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MTB Hauk class

The Hauk class were removed from the operational structure in 2008. There were originally 14 vessels in this class: KNM HAUK, KNM EARN, KNM TERN, KNM TEAM, KNM JO, KNM LOM, KNM STEGG, KNM FALK, KNM RAVN, KNM GRIBB, KNM GEIR og KNM ERLE. All were built in the period 1977-1980. At that time, the vessels received a highly advanced fire management system and were packed with 6 Penguin Mk1 rockets, 2 torpedoes and 2 guns (40 mm and 20 mm). The greatest speed was 32 knots.

MTB is an abbreviation for Motor Torpedo Boat used during WW 2. At that time many countries operated MTBs. This type of warships is characterised by its small size and heavy weapon load. In the Norwegian navy today MTB means Missile Torpedo Boat. Internationally the ships is often mentioned as FPBs - Fast Patrol Boats or FACs - Fast Attack Craft. The Norwegian concept of FPB operations has been developed based on experience from WW2 and continuously adapted to the possible threat scenarios. How the FPBs operates is different both from "Blue water" operations and other countries FPB operations. The operation area of the FPBs is mainly the Norwegian coast with a coastline of 2200 km. However, operations outside Norway as a part of multinational force may be possible. The main and dimensioning task for the Norwegian FPBs is anti-invasion.

"Hauk" class patrol boats are a series of Norwegian fast attack craft. "Hauk" means hawk in Norwegian. Designed as a development of the Storm- and Snøgg-class, by Lieutenant-commander (later Captain) Harald Henriksen. The 14 "Hauk" class vessels make up the Coastal Combat flotilla, responsible for protecting the rugged Norwegian coastline. The ships are continuously modernized and are today known as "Super-"Hauks"." The Royal Norwegian Navy deployed four of these warships for anti-terror patrol in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Later, a modernized HAUK class came. In spite of the fact that these vessels also began to draw over the years, they were still in very good shipboard condition. There were only less visible changes that were made. All electronics that were state-of-the-art in the late 70's were replaced by next-generation technology. Through modernization, the technical life of the vessels was prolonged and one could thus maintain the combatability by 2010. The vessels' active and passive self-defense against air attacks were updated and the possibilities for defense against electronic warfare were improved. Weapon equipment was largely the same as before, but the cannon was modernized.

The first modernized HAUK class vessel was delivered in autumn 2000. The following vessels were delivered at 3-4 months apart. The update would give the vessels an expected useful life up to 2010-2015.

The weapon types were then: A 40 mm cannon, primarily for aeration and surface use. The penguin weapon consisted of surface to surface missiles. Torpedoes used against surface targets. Mistral, antelope missiles, could be used against incoming aircraft, surface for air missiles. 2 pcs of 12.7 mm machine gun were also part of the armor.

The "Hauk" class ships had been modernized to meet the arrival of the new and more modern "Skjold" class MTBs. This modernization includes the Senit 8 CMS, Link 11 (receive only), modifications of the Penguin missiles and upgrades to the navigation equipment.

In the last period, the Navy sailed 6 MTBs in the Hauk class in the 22 MTB squadron, which consisted of: KNM JO, KNM STEGG, KNM RAVN, KNM TERN, KNM TJELD and KNM GEIR. In addition, two vessels were in reserve or on maintenance. The remaining vessels were disposed of. The modernized Haukés, also called "superhauk", were highly adaptable and had a large field of use - both nationally and internationally. They had participated in several international operations. The last 8 were phased out when the new Skjold class was introduced.

The FPBs were organised in squadrons as tactical units and the RNoN had three squadrons with 12 FPBs under command. Organising the FPBs in squadrons gives several advantages as more striking power, more flexibility, better weapon efficiency, mutual support and improved endurance. The FPBs had different tasks in peacetime, times of tension and wartime. During peacetime the tasks are mainly to demonstrate naval presence and maintain sovereignty. Further to maintain the recognised surface picture, give support and assistance to civilian authorities, search and rescue (SAR) and not at least exercise and training for tasks in times of tension and wartime.

In times of tension the FPBs were present in the area at an early stage of the crisis due to the high mobility. The main tasks are to maintain the readiness and prepare for war by carrying out surveillance operations. In wartime the main task for the FPBs is anti invasion and sea denial. The surveillance will be intensified and protection of sea lines of communication (SLOC) will be carried out if not occupied with the main task. Attack on enemy replenishment shipping is also a possible task.

The most important feature in the FPB operation concept is the covert operations by utilising the coast to own advantage. The islands, the skerries and the fjords are used to keep the FPBs undetected and able to engage the enemy without being detected. The topography gives the FPB passive air defence, reduces the lookout sector and reduces the probability for the enemy sensors to detect the FPB. Further the topography compensates for own weapon limitation by giving the FPB opportunity to get closer to the target before the attack.

During the picture compilation phase, the FPB has waiting position (WP) at rock, at anchor or small jetties. Besides using own sensors, the FPB utilises all information sources available. Passive sensors are used as much as possible. The attack phase is conducted by optimum use of the FPB advantages as the mobility (short reaction and redeployment time), the ability to surprise, to concentrate fire and use the flexible weapon load to achieve necessary results.

The motorboat boat was first developed and used successfully during the First World War. For the older, steam-driven torpedo boats, it excelled at its superior speed. In the interwar period, interest in these boats had been small, but in the 1930s they became renaissance. Both Germany and the United Kingdom had a significant number of very fast-moving motorboat boats with good ability to maneuver and equipped with modern and efficient weapons during the outbreak of war on September 3, 1939. Norway, on its part, had not renewed any torpedo boats.

Early in 1939, the authorities decided to go for the purchase of modern motorcraft barges. These were ordered in the UK, numbers 1 to 4 from the British Power Boat Company, and number 5 to 8 from Vosper. There was a time of lively discussion at home when it was thought that the boats should either be ordered in the United States or built in Norway. It appeared that there would be a confrontation between Britain and Germany, and the seizure of the two aircraft ships BJØRGVIN and NIDAROS was remembered at the outbreak of World War I. The critics got the right, because in September 1939 our motorboat boats were not finished. The four boats from the British Power Boat Company and two of the Vosper boats were seized by the Royal Navy.

The Norwegian military mission was established in London on May 18, 1940, and it was decided that we should keep two of the Vosper boats. MTB-5 and MTB-6 immediately launched a command in Portsmouth, and the Navy's commanding officer attempted in vain to recover another two of the six seized. Eventually, Norway nevertheless built up a significant naval force in the UK by means of other types of vessels that were loaned out in the context of the Military Agreement between Norway and the United Kingdom.

In 2008, the government of Norway decided to phase out a range of Navy vessels that had been in service since the late 1970s. The disposal of the six Hawk class MTB (KNM "Terne", KNM "ducks", KNM "Geir", KNM "Falk", KNM "Jo" and KNM Tjeldbergodden started after the phasing of the vessels in 2008. Disposal orders were given in January 2009. As the boats had been modernized in 2002 at a cost of a billion krone, Norwegian authorities decided the vessels should be sold rather than scrapped to recoup some of the cost.

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Page last modified: 28-11-2018 18:23:18 ZULU