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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Norwegian submarines need base in Northern Norway

Norwegian submarines are instructed to sail more outside Northern Norway, but lack important support facilities on land, one year after Norway abandoned its Arctic base of Olavsvern.

The Norwegian submarines are diesel-electric and have batteries that need charging every fourth or fifth week, says Head of the Norwegian Submarine Forces Commodore Erik Bøe to NRK. When the Olavsvern base outside Tromsø was closed, the submarines lost the only possibility for charging batteries in Northern Norway.

The submarines now have to go to the Norwegian Navy’s main base at Haakonsvern outside Bergen to get their batteries charged.

The Norwegian Government has declared that Northern Norway is a priority and that increased presence of Norwegian naval vessels on northern latitudes is a goal. In spite of this, Olavsvern – one of two bases in Norway with a mountain hangar and with specialists and equipment to maintain submarines, was abandoned one year ago.

The Norwegian Navy plans to move a floating quay with from Olavsvern to the Ramsund naval base in Nordland County. This could make it possible to charge the submarines’ batteries in Northern Norway, Commodore Bøe says. (Original news)