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Home* News and Stories → New Nor­we­gi­an spy ship in the Bar­ents Sea

New Nor­we­gi­an spy ship in the Bar­ents Sea

The Nor­we­gi­an Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (Nor­sk Etter­ret­ningst­je­nes­ten) is get­ting a new spy ves­sel for ope­ra­ti­ons in the Bar­ents Sea. As it´s four pre­de­ces­sors the ship is named Mar­ja­ta. It will be put into ser­vice offi­cial­ly in 2016. Sin­ce the 1950s the Nor­we­gi­an Intel­li­gence Ser­vice is prac­ti­cing civil and mili­ta­ry sur­veil­lan­ce in the Bar­ents Sea, sin­ce 1966 with an own ves­sel.

The new Mar­ja­ta will be one of the most advan­ced ships of its kind. It is lar­ger, has a bet­ter sen­sor capa­ci­ty and a wider ope­ra­tio­nal ran­ge than its direct pre­de­ces­sor which will stay in ser­vice until 2016. As the new ship will be able to cover a lar­ger area, it is sup­po­sed that it will also ope­ra­te in polar waters bey­ond the Bar­ents Sea, for examp­le around Spits­ber­gen. The Nor­we­gi­an Parliament´s decisi­on to build a new ship ins­tead of impro­ving the old one is, accord­ing to Kjell Grand­ha­gen, chief of the Intel­li­gence Ser­vice, a signal that a con­ti­nuous Nor­we­gi­an pre­sence in the Arc­tic is of high prio­ri­ty. In the long run Nor­way, as well as the other Arc­tic sta­tes, has geo­stra­te­gic inte­rests in this regi­on, con­cer­ning first of all access to natu­ral resour­ces. A new deve­lo­p­ment can be seen in the poor rela­ti­ons­hip to the neigh­bor Rus­sia.

As Rus­sia announ­ced, the coun­try is plan­ning to inten­si­fy its mili­ta­ry acti­vi­ty in the Arc­tic (see also Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com news Rus­sia inten­si­fies mili­ta­ry acti­vi­ty in the Arc­tic from Febru­a­ry 2014) and after the poli­ti­cal deve­lo­p­ment in Ukrai­ne resul­ting in ten­si­ons bet­ween Rus­sia and NATO several cases of bor­der vio­la­ti­ons by the Rus­si­an mili­ta­ry were reco­gni­zed in Nor­way and other Scan­di­na­vi­an sta­tes. As a reac­tion on Russia´s acti­vi­ties in Ukrai­ne the Nor­we­gi­an government recent­ly deci­ded to sus­pend its long las­ting coope­ra­ti­on with the Rus­si­an mili­ta­ry con­ti­nuous­ly until the end of 2015. This coope­ra­ti­on is alrea­dy inter­rup­ted sin­ce March 2014.

Howe­ver, in the fiel­ds of coast­guard, bor­der guards, search and res­cue ope­ra­ti­ons and the Inci­dents at Sea Agree­ment both coun­tries will con­ti­nue coope­ra­ti­on as well as the con­ta­ct bet­ween the Nor­we­gi­an Defen­se Head­quar­ters and Rus­si­an Nort­hern Fleet will be con­ti­nued. The­se coope­ra­ti­ons are sup­po­sed to ensu­re secu­ri­ty and sta­bi­li­ty in this regi­on.

One of the new Nor­we­gi­an spy vessel´s tasks will be to regis­ter and to docu­ment all mili­ta­ry acti­vi­ties clo­se to Nort­hern Nor­way so that pos­si­ble devia­ti­ons from the norm can be reco­gni­zed.

Nor­way is kee­ping a big eye open in the Bar­ents Sea (here a coast­guard ves­sel in Kinn­vi­ka, Nord­aus­t­land). Neigh­bour Russia’s mili­ta­ry acti­vi­ties are good rea­son.

Norwegian coastguard ship

Sources: forsvaret.no, regjeringen.no, Bar­ents­ob­ser­ver

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2015-01-06 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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