Norway bolsters patrol in Arctic waters with new Coast Guard ships


The 136,4 meter long KV Hopen is the third vessel of the new class of Norwegian Coast Guard ships. It has ice-class standard and is packed with technology. It can have a crew of up to 100 sailors and operate autonomously for up to eight weeks in remote northern waters.

It also has protection against chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear contamination.

The vessel was on the 12th of June formally taken over by the Norwegian Navy in a ceremony at the Vard Langsten Yard on Norway’s west coast.


The three new coast guard ships at the Vard Yard in Tomrefjord, southwest Norway. Photo: Vard Group


“This is a milestone for ocean nation Norway. With these ships we get a modern fleet designed to operate in challenging northern regions with the technology needed for a modern-day defence,” says Navy Chief Oliver Berdal.

From before, the country’s Coast Guard operates the KV Jan Mayen og KV Bjørnøya, two same-class ships acquired in 2023.

The three new vessels of the Jan Mayen class will ultimately replace the Nordkapp class that has served for the Coastguard since the 1980s.

“The presence and exercise of authority of the Coast Guard in Norwegian waters gives safety, both in calm times and more troubled times such as the ones we are now experiencing,” said Minister of Climate and Environment Andreas Bjelland Eriksen as he christened the new ship.


Norwegian coast guard sailors in the Barents Sea. Photo: Atle Staalesen


“The Coast Guard solves a multitude of tasks and is a visible stakeholder in prevention of environmental crimes along the coast and at sea,” he underlined.

Several of the participants at the ship christening ceremony highlighted the serious geopolitical backdrop for the situation in Norwegian waters.

Deputy Minister of Defence Marie Lam Vikanes underlined that Norway is experiencing a “serious security situation.”

“The Coastguard is a very important resource for Norway to exercise authority at sea. With the three vessels of the Jan Mayen class we strengthen our ability to keep overview and control in Norwegian waters in the current serious security situation.”

The Norwegian Armed Forces signed a contract with Vard, a yard owned by the Italian Fincantieri company, in 2018. The cost for the vessels is estimated to about 8 billion Norwegian kroner (€702 million).