US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Norway received a new military strategy. To deter Russian forces and defeat them in the event of war, Oslo strengthens its northern garrison and invests in submarines, stealth fighters, and ground-to-air missiles.
However, the Norwegian government does not plan to replace the military frigate, which in 2018 first ran aground and then sank. This decision, in fact, means a 20 percent reduction in the Norwegian surface fleet, capable of operating in the ocean zone.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Sulberg unveiled a new military strategy in mid-April 2020. This 123-page defense plan calls Russia the main threat, and China to a lesser extent. “These are countries where the authorities do not want to recognize the importance of democracy, the rule of law, and the fact that people have undeniable rights,” Sulberg said.
To be better prepared for the war, the Norwegian government plans to add nearly $ 2 billion to an existing eight-year plan. In the past few years, the Oslo government has spent about $ 7 billion on its army, which numbers 23,000.
In accordance with the new strategy, the northern brigade of the Norwegian armed forces received an additional battalion, consisting of several hundred military personnel. In addition, the country’s army will receive approximately 100 new G5 armored personnel carriers from Germany to replace the aging American M-113 armored personnel carriers.
Modern Norwegian anti-aircraft missile systems equipped with one of the versions of the American AIM-120 missiles will receive a new sensor. Oslo will also buy new short- and long-range anti-aircraft missile systems, which will complement the approximately 72 medium-range NASAMS installations already in possession of the Norwegian Ground and Air Force.
The Norwegian Navy will receive four new Type 212 submarines from Germany to replace the old six submarines. The upgrade will extend the use of four Fridtjof Nansen class frigates and six Skjold class corvettes.
However, the Norwegian fleet will not replace the fifth frigate Helge Ingstad, which in 2018 first ran aground and then sank. Rescuers were able to raise this ship to the surface, but the government decided that its restoration does not make economic sense. The loss of the frigate Helge Ingstad without replacement means the loss of 1/5 of Norway’s main surface fleet.
It is not yet clear how Norway is going to compensate for this loss. However, experts at the analytic center Rand Corporation (RAND) believe that Norway should try to do this. “Norway is an important maritime country with a long coastline, it must control maritime communication routes to strengthen allied forces, as well as to fulfill economic functions,” Rand experts said.
According to Rand, NATO officials advised Oslo to at least consider buying unmanned surface ships. “Given the limited resources and the unexpected loss of the frigate in 2018, Allied officials emphasized the need to consider how Norway would best carry out a variety of offshore operations – either using other capabilities or using new (for example, unmanned) solutions “.
Norway’s new strategy does not provide any changes to the existing plan for the acquisition of 52 stealth F-35A fighters to replace the older F-16s, as well as 8 P-3C patrol aircraft. In addition, Norway participates in the NATO program for the creation of 9 A330 air tankers.
However, Rand Corporation experts urged the Norwegian Ministry of Defense to use the F-35 fighters in a new way. “F-35 fighters represent a significant development not only of the Norwegian air force, but also of how situational analysis, low visibility, sensors and data processing will enable future operations in all areas.”
“Allied officials emphasized the need for Norway to continue experimenting with new concepts, including connecting aircraft with land and sea capabilities to maximize the potential of F-35 fighters.”
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