Yes, Norway Really Did Sink Its Own Warship. Here's Why.

By Bjoertvedt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
May 25, 2019 Topic: Security Region: Europe Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Norwegian NavyNorwayNaval CollisionShip Run AgroundNATO

Yes, Norway Really Did Sink Its Own Warship. Here's Why.

A strange story.

Congratulations, Norway: You played yourself.

Following a collision with a civilian vessel on Nov. 8, the captain of the Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad made the brilliant decision to deliberately run the vessel aground to prevent the warship, among the most capable in the NATO fleet, from sinking outright.

(This article by Jared Keller originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2018.)

Five days later, the Helge Ingstad is now almost completely submerged, effectively ruining the Norwegian military's chances of salvaging the frigate's systems.

Here are the details, courtesy of Naval Today:

In an update on Monday, the navy said the frigate had been firmly secured to land with steel wires. A total of seven fixing points welded onto the frigate’s hull were fixed to anchors on land.

The navy further said plans for salvaging the frigate had been underway as anchor handling vessel Scandi Vega investigated the conditions of the sea bottom and a Hugin autonomous underwater vehicle mapped out the topography of the sea bottom around and below the frigate.

Plans were also in place for navy personnel to go onboard the vessel to evaluate the extent of damages that resulted from flooding and to try and insulate dry compartments from further water ingress

Those plans are officially doomed: Footage captured by aircraft from the Norwegian Coastal Administration showed the dismal current status of the frigate.

The incident occurred while the frigate was returning home from the Trident Juncture military exercises, NATO's largest show of strength since the Cold War.

Congratulations, Norway: You played yourself.

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