defense chief Haakon Bruun-Hanssen was angry and he […]

Navy accused of another near-crash

One of Norway’s major ferry firms, Fjord1, claims that one of its vessels was nearly rammed by one of the Norwegian Navy’s corvettes at high speed last November. Fjord1 has objected to how Navy officials allegedly downplayed the incident afterwards. Fjord1 has sent a report to the Norwegian Maritime Authority (Sjøfartsdirektoratet), claiming that the “near-miss” […]

Russia pretended to attack Vardø radar

Russian fighter jets, flying in attack formation, headed straight for the far northern town of Vardø on a winter’s day last year, simulating an attack on the military surveillance radar station based there. They veered away just before entering Norwegian air space, in a move seen as aimed at intimidation. Lt Gen Morten Haga Lunde, […]

‘China and Russia pose biggest threat’

Norway’s military intelligence unit (E-tjenesten) delivered its annual evaluation of national security on Monday, and pointed to the same largest threat as the state’s police intelligence unit did last week: spying by foreign countries, with China and Russia as the most active. Lt General Morten Haga Lunde, head of the agency formally known as Etterretnings-tjenesten, […]

Frigate bill spurs new Oil Fund debate

Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told Parliament on Tuesday that attempts to raise the sunken frigate KNM Helge Ingstad will start Thursday and already have cost around a half-billion kroner. Within a half-hour of his speech came word of more salvage delays, while debate is swirling over government plans to dip into the country’s Oil Fund […]

All deny blame for helicopter scandal

Not a single Norwegain defense minister over the past 18 years was willing to take responsibility at hearings this week into the country’s expensive and deeply troubled NH90 helicopters. The politicians blamed defense officials, who in turn blamed the helicopters’ Italian producer. In addition, reported newspaper Aftenposten, came news that there’s a still a great […]

Grilling begins over helicopter scandal

No fewer than seven Norwegian defense ministers plus top military brass were facing lots of questions this week, over yet another scandal involving faulty and highly expensive equipment procurement. It’s not just Norway’s frigates that have been troublesome: Helicopters ordered back in 2001 and costing NOK 11 billion won’t be in full service until 2025. […]