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Marjata Intelligence Collection Ship

The intelligence service has operated vessels for the monitoring of military activity in the Barents Sea for almost 60 years. First with the contracted capacities, and from 1966 with their own vessels.

Amid NATO's eastward expansion, Norway, as a loyal member of the Western military alliance, is preoccupied with its mission to make sure that it leaves no stone unturned on the bottom of the Norwegian and Barents Seas, in search of imaginary Russian submarines.

Swedish military analyst Lars Gyllenhaal explained to Svenska Dagbladet that such escalating modernization of the Norwegian Navy shows that Oslo sees Russia as a potential enemy. Norway's decision to increase the number of its reconnaissance vehicles is a classic example that security issues between the two countries have reached a low point. Norway has been regularly involved in military drills near Russian borders, including Cold Response, Joint Viking, Dynamic Mongoose and others.

The Norwegian daily Dagsavisen criticized the Norwegian Armed Forces, accusing it of inventing Russophobia and using it to justify its increasing military spending to counter an imaginary Russian threat. The newspaper said that Norway doesn't need any more weapons, because Russia isn't a threat to Norway.

The first Marjata was an electronic reconnaissance in the 1960s mainly due to follow the Soviet (later - Russian) ships in the area of the Barents and Norwegian Seas. The first Marjata began to plough the seas in the year 1951. In 1966, this small whaler, with a displacement of 691 tons, a length of 51 m and a width of 9 m, bearing the name Globe 14, was bought by the firm Melsom & Melsom Larvik. The vessel had extensive alterations. Already on the first model was installed a block of electronic equipment intended for the interception of communications of the Northern Fleet and the naval radar radiation registration. RZK Marjata I possessed good seaworthiness, but reconnaissance could mainly in the summer months from May to September.

In 1976, to replace Marjata I came Marjata II. This special vessel was built at the Mjellem & Karlsen in Bergen Mekaniske Verksted. Displacement of the second electronic spy was 940 tonnes, length-46 m, width 11 m. The special design of the vessel allowed to place a large number of special equipment in accordance with the requirements of the intelligence service. Some radio wave sensors hid under the hood stretching from the wheelhouse aft. This architectural feature allows unmistakably recognition of the vessel. Later the ship was modernized twice. In 1982-1983 biennium. the vessel is lengthened to 14 m, displacement rose to 1430 tons. Respectively increased space for electronic equipment. In 1988, changed the design of the aft superstructure and installed a U-shaped Stern mast with the antenna. Still, and this Scout in circumpolar waters could carry only seasonal service from March to November.

FS Eger
ex-Marjata III
Marjata IV
Entered service 1995
Hull Romania
Equipment Vard Langstein
Length81.5 m 125 meter
Beam40 m 23 meter
Draft 6 m
Displacement, standard 5 300 tons
Displacement, full load 7 560 tons 10,000 ???
Propulsion 2 x diesel engines and 2 x gas turbines
Speed 15 knots
Range ?
Sea endurance ?
Crew45 men Unknown
BaseKirkenes Oslo
Price 1.4 mrd. kroner (about £150 million)

By some accounts, the name "Marjata" has no meaning in Norwegian. It was created for the first Marjata by the head of Norwegian Navy intelligence, Alf Martens Meyer, from the initials of himself (his nickname "Mamen") and his family - wife Annie, three sons Roy, Jan and Alf, as well as daughters-in-law Turid and Anne.

Considered the epic poem of Finland, the Kalevala was compiled by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884) from ancient oral poetry. Marjatan laulu (“Marjatta’s Song”) represents the final passage in the Kalevala, which tells the story of the young virgin Marjatta who becomes pregnant from eating a lingonberry (note the allusion of Maria to Marja - which means “berry” in Finnish). Marjatta’s nature, impregnation, and searching for a place to give birth are in allegory to the Virgin Mary and the Christianisation of Finland. Marjatta’s son is later condemned to death by the epic’s hero Väinamöinen for being born out of wedlock, and the boy in turn chastises Väinamöinen and is crowned King of Karelia. This angers Väinamöinen, who sails away from the land of Kalevala, leaving his songs to the people as his legacy.

Marjatta, the beautiful,
For a long time grew at home
In her high-born father's house,
In her loving mother's chambers.

She replied, thus prophesying:
"I'm no whore fit for hellfire,
I'm the bearer of the Great One,
Deliverer of the Sacred Birth,
Man-child who will rule the rulers,
Even rule old Vainamoinen."

So old Vainamoinen sailed,
Sailed out in his copper vessel,
In his winged copper boat,
To the upper worldly regions,
To the lowest levels of the heavens.

"Kalevala"
Runo 50





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