Norway and Germany have signed an extensive Program Arrangement for submarine cooperation.
Early in 2017, the government chose Germany as Norway’s strategic partner in the submarine area. Together with the German procurement organization Bundesamt für Ausrüstnung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw), Norway will acquire six new identical submarines - two German and four Norwegian. In the aftermath, maritime material cooperation has been formalized and extended through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The Program Arrangement Signature between Defense Materials and BAAINBw, which was conducted Monday this week, is a further clarification of the German-Norwegian defense cooperation and a continuation of the MoU.
The MoU is the overarching agreement, while Program Arrangement regulates the cooperation in two areas in detail: joint procurement and joint lifetime management of identical submarines.
The strategic partnership includes not only the acquisition of identical submarines, but also cooperation on education, training, operation, maintenance and support of the new submarines.
Through the Program Arrangement, Germany is also obliged to perform parts of planned maintenance on any of the submarines in Norway. A future operating organization will be staffed by both nations and will be established in connection with a new maintenance facility at Haakonsvern.
Goal of signing a contract in 2019
Defense Materiel in Norway and BAAINBw in Germany are now in a demanding commercial process with the supplier Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS). A mature and negotiated offer is expected from tkMS by 31 October 2018. Norway and Germany will then start negotiations against the construction site.
The phasing in of new submarines is planned from the mid-2020s to 2030. The acquisition will last over ten years with delivery of the first submarine approximately seven years after ordering, and subsequent submarines delivered at a rate of one each year.
The contract for the four new Norwegian submarines has a cost frame of just over NOK 42 billion (2018), including value added tax, uncertainty reserves and implementation costs.