“The government has now decided that it is more appropriate to dispose of KNM Helge Ingstad than to repair it,” Norwegian Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a statement.
According to the Norwegian MoD, the cost of reparation was estimated to be between US$1.4 -1.6 billion, while building a similar vessel would cost around US$1.5 billion.
The disposal of the navy frigate will have significant consequences for Norway’s defense. “We have large sea areas and a long coastline. Good control at sea is absolutely essential in the defense of the country. Therefore, we have been aware all the way that the capacity represented by KNM Helge Ingstad must be re-established,” he said.
The Norwegian Armed Forces have already implemented measures to maintain operational capability in the short term, such as using double crews on the other frigates and on KNM Maud replenishment oiler.
The KNM Helge Ingstad collided with the Malta-registered oil tanker Sola TS on Nov. 8. near Bergen, Norway. In late November, investigators ruled out technical errors in the collision, saying the “preliminary assessment is that the accident was not caused by any single act or event, but can be explained by a series of interacting complex factors and circumstances.”
In late February, Norway started the operation to raise the sunken KNM Helge Ingstad frigate and the vessel arrived at the Haakonsvern naval base in early March.