Military Technology 7/2019

Moelv, Nammo e Ritek AS Levanger in production and overhaul activities. The light infantry battalion operates some 200 modernised M-113s (which would serve also to provide mobility for reserve units in case of need) and some of Norway’s 100 BV-206s still in service. Currently, deliveries of the first of 24 Hanwha Land Systems 155mm K9 THUNDER self-propelled howitzers to the artillery battalion (Artilleribataljonen) are under way, along with K10 ammunition transport vehicles. The HKMG battalion ensures the royal family’s security and is responsi- ble for the defence of Oslo. It works like a light infantry unit and also spe- cialises in urban warfare. The battalion is equipped with 74 Patria XA-family APCs, 24 KMW DINGO 2 MRAPs, and part of the 170 Iveco LMVs. Lastly, the Garnisonen i Sør-Varanger battalion is tasked with patrolling the 200km border with Russia and training recruits for the same mission, as well as garrisoning the Storskog crossing point, the only official pas- sage between Norway and Russia. The battalion’s recruits, after the con- scription period, will become part of Heimevernet’s HV-17 district, respon- sible for the defence of Finnmark and which represents the majority of the rapid reaction force. They use BV-206s, M-113s, and LMVs along with special vehicles such as 270 Lynx-produced snowmobiles (e.g. YETI PRO V800, 5900, 6900, COMMANDER, and OUTLANDER). The Norwegian Navy is 4,200 strong and includes the Naval Force, Coast Guard, and Naval Schools. The Naval Force consists of six flo- tillas, each tasked with specific missions: Fregattvåpenet (frigates) with four NANSEN-class frigates, MTB-våpenet (fast attack) with six SKJOLD- class FACs, Ubåtvåpenet (submarines) with six ULA-class submarines, Minevåpenet (mine warfare) with four OKSØY-class mineswepers and two ALTA-class minehunters, Marinens jegervåpen (special operations) with 20 SB-90N, and Logistikkvåpenet (logistic support) with MAUD, REINØYSUND and ROTSUND logistic support ships, and MARJATA11 ELINT ship (officially operated by Etterretningstjenesten, the secret ser- vice). The largest modernisation programme is the replacement of ULA- class submarines with four U-212NG-class submarines, procured through a joint programme with Germany. The Coast Guard is organized in two flotillas, in the north and south of the country, consisting of 20 OPVs (NORFKAP-class and BARENTSHAV- class), icebreakers (SVALBARD), and special boats for cold areas (ALESUND, HARSTAD, NORNEN-class). The Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret) is 3,500 strong, organised in two C2 centres (Mågerø and Sørreisa), seven wings (132°, 133°, 134°,135°, 137°, 138°, and 139°) and two NASAM II batteries. Air defence duties are assigned to three squadrons (331°, 332°, 338°) of F-16A MLU based in Bodø and Ørland. Maritime patrol is assigned to 333° squadron (six P-3C/N ORION) and transport to 335° squadron (four C-130J-30). Luftforsvaret also groups operates all the rotary aircraft in service: 14 NH-90 NFH, 18 Bell 412 and 16 AW-101. Up to 2023, the budget share of the air force will run at 45% because of the F-35 programme, the most expensive in Norway’s history. The programme has been criticised, but brings consid- erable advantages to Norwegian defence industry sector. For example, Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) has been chosen as the standard anti-ship missile for the F-35. In general, public opinion deems the Norwegian armed forces under- developed, and would feel safer if the nation could expand its military footprint in northern Europe. The government has sought indirectly pro- viding greater security through renewed commitment to NATO, including industrial policies that prefer NATO members to those in NORDEFCO’s framework. 44 · MT 7-8/2019 Spotlight on NORDEFCO Finnish F/A-18 HORNET refuelling during a recent exercise. (Photo: Hanne Hernes/Forsvaret) Winter training in Norway. A Norwegian CV-9030 followed by a legacy M-113 defy the snow. (Photo: Frederik Ringnes/Forsvaret)