Germany, Norway formally start submarine cooperation

German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen (front) and Norwegian defense minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide step off the German Navy Type 212 submarine "U-35" following a visit on August 22. Photo: Bundeswehr/Jane Schmidt

German and Norwegian defense ministers formally marked the start of a joint undertaking to acquire six Type 212 air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarines.

Over the course of the next seven years, Norway will receive 4 and Germany 2 submarines.

Additionally, the two countries are to cooperate on naval missiles. Submarines are to be built by German TKMS while the missiles will be delivered by Norway’s Kongsberg.

Norwegian defense minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, met her German colleague, Ursula von der Leyen, at Eckernföerde naval base on Tuesday for a bilateral meeting celebrating the start of German-Norwegian naval defence materiel cooperation.

“I am very pleased that Norway and Germany have agreed upon a strategic cooperation on naval defence materiel. This agreement is the start of a long-lasting cooperation on new submarines, naval missiles and other defence systems,” Eriksen Søreide said.

The bilateral cooperation is formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding. The meeting on Tuesday in Germany marks the formal start of this cooperation.

“In addition to cooperation on new submarines and naval missiles, we will strengthen our Navy-to-Navy cooperation. We will also cooperate on naval research and technological development. This cooperation will strengthen our defence industries, and will be very important and beneficial for both our nations,” said Eriksen Søreide.

A major part of the materiel cooperation will be the common project for new submarines. The partnership includes a procurement of identical submarines and cooperation on training, exercises, spare parts, maintenance and lifetime-management of the new submarines, as well as industrial cooperation between German and Norwegian defence industry.

Germany and Norway have together started a joint process towards the submarine supplier TKMS. A common Request for Quotation was issued to the shipyard in July.
“The project is proceeding according to schedule, and we are now an important step closer to a contract for new submarines in 2019,” said Eriksen Søreide.

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