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It assumes its defense before the Nordic country
Development requires the status of ‘state with substantial interest’ in the official investigation into the sinking of a military ship made in Spain
The Government has decided to assume the defense of the interests of the public shipbuilding company, Navantia, in the investigation process that the Norwegian authorities follow in relation to the maritime incident that occurred last November off the coast of Bergen. and that hit the hull of a frigate acquired in the state shipyards by the Norwegian Navy on the seabed after colliding with a tanker with the flag of Malta.
The Ministry of Development has requested the Norwegian Government, through the Permanent Committee for the Investigation of Maritime Accidents and Incidents (CIAIM), to include them in the investigation process as a “State with Substantial Interest” in the case, as they have confirmed to La Information sources of the Ministry. This status – regulated by a European Directive – guarantees, among other things, that the commission investigating the case must submit its opinion on the accident to the observations of the Government of Spain and must take them into account before publishing it definitively.
The opening of this channel will also allow the Government of Spain to make available to the investigation in conditions of total security information of a confidential nature on the design of the vessel that may be of great importance to clarify what could have happened to the ship to flood and that needs special security certifications to be revealed.
The matter is not minor. The preliminary conclusions evacuated by the commission of inquiry only fifteen after the accident, when the most basic information had hardly been gathered to know how it occurred, with the ship still under the sea and without any technical consultation to the manufacturer, already pointed to a possible design failure in the frigate built in the shipyards of Ferrol that would have precipitated the flooding of the hull and that was understood as a critical failure.
The hasty transfer to the public of this preliminary analysis – which the Norwegian authorities themselves invited to take with caution – caused all the alarms to jump out both in the headquarters of Navantia and in the Government of Spain, which interpreted the maneuver from the first moment. as an attempt to charge the manufacturer with the responsibility of sinking the ship and, therefore, also of the millionaire compensation that could be derived from the eventual confirmation of a design failure on the ship.
The available information reveals the existence of a double discourse on the part of the Norwegian authorities. While Navantia’s probable responsibility for the sinking of the ship slips from the Navy and the Parliament, the official position of the technical commission investigating the accident (AIBN) -required on the subject by La Información- is that the Norwegian agency of matter defense team works hand in hand with Navantia to clarify the circumstances of the accident and that today can not give an answer on whether there is any design error in the frigate or on the possible compensation that Norway could demand from the Spanish company shipbuilding in which case it will be determined that it was.
The sunken frigate, named Helge Instadt, had a cost of 420 million dollars for the Norwegian Navy, which for example in 2018 had a total budget of 490 million dollars, which allows putting into perspective the economic effort made in its acquisition . In addition, Navantia made four other frigates for the Norwegian Navy, on whose design they have also aroused suspicion.
In Navantia they fear that Norway’s strategy is to charge the manufacturer with the ink to recover at least part of the investment effort made, but they also fear that this strategy will have an impact on the good reputation of the Spanish public shipyards at a critical time when the company aims to deploy an ambitious Strategic Plan to return to the path of profitability.
The potential threats on Navantia from this process have advised the Government of Spain to take action on the matter and request their participation in the investigation, which the Norwegian authorities have confirmed to this means is being carried out by the country’s police, in close collaboration with the Norwegian Maritime Incident Investigation Authority (AIBN) and several groups of researchers contacted for this purpose.
The Norwegian authorities remain in their line of argument and assure that the Navy of the country has been forced to adopt different security measures in the other four frigates acquired from Navantia after the preliminary report of November 29.
From Navantia all responsibility in the incident is evaded and the Spanish Navy, in a report advanced by ABC, points to a human error to explain both the accident and the subsequent collapse of the military vessel. Sources of the shipyards remember that before delivering the frigates Navantia simulated the flooding of several compartments of the ships to prove their resistance in these conditions, they questioned that the evacuation carried out after the accident respected the security protocols and criticized that the works carried out in the Subsequent hours – in which at no time was Navantia’s technical personnel permanently deployed in Norway – not able to keep the ship afloat and not prevent its total collapse.
After several months of work, the Norwegian authorities finally refloated the ship last week and now they will be able to analyze more in depth if the magnitude of the damage was the cause of the collapse or this occurred due to other circumstances.
Source: La Informacion