Norway’s Armed Forces will gain a substantial boost over the next 12 years, with defence spending reaching Nkr1624bn ($152bn) –  that is twice what it is now – the Government will acquire new platforms and equipment to modernise its legacy inventory.

“This long-term plan proposes a number of measures in order to reduce vulnerabilities and increase the combat power, availability, endurance and sustainability of the Armed Forces,” the Government explained in its new strategy.

“The risk of military conflict involving Norway and our allies has increased. This realisation is the basis for this long-term plan, and the further development of our Armed Forces.”

Among its list of priorities, the new ‘Defence Pledge’ will deliver a strong maritime package, more and improved air defence, greater situational awareness, and new aerial assets.

Strengthening the Royal Norwegian Navy

At the heart of the Pledge, Norway will acquire of at least five new blue water frigates; anti-submarine warfare helicopters able to operate as part of the frigate system; and one additional Type 212 Common Design (CD) conventional attack submarine among the four ordered alongside the German Navy.

Notably, the Royal Norwegian Navy had originally cut their 212CD submarine fleet from six boats to four on account of their size, lethality and stealth. However, as part of the new Pledge this will now go up to five units.

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In the backdrop of these new platforms, Norway will also enhance the effectiveness of its maritime patrol aircrafts with the procurement of a P-8 Poseidon simulator for the maritime patrol aircrafts at Evenes, as well as long-range uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) with sensors alongside international allies.

Norway’s maritime procurement indicates the need for systems that operate at longer ranges.

“Norway is a nation with considerable maritime interests. Combined with our immediate proximity to Russia’s nuclear submarine force, maintaining situational awareness in the High North and in the North Atlantic is paramount.”

Air defence and transport aircraft

The Norwegian Army and Air Force will gain four more National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems (NASAMS).

This follows another order at the beginning of 2024 to replace the system’s cannister launchers and fire distribution centres that were previously donated to Ukraine. This equipment is due to arrive between 2026 and 2027.

The government recommends procuring a long-range air defence system in order to protect one geographical area against tactical ballistic missiles.

Among its new inventory, Norway will also ramp up its stocks of munitions, spare parts, fuel and equipment. The Air Force will also introduce more simulators and acquire one additional C-130J transport aircraft to join its other four units currently active service.