|Royal Norwegian Navy|
|Founded||955, 1509 (not official)|
April 12, 1814
|Allegiance||Kingdom of Norway|
|Size||4,009 personnel as of 2020|
|Part of||Norwegian Armed Forces|
|Engagements||Civil War - King Sverre (1197)|
Scottish–Norwegian War (1262-1266)
Swedish War of Liberation (1510–23)
Count's Feud (1534–36)
Nordic Seven Years' War (1563–70)
Kalmar War (1611–13)
Torstenson War (1643–45)
Second Nordic War (1657–60)
Scanian War (1675–79)
Great Nordic War (1700 & 1709–20)
Action of 16 May 1797
Battle of Copenhagen (1801)
Battle of Copenhagen (1807)
Gunboat War (1807–14)
First Schleswig War (1848–51)
World War II (1940–45)
Cold War (1945–92)
War on terror (2001– )
|Commander in Chief||King Harald V|
|Chief of the Navy||Rear Admiral Lars Saunes|
|Pennant and Naval Jack|
Cyber Defence Force
|Norwegian military ranks|
|Bugle calls of the Norwegian Army|
|Armed Forces equipment|
Naval ships (active)
Norwegian military aircraft
The Royal Norwegian Navy (Norwegian: Sjøforsvaret, lit. 'Sea defence') is the branch of the Norwegian Armed Forces responsible for naval operations of Norway. As of 2008[update], the Royal Norwegian Navy consists of approximately 3,700 personnel (9,450 in mobilized state, 32,000 when fully mobilized) and 70 vessels, including 4 heavy frigates, 6 submarines, 14 patrol boats, 4 minesweepers, 4 minehunters, 1 mine detection vessel, 4 support vessels and 2 training vessels. It also includes the Coast Guard.
This navy has a history dating back to 955. From 1509 to 1814, it formed part of the navy of Denmark-Norway, also referred to as the "Common Fleet". Since 1814, the Royal Norwegian Navy has again existed as a separate navy.
In Norwegian, all its naval vessels since 1946 bear ship prefix "KNM", Kongelig Norske Marine (which accurately translates to Royal Norwegian Navy/Naval vessel). In English, they are permitted still to be ascribed prefix "HNoMS", meaning "His/Her Norwegian Majesty's Ship" ("HNMS" could be also used for the Royal Netherlands Navy, for which "HNLMS" is used instead). Coast Guard vessels are given the prefix "KV" for KystVakt (Coast Guard) in Norwegian and permissibly, and less ambiguously in English, are styled "NoCGV", Norwegian Coast Guard Vessel.
The history of Norwegian state-operated naval forces is long, and goes back to the leidang which was first established by King Håkon the Good at the Gulating in 955, although variants of the Leidang had at that time already existed for hundreds of years. During the last part of the Middle Ages the system of levying of ships, equipment, and manpower for the leidang was mainly used to levying tax and existed as such into the 17th Century.
During most of the union between Norway and Denmark the two countries had a common fleet. This fleet was established by King Hans in 1509 in Denmark. A large proportion of the crew and officers in this new Navy organisation were Norwegian. In 1709 there were about 15,000 personnel enrolled in the common fleet; of these 10,000 were Norwegian. When Tordenskjold carried out his famous raid at Dynekil in 1716 more than 80 percent of the sailors and 90 percent of the soldiers in his force were Norwegian. Because of this the Royal Norwegian Navy shares its history from 1509 to 1814 with the Royal Danish Navy.
The modern, separate Royal Norwegian Navy was founded (restructured) on April 12, 1814, by Prince Christian Fredrik on the remnants of the Dano-Norwegian Navy. At the time of separation, the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy was in a poor state and Norway was left with the lesser share. All officers of Danish birth were ordered to return to Denmark and the first commander of the Norwegian navy became Captain Thomas Fasting. It then consisted of 39 officers, seven brigs (one more under construction), one schooner-brig, eight gun schooners, 46 gun chalups and 51 gun barges. April 1, 1815, the Royal Norwegian Navy's leadership was reorganized into a navy ministry, and Fasting became the first navy minister.
Norway retained its independent armed forces, including the navy, during the union with Sweden. During most of the union the navy was subjected to low funding, even though there were ambitious plans to expand it. In the late 19th century, the fleet was increased to defend a possible independent Norway from her Swedish neighbours.
In 1900, just five years prior to the separation from Sweden, the navy, which was maintained for coastal defense, consisted of: two British-built coastal defence ships (HNoMS Harald Haarfagre and HNoMS Tordenskjold – each armored and displacing about 3,500 tons), four ironclad monitors, three unarmored gun vessels, twelve gunboats, sixteen small (sixty ton) gunboats, and a flotilla of twenty-seven torpedo boats. These were operated by 116 active duty officers (with an additional sixty reserve) and 700 petty officers and seamen.
Norway was neutral during World War I, but the armed forces were mobilised to protect Norway's neutrality. The neutrality was sorely tested – the nation's merchant fleet suffered heavy casualties to German U-boats and commerce raiders.
