“This is an important project to ensure Norway’s interests in the North. Control with the development there is strategically important for Norway,” says Head of the Norwegian Military Intelligence Lieutenant General Kjell Grandhagen.
The photo shows the hull of the vessel being towed through the Bosporus on her way from the shipyard in Romania towards Vard Lansten shipyard in Norway where the ship arrived on Sunday. Here, the vessel will be equipped with loads of high-tech sensors and other stuff aimed for surveillance in Arctic waters.
Norwegian Intelligence Service says the ship will enter service in 2016. Like the three former Norwegian military intelligence vessels sailing the Barents Sea over the last 60 years, the new one will also be named “Marjata”.
“It is gratifying that the hull is finally here. The vessel will be an important part in the continuation of the intelligence service’s missions in the High North and constitutes a modern capacity to help ensure the service’s information needs over the coming 30 years, says Kjell Grandhagen in a press-release. A video and more photos of the new intelligence vessel are posted on the portal of the Norwegian Military Intelligence Service.
The current “Marjata” has been sailing since 1995 and will be retired when the new vessel enters service in two years’ time.
The new “Marjata” is substantially larger than the former; 126 meter long with a 23,5 meter beam. The vessel will potentially have a larger area of operation than the old one. Nothing is said about where the new “Marjata” will have her homeport. The current vessel makes port call to Kirkenes near Norway’s border to Russia.