Naming ceremony of KV Bjørnøya at Vard Langsten

The Norwegian Minister of Fishery and Oceans, Cecilie Myrseth, named the Norwegian Coast Guard’s new vessel KV Bjørnøya at Vard Langsten in Tomrefjord, Norway, 1 November 2023.

01. November 2023

Podiet mindre

Monitoring Norwegian waters

- Norway is a small country in the world, but a great power at sea. It is crucial that we have good control and preparedness in our own sea areas. The Coast Guard does an important job of monitoring Norwegian waters. They have a close and good cooperation with the fisheries authorities and help ensure that we have the best possible control of the resources extracted from the sea. The new Coast Guard vessel will strengthen Norway's ability to maintain overview, preparedness and control in our waters – this is an important initiative for the government, says Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Cecilie Myrseth.

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The significance of the Coast Guard

Last year, the Norwegian Coast Guard carried out over three thousand missions, both military and civilian. Among other things, close to 700 assignments in support of the police, and just as many in support of the Norwegian Coastal Administration. The Jan Mayen class has very good seagoing properties, and can survive at sea for eight weeks without resupplying fuel and provisions.

The three new Coast Guard vessels KV Jan Mayen, KV Bjørnøya and KV Hope is built by VARD, and will replace the vessels in the Nordkapp class, built in the 1980s. The acquisition of the Coast Guard vessels is one of the largest defense procurements made in the maritime sector in Norway ever with a cost framework of NOK 7.2 billion. The Norwegian Defence Material Agency is responsible for the procurement.

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-Our mission in the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency is to equip the Armed Forces with relevant and up-to-date materiel, and together we will support the development and operation of the Coast Guard vessel Bjørnøya throughout its operational service for Norway. It is at the core of our mission to conduct technically advanced procurement in close cooperation with industry. We have also learned this time that we are dealing with a very skilled supplier in Vard Langsten, and we in the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency look forward to the continuation, says Investment Director in Defence Materiel, Major General Øyvind Kvalvik.

Environmentally oriented solutions

The choice of technology on the new Coast Guard vessels emphasizes environmentally oriented solutions. The vessels are built in accordance with strict environmental and emission requirements, including future emission requirements that have been announced to be introduced.

- Again, another extremely complex and sophisticated Coast Guard Vessel is delivered from VARD Langsten. I’m very proud of what our team in VARD together with a highly skilled team in NDMA has achieved together. These projects are tough to manage and coordinate. With a huge number of special parts and systems onboard, supposed to act flawlessly and in harmony, this is not an easy task to take on. The project team and our colleagues in production together with all our good suppliers has given their utmost to make this vessel ready in time for handover to the NDMA and the Norwegian Coast Guard. Thanks to all involved, says Ronny Opsjøn Langset, Yard Director & Head on Navy in VARD.

This is a great day for the ocean nation Norway. KV Bjørnøya will, together with its sister ships, strengthen the ability to exercise authority and assert sovereignty in Norwegian waters.

– Rear Admiral Oliver Berdal

VARD's competence

The global shipbuilder Vard Group is a major national player in the construction of specialized vessels with three shipyards located in Norway. They have previously built KV Svalbard and the Intelligence Service's new ship Marjata.

- With this second delivery of three new Coast Guard Vessels, VARD is showing its capability and strength in building Navy vessels. The competence we have achieved building the vessels in the Jan Mayen program, shows that the Norwegian industry is capable of providing the best solutions for the Navy when led by a technology integrator as Vard is. The Norwegian shipbuilding industry should be at the core in the strategies for securing top class vessels and operability of the Navy fleet, says Alberto Maestrini, CEO in VARD.

The number of Norwegian suppliers to the KV Jan Mayen class is large and contributes to further developing national competence and capacity within the maritime industry. Through good cooperation with Vard Langsten, the project has used Norwegian expertise and experience to combine the best of Norwegian and international parties and suppliers to build the vessel.

About the Jan Mayen class

The new tailor-made vessels are developed for worldwide operations in all weather and sea conditions, both inshore and offshore. Specially designed to withstand operations in demanding arctic areas, the new coast guard vessels have ice-strengthened hull and ice-class notation and built according to the latest requirements for such specialized vessels.

The vessels will operate with support from their own helicopter. Requirements are set for the vessels' ocean-going characteristics, strength, seagoing characteristics, helicopter capacity, ice handling characteristics, sensor, and communication capacity.

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The main contract to build three helicopter-carrying and ice-reinforced vessels was signed between NDMA and VARD on 25 June 2018. The vessels will solve imposed tasks throughout Norway's area of interest, including Arctic waters.

The construction of the hull of KV Bjørnøya started at Vard Tulcea in Romania in April 2020. On March 10, 2022, the hull arrived at Vard Langsten shipyard in Tomrefjord. Since then, the vessel has undergone extensive outfitting, testing, and commissioning. According to plan, KV Bjørnøya is already formally handed over from VARD to the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency and the Armed Forces.

The first of the three Coast Guard Vessels, KV Jan Mayen, was named at Vard Langsten by the Norwegian Minister of Justice and Public Security, Emilie Enger Mehl, 16 November 2022.

KV Hopen is scheduled to be delivered in Q1 2024.