Germany and Norway have decided to launch a comprehensive strategic partnership for the cooperation of their naval forces. The intention is to jointly develop, procure and operate not only submarines but also anti-surface missiles in both their respective navies.

The planned cooperation will be based on agreed and harmonized requirements of both navies. Germany and Norway will both need to replace or modernise older missiles within a similar timeframe. The Harpoon missile, for example, currently in service, will have to be replaced in the course of the next decade. The requirements that both navies place on these weapon systems are identical, too. This forms the basis for synergies and cost-saving effects.

Combining strengths
Norway’s expertise in its key technology of missiles is well known and acknowledged. Therefore, Germany intends to participate in a joint Norwegian-led effort to improve the Naval Strike Missile, already well tried and in-service in Norway. To this end, the countries’ respective technological and military strengths are to be combined to optimum effect.

The joint missile to be developed will then form the basis for close cooperation in the fields of maintenance, training and logistics and will be one of the long-term cooperative activities of both countries. Thus, the Federal Ministry of Defence intends to effectively strengthen the required German Navy capabilities in the European context.

“Important signal for cooperation in Europe”

“I am pleased that, thanks to this cooperative armament project, we can raise the partnership between Norway and Germany, which is already a close one, to a higher level. This cooperation will strengthen the capabilities of our Navy; it sends an important signal for closer cooperation in Europe and shows that truly joint development and procurement of identical weapon systems is possible,” says German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

The multirole combat ship MKS 180 will be the first German Navy ship to be equipped with the joint missile. In the long run, the missile is to become the standard system of all frigates of both the German and the Norwegian navies.

Negotiations will start soon. The agreement