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The military ship was built by Navantia in the shipyards of our river.
Repairing the frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad“, built by the Navantia shipyards in our estuary for the Norwegian Navy and that suffered a serious accident in November, would be more expensive than ordering a new one, concludes a report presented on Wednesday by the Agencia de Material de Norwegian defense.
The study estimates that the cost of repairs will be between 12,000 and 14,000 million Norwegian crowns (1,223 and 1,427 million euros), while that of acquiring a new one would be 11,000 to 13,000 million (from 1,121 to 1,325 million euros). ).
The damages suffered by the frigate are “almost total” and, although it would be possible to repair it, the risks from the technical, economic and time point of view are greater than acquiring a new one.
“It would be an especially large and expensive task to repair the ‘KNM Helge Ingstad’ as an operational frigate,” the agency’s marine capacity chief, Thomas Wederwang, told a news conference.
Wederwang delivered the report, of which only the conclusions have been made public, to the Norwegian Defense Minister, Frank Bakke-Jensen.
“The loss of a frigate for a maritime nation like Norway is serious, I will now study the report carefully before making a final decision,” the minister said in a statement.
Bakke-Jensen added that if the government decides not to repair it, the commander-in-chief of defense will be asked for “professional advice on how to replace his operational capacity”.
Destroying the frigate would cost between 50 and 100 million crowns (5 and 10 million euros).
The “KNM Helge Ingstad”, which was returning from NATO maneuvers, collided in November with an oil tanker in a terminal near Bergen (western Norway), in an accident with eight minor injuries and forcing a few hours to stop oil operations in the area.
According to a provisional study, the accident occurred due to a set of factors such as the confusion between the lights emitted by the freighter and the terminal in the crew of the frigate, which had to be evacuated due to the danger of sinking the ship.
The Norwegian Transport Accident Investigation Commission warned after the incident that there was a “critical” safety failure related to sealing (impermeability).
The interim report recommended to Navantia to promote a study “on the elements identified in this initial investigation” and to determine if the problem occurred in other vessels.
The Spanish naval group, which built five frigates for Norway in the past decade, had to notify the problem to “relevant shipyards, owners and operators”, advising “necessary measures to address safety”.
The commission said the finding “is not in compliance with the stability standard against damage required” for those frigates.
Sources from Navantia maintained from the beginning of this matter that the design of the frigate complies with the international certifications of warships and, in particular, the regulation on maximum length of flood that they must support, which allows the ship to remain afloat although several of its compartments are flooded.
The Spanish company is collaborating in the investigation that Norway carries out to clarify all the circumstances of the accident and from the beginning it assured that it would analyze all the hypotheses about the accident, since some of those that were shuffled were born of a very preliminary investigation.
The frigate was refloated in March after a complex operation, postponed for several weeks due to weather conditions, and at a cost of 726 million crowns (74 million euros).