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Oslo

The three Norwegian frigates that are still operational were all delivered in the sixties. KNM Narvik the second youngest, was delivered in 1966.

The task of the frigates is to secure the lines of communication along the coast.

The Frigate flotilla (S) will be introducing the new FRIDTJOF NANSEN Class frigates in 2005. The OSLO Class frigates will be phased out as the new ones are phased in. The frigates will be based at Haakonsvern Naval Base, Bergen. Their primary missions will be anti-submarine warfare and establishing sea control, either within their assigned area of operations or along the coastal sea lines of communication. In this role, they will also have an important role to play in receiving allied reinforcements, most of whom will arrive by ship. In addition, as the Navy's only ocean-going surface vessels, the frigates will have the task of patrolling waters under Norwegian jurisdiction, upholding Norwegian sovereignty, and contributing to crisis management. Norway also wishes to be able to have one frigate available at all times for NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic, and to take part in international operations with these vessels.

"We are multi-role, but escorting and protecting convoys from submarines is one of our main tasks. Finding a submarine is one of the hardest forms of warfare you can undertake. Our task is to prevent attack, not necessarily to sink the submarine. If we can force it to stay under and not attack then we'll have accomplished our mission. We're absolutely capable of doing that. The other weapon systems we have on board are mostly to do with self-defence"

The frigates have also been through a number of refits.

"Our sonar and radar are fine, and some of our fire control system is world class," Wold goes on, "but what causes us most headaches are the screw and the machinery. We have to get technology from the seventies, eighties and nineties to work together, and that's what can cause trouble."

The engines need a frightening amount of maintenance. All the pipes have been replaced because of serious wear and tear. The boiler is original. The obsolete propulsion system is therefore one of the main arguments for procuring new frigates.

The crew of 127 have a ship 96 metres long to roam. The ratings sleep three deep, twelve square metres divided among twelve men. As such the living quarters are tight.

Oslo, a 1850-ton frigate, was built at Horton, Norway. Launched in 1964 and completed in January 1966, Oslo was modernized with guided missile armament in the 1970s and was further updated in the early 1990s. She was lost through an accidental stranding in January 1994.




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