Norway looks souths in search of arctic-class submarine builder

The Norwegian government will soon ratify a decision on what new submarine type will replace the navy’s aging Ula-class vessels. A decision could be made within one to two months.

Norway plans to acquire up to four new Arctic-class submarines.

The competition to replace the Norwegian navy’s Ula-class boats is now a straight contest between France’s Direction des Constructions Navales Services (DCNS) and Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

Significantly, Nordic industry cooperation has once again failed to affect Norway’s final-stage selection, with Saab-Kockum’s A-6 submarine offering having been cut from the shortlist of final candidates.

The submarine acquisition program represents a pivotal part of Norway’s scaling-up of its air-surveillance, surface fleet and underwater capabilities, particularly in the strategically important High North region.

Aside from the new submarine acquisition program, Norway has struck a deal to purchase five P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing.

Both large-scale capital programs are timely, and take place against a backdrop where Russia continues to invest and expand its submarine, air force and missile installations in the High North.