World War II began for the Royal Norwegian Navy on April 8, 1940, when the German torpedo boat Albatross attacked the guard ship Pol III. In the opening hours of the Battle of Narvik, the old coastal defence ships ("panserskip") HNoMS Eidsvold and HNoMS Norge, both built before 1905 and hopelessly obsolete, attempted to put up a fight against the invading German warships; both were torpedoed and sunk. The German invasion fleet heading for Oslo was significantly delayed when Oscarsborg Fortress opened fire with two of its three old 28 cm guns, followed by the 15 cm guns on Kopås on the eastern side of the Drøbak strait. The artillery pieces inflicted heavy damage on the German heavy cruiser Blücher, which was subsequently sunk by torpedoes fired from Oscarsborg's land-based torpedo battery. Blücher sank with over 1,000 casualties among its crew and soldiers aboard. The German invasion fleet – believing Blücher had struck a mine – retreated south and called for air strikes on the fortress. This delay allowed King Haakon VII of Norway and the Royal family, as well as the government, to escape capture.
On June 7, 1940, thirteen vessels, five aircraft and 500 men from the Royal Norwegian Navy followed the King to the United Kingdom and continued the fight from bases there until the war ended. The number of men was steadily increased as Norwegians living abroad, civilian sailors and men escaping from Norway joined the Royal Norwegian Navy. Funds from Nortraship were used to buy new ships, aircraft and equipment.
Ten ships and 1,000 men from the Royal Norwegian Navy participated in the Normandy Invasion in 1944.
During the war the navy operated 118 ships, at the end of the war it had 58 ships and 7,500 men in service. They lost 27 ships, 18 fishing boats (of the Shetland bus) and 933 men in World War II.
The navy had its own air force from 1912 to 1944.
The building of a new fleet in the 1960s was made possible with substantial economic support from the United States. During the cold war, the navy was optimized for sea denial in coastal waters to make an invasion from the sea as difficult and costly as possible. With that mission in mind, the Royal Norwegian Navy consisted of a large number of small vessels and up to 15 small diesel-electric submarines. The navy is now replacing those vessels with a smaller number of larger and more capable vessels.
The Royal Norwegian Navy Museum is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Norway's naval history.
Main article: List of Royal Norwegian Navy bases
Some of The Royal Norwegian Navy's bases are:
The Navy is organized into the Fleet, the Coast Guard, and the main bases.
The Fleet consists of:
The Naval Schools are:
Two of the schools of the Navy retain ship prefixes, reminiscent of Royal Navy practises.
Museum: Royal Norwegian Navy Museum, Horten
The submarine fleet consists of several Ula-class submarines.
"Ubåtvåpenet" maintain six Ula-class submarines:
Note: These ships are generally considered destroyers by their officers and other navies due to their size and role. Helge Ingstad (F313) was decommissioned and sold for scrap after a collision with an oil tanker in November 2018 severely damaged the ship.
The Coastal Warfare fleet consists of Skjold-class corvettes.
Main article: Norwegian Coast Guard
Norway has prioritized replacing its current submarine fleet. In February 2017 the German manufacturer Thyssen Krupp was selected to deliver four new submarines, of the Type 212CD submarine-class design, starting in the latter 2020s  to replace the Ula-class boats. A firm build contract with Thyssen Krupp was anticipated in the first half of 2020 as part of a joint program under which Norway will procure four submarines and Germany two. However, as of the end of 2020 a contract had not yet been signed. In March 2021 it was indicated that an agreement had been reached between Norway and Germany to initiate the acquisition program, pending approval by the Bundestag. The contract was signed in July 2021 and construction of the first vessel is to begin in 2023. Delivery of the first boat to the Royal Norwegian Navy is anticipated in 2029.
The Coast Guard is to replace its existing Nordkapp-class vessels with significantly larger ice-capable ships, each displacing just under 10,000 tonnes. The three new Jan Mayen-class ships will be armed with a 57mm main gun and be capable of operating up to two medium-sized helicopters. The ships have an overall length of 446 feet with a beam of 72 feet and a draft of 20 feet. The maximum speed will be 22 knots with more than 60 days endurance and the complement will be up to 100 people. The first ship, KV Jan Mayen, was launched by the Vard Tulcea shipyard in Romania in 2021 and towed to the Vard Langsten shipyard in Tomrefjord for completion. It is scheduled to enter service in the fall of 2022. The second ship of the class, KV Bjørnøya, was transferred to Norway for her final fit out at the Vard Langsten yard in February/March 2022.
The 2020 Norwegian defence plan envisages the replacement of the current major surface vessels "after 2030". Decisions concerning type and number of vessels are to be "made in the next planning period".
Main article: Military ranks and insignia of Norway
The rank insignia of commissioned officers.
|NATO code||OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D)||Student officer|
| Royal Norwegian Navy
The rank insignia of non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel.
| Royal Norwegian Navy
|Sjefsmester||Flaggmester||Orlogsmester||Flotiljemester||Skvadronmester||Senior kvartermester||Kvartermester||Ledende konstabel||Konstabel||Senior visekonstabel||Visekonstabel||Ledende menig||Menig|