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Type 210 Ula (Type P 6071)

The Ula is a Norwegian diesel electric submarine. The boats were constructed during 1989-1992 by Thyssen Nordseewerke in Emden Germany. In the Norwegian Navy six boats are currently operational: KNM ULA S300, KNM UTSIRA S301, KNM UTSTEIN S302, KNM UTVÆR S 303, KNM UTHAUG S304, KNM UREDD S305. The Ula-class in the Norwegian Navy (Hunter Killer's) bear the names of islands in the near proximity of the base. They are quite outstanding in terms of operational capabilities. The cost was 2.4 billion NOK each when purchased and built in the beginning of the 1990's. ULA Class submarine, including on board equipment, weapons, investment in bases etc, had a calculated price per submarine of approximately 1,197 million.

During World War II KNM Ula was one of three Norwegian submarine, which comprised the Norwegian Section in the 9th Submarine Flotilla. Overall this fleet consisted of Norwegian, British, Dutch, Polish and French submarines. Construction of the Ula was started in autumn 1941 at an English shipyard, where also some Norwegians were hired and participated in the work. The boat was christened by King Haakon VII 28 mars 1943. March 1943. During the ship manager Reidar M. Sars' command completed "Ula" a number of expeditions in the Atlantic, Channel, North Sea and Skagerrak. The submarine did strongly noted, because it was the Allied submarine that sunk the most enemy ships. It was also the only one who succeeded to sink an enemy submarine in submerged condition, and was also the one who survived the most depth charges in an attack - 114 pcs. The submarine was in service until August 1964, when it was discarded.

Development of new submarine concepts are time-consuming processes. Although kobben-class submarine was planned with a lifetime of 20 years, started therefore planning a new generation of conventional submarines in the early 1970s. Again, Norway entered into a partnership with German expertise on the development of a new submarine type. New technology, it was important that the submarines got a weapon control system that enabled them to engage multiple targets simultaneously. In this area, both the Defence Research and Kongsberg Gruppen participated. Developments was in progress for several years, and among other things it was considered whether they should equip them with launch tubes for Norway's new Penguin anti-ship missiles. This was abandoned, but the requirement that the submarine should have eight torpedo tubes and six additional torpedoes meant that the size increased.

The most demanding staff requirement, which was also maintained, was nevertheless the requirement that the pressure hull should be divided into two independent, pressure-proof sections, with unnslippingsmulighet from both. The problem was of course that costs increased. Ula project was formally approved only in 1980, and in 1982 the contract signed with Thyssen Nordseewerke regarding the construction of 6 submarines with an option for 2 submarine class and the first of the boats were named after war submarine Ula, and type designation was 210.

For its own use Germans developed the Type 211. At a general level were the parties agree that Norway should develop a common weapon control system, while the Germans were to develop common torpedo, sonar and periscope. The contract also involved this time significant German surrender in Norway, and a number of Norwegian companies were directly involved as subcontractors.

Construction of KNM Ula was begun in January 1987. The first crew followed construction closely, and after launching the summer of 1988 followed nearly a year of trying before the takeover in April 1989. For Seal-boats had chosen to not reuse Fearless name, because one the time did not know its fate. But now that it was recovered, it was decided to re-use this name for submarine number two, in May 1990.

Because of the devaluation of the Norwegian krone main contract, which was concluded in the D-mark, the project was far more expensive than anticipated. A while discussing politicians whether they should cancel the sixth submarine to save money. But the shipyard kept the agreed schedule, and the KNM Utsira was taken over in April 1992 as the sixth and last in the series.

The transition to Ula Class implied a major transition for the crew. For the first time there was a separate berth for each man, and it was possible to shower. The technological transition was even greater, and in consideration of the complexity wanted one that the crew of 21 men to be just officers and enlisted personnel (which is not implemented in practice). For more effectively conduct training on land, there was also obtained a control console simulator and a ship technical and tactical coach. Problems were obvious, especially with weapons control MSI 90U, but after various improvements towards 1997, this was resolved.

With the end of the Cold War was also operating pattern of submarines changed. It was no longer equal focus on the Barents Sea and northern Norway, but one saw the possibility of using submarines in international operations.

Since 2002, Ula-class regularly participated in international operations in the Mediterranean. As a consequence of this, three of the boats so far upgraded to operate in temperate waters. Partly to implement new technology and partly because of problems with spare parts are also underway with other minor upgrades of Ulaklassen, which we now expect to be able to be operative for 2020-2025. Beyond this participating Ula Class also very active in international cooperation on rescue systems for escape from submarines, where Norway's expertise is highly valued.

The Ula class began a series of upgrades in 2006. Upgrades have been performed on the periscope as part of modernisation work to keep them in service until 2020. These are also currently being carried out on the hull, propulsion, and integrated ships systems. Installation of new electronic warfare support measures and communication equipment (TADIL-A/Link 11) is part of the programme too, with ongoing work on the weapons control, sonar, and decision support systems, among other things.TADIL-A/Link 11, a NATO-employed secure half-duplex radio link, can be used on High Frequency (HF) or Ultra High Frequency (UHF). It is mainly for exchanging digital information such as radar tracking among shipboard, airborne, or land-based tactical data systems.

On 09 May 2008 Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace signed a contract with the Armed Forces` Logistics Organisation for the delivery of a new Combat System Integration Infrastructure, a new passive sonar system and the upgrading of a tactical simulator for Norway`s six Ula Class submarines. With a scope of MNOK 179, the contract was won in an open international competition. Delivery was scheduled for completion within 52 months.

For more than 30 years, KONGSBERG has delivered command and weapon control systems for Norwegian, German and Italian submarines, and this contract marks an important further development of products within submarine systems. The contract is a response to a campaign conducted over several years to strengthen the company`s position as a supplier of complete, integrated sonar and command and weapons control systems for submarines. The world market includes a rather significant number of submarines that are or will soon be in need of life extension programmes. In this context, this is an important reference contract.

KONGSBERG is a multinational, knowledge-based group with more than 4400 employees in more than 25 countries. The Group delivers high-technology systems to discerning customers engaged in offshore oil and gas production, the merchant marine, and the defence and aerospace industries. KONGSBERG is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (Ticker: KOG) and had a turnover of NOK 8.3 billion in 2007. The subsidiary Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is Norway`s premier supplier of defence and aerospace-related systems. The company had operating revenues of NOK 3.3 billion and more than 1600 employees in 2007.

According to Norwegian Royal Navy information, the Ula-class submarines “makes it possible to operate in the entire maritime domain, including under water. ... The vessels can operate undisclosed over longer periods of time. They are hard to detect and has the ability tie up significant hostile resources.”

The current Ula Class submarines will be 35 years old when they are replaced in the 2020s. They are originally built for 30 years of service. However, the Ula-class must be kept operational for additionally five years in order to maintain a continuous submarine capability until a replacement is operational. Studies show that it would have been very costly and impractical to extend the service life beyond this.

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Page last modified: 06-04-2016 19:49:58 ZULU