LGF Landgangsfartoey / Landing Vessels
Today, Norway's Navy has no landing vessels [Landgangsfartoey, literally Gangway Vessels]. The main purpose of the landing vessels was the transportation of military equipment and personnel. They came as part of the weapons aid program and the first was taken over from the United States in 1953. In addition to using military-purpose landing vessels, they were also used for civilian tasks, such as relocation of reindeer flocks in northern Norway and transportation of equipment and equipment. In 1968 Norway took two vessels of Kvalsund class and from 1972 to 1973 another five landing vessels of the Reinøysund class.
LGF Tjeldsund class
After World War II there was a large surplus of landing vessels. Many were sold to civilian business. As part of the US Army Assistance, Norway's Navy took over a somewhat smaller but newly built utility landing vessel called LCU 1478 in 1953. It came to Horten in 3 sections, where it was assembled and sent north. This too should really be converted to special purposes, but it did not matter. Until 1963 it was used as a harbor vessel in northern Norway, and in 1971 the name was changed to Tjeldsund. In 1975, the vessel was granted status as a KNM vessel, while it was transferred to Horten. When it was concluded in 1975 that the vessel needed an upgrade of NOK 500,000, it was decided to delete it, but only in 1981 it was sold to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration for a symbolic sum.
LGF Kvalsund class
A small attempt was made with Vargsund and Reinøysund during the brigade exercise in 1963, but it was only with the Kvalsund class that new and custom-made landing vessels were acquired for the Army's amphibious operations. The fact that it took so much time may well be that the Navy at this time was very keen to realize the Fleet Plan. The two LGFs of the Kvalsund class were built by P. Høivolds mek.Verksted in Kristiansand, KNM Kvalsund came to service in June 1968 and KNM Raftsund in March 1969. When KNM Kvalsund was taken over in 1968, it was the only newbuilding that year. Søsterskipet, KNM Raftsund, also built by P Høivolds mek. Workshop in Kristiansand, came the following year. The 52-meter and about 600 tons of heavy vessels could carry 80 man and 8 trucks, or 3-4 tanks over a period of 2-3 days, or 100 extra man for a shorter period.
There was also a requirement that the vessels could easily mount mines and be used as miners, which was also practiced. A good maneuverability, and especially the ability to maneuver on shallow water was important. The vessels therefore had a rather special propulsion plant, the so-called Schottle plant, where the engines stood in boxes on deck, one on each side, while the axle system went vertically down the fence of the propeller driven, not unlike an outboard engine. The propellers could thus be raised to a higher position on shallow water (without too much loss of speed), and at the same time, the solution offered better deck space. The vessels had a special anchor with a winch aft, in order to retract the vessel without the use of propeller. There was accommodation for 80 people in 12 and 4-man rooms with fixed bunks, and they had their own simple village in the deckhouse before. The hull was constructed of steel and covered with aluminum. To save the deck space, the superstructure / bridge was placed on the starboard side. The accidental safety was attempted with double bottom and a number of watertight compartments. The bottom had a longitudinal bucket and sides transverse.
The two ships of the Kvalsund class were operated by SHV for a long time, but they were taken out of service in December 1991. Both were used as a target vessel for Penguin missiles in 1993.
Originally, there had been talk of up to 10 new landing vessels. Why Norway stopped building in Kristiansand after only 2 vessels is not clear. Already in the summer of 1970, Mjellem & Karlsen in Bergen had contracted for the construction of another 5 vessels after almost the same template. The five LGFs of the Reinøysund class were built at Mjellem & Karlsen in Bergen and came into service 1972-1973 (KNM Reinøysund, KNM Sørøysund, KNM Rotsund, KNM Maursund, KNM Borgsund).
The 5 vessels that became the Reinøysund class had the same dimensions, but instead of having the flat landmark as a bow, the new class had a regular rounded bow in 2 parts, which could be opened before lowering the landings themselves. While the first had 2 Oerlicon guns (20mm), they had the new 3 similar Rheinmetall guns.
The Navy in the 1970s and 1980s (and partly after) consisted of 2 LGFs of the Kvalsund class and 5 of the Reinøysund class. These two classes were almost identical, but the Reinøysund class had some improvements, among other things, the Kvalsund class had the flat landslide as a bow, while the Reinøysund class had a rounded bow in two parts in front of it. Kvalsund class was packed with two Oerlikon 20 mm machine guns while Reinøysund class had three Rheinmetall Rh-202 20 mm machine guns (in addition, there were a few attachment points for 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm mitral loops to use the gun and crew of the freight bracket). Both classes could also be used as miners.
LGF Tjeldsund-II class
Three of the five Reinøysund class were rebuilt and modernized in 1995-97. The other two units were converted to dive tenders in 1999. KNM Borgsund was renamed KNM Tjeldsund and the whole class was renamed the Tjeldsund class. But they were all taken out of the Navy's service in December 2003 and sold. KNM «Tjeldsund» (L 4506) is claimed by some to be old KNM "Reinøysund" according to personnel who served on board before reconstruction. It can not be said that this statement is correct, as it is also mentioned that since the Ramsund battle station is located at Tjeldsund and this served as a navy base for the LGF squadron, this may also be of importance to the class name of the vessels. The vessel is a bit different from KNM «Maursund» and KNM «Sørøysund».
The main mission of the landing vessels was the transportation of heavy military equipment and personnel. The three vessels could carry up to seven Leopard 1 tanks - or a fully-fledged infantry body. These could be landed almost anywhere, without the use of docks or other infrastructure. The ships were armed with 20 mm air defense guns and attachment points for 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm mitral loops . But the Reinøysund class got a short career in the Armed Forces. After being in use since the mid 1990's, the ships were taken out of service and sold to the civilian in 2003.
Under the "Implementation Proposition - Complementary Framework for Reversal of the Armed Forces in the period 2002-2005" the government proposed to phase out and dispose of three landing vessels. In the treatment of St.prp. No. 45 (2000-2001), the Storting decided to phase out two landing vessels. The remaining three landing vessels in the structure were to be continued. One vessel should be kept in operation, the other two long-term storage facilities. Proposition. No. 45 (2000-2001) set aside to phase out all of the landing vessels because there was no need for these in new structure. Today's operation of a vessel only allows for smaller-scale training in the transport of personnel and equipment in coastal areas.
Without these vessels, the Armed Forces ability to carry heavier military departments and equipment along the coast will be reduced. However, the establishment of the Coast Guard command will give the Armed Forces some ability to deploy light forces along the coast, strengthening as can be used to safeguard landlord transport in vulnerable areas and civilian resorts if civilian vessels are used for military transport.
Based on a comprehensive assessment, the Government's view is that it is appropriate to prioritize the transition and more critical parts of the Armed Forces than the operation and long-term storage of the three landing vessels. Phasing-out of the vessels will provide savings of NOK 36 million in the period 2002-2005.
The Armed Forces owned the vessels and carried out the transport in cooperation with the Reindeer Management. In addition to mining and transport, one of the secondary crews of the landing vessels is to move reindeer to and from summer pastures on the islands. Three vessels continued to service in the navy together with sister ships in a LGF squadron until 2003 when all three ended their career as navy vessels in the Navy and resold to civilian owners in connection with the closure of the Ramsund battle station.
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