Marine Systems

The history and future of a unique partnership

Strong ties:

The ULA Class submarine S304 in the Kiel Fjord during a parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the German submarine force in May 2007.

Norway’s German designed submarine fleet

Exercising Norwegian sovereignty, participating in international operations, assisting and defending national interests - these are the tasks and responsibilities of the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Royal Norwegian Navy. A world facing complex security challenges requires operational defense capacities that can protect and defend both national sovereignty and security interests. With Europe's longest and most extensive coastline and the largest economic zone and continental shelf, Norway's naval presence and surveillance requirements are unique.

In order to fulfil these challenging tasks, the Royal Norwegian Navy has always relied on its exclusively German designed and built submarine fleet. Our company and its predecessors have been a reliable partner for the procurement and servicing of Royal Norwegian Navy submarines (i.e. the Kobben and ULA Class) for decades. Today, our co-operation on the In-Service Support for ULA Class submarines does not just involve the modernization of components and systems, but includes networking meetings, cooperation on new developments, coordination of suppliers and approaches to gradual submarine system obsolescences.

And our partnership goes back even to the start of the 20th century and the development of the first military submarines. The first Norwegian submarine – which was in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy between 1909 and 1933 – was built at Germaniawerft in Kiel, the city in which today thyssenkrupp Marine Systems is headquartered.

We are currently the sole supplier of non-nuclear submarines to those NATO members who do not possess design capability in their own country. New German submarines are the best choice for securing national interests in the north, Norwegian oil and gas installations, and possible contributions to international operations within the framework of NATO and the European Union.

Strong Norwegian-German ties in both military and defense industry as well as German products' quality and industry's experience, make us the safe delivery option for new submarines for Norway's future-oriented navy.

The way ahead – IDAS

Besides the project for the procurement of new submarines, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems works closely with the Norwegian Navy and Norwegian industry partners such as Kongsberg and NAMMO in the development of IDAS, a unique interactive defense and attack system for submarines. This missile based system is ideally suited to counter asymmetric threats that could not be warded off until now:

  • Active defense against ASW helicopters
  • Covert attack of surface ships and coastal targets

Its fiber-optic guided missile is the only one in the world that can be launched from a submerged boat. Along with its high resolution IR seeker for impact selection on targets, it also offers human control for in-flight retargeting and mission abort.

Initial ejection trials in Northern Norwegian waters took place in summer 2016. The ULA class submarine HNoMS Uredd of the Royal Norwegian Navy served as the firing platform. While the IDAS system was already successfully test-fired from German Navy submarines, this marked the first launch of the IDAS missile system from a Norwegian vessel. The goal of the trials was to test the full functionality of missile ejection out of a weapon tube, including the first initial underwater flight phase.

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thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH © 2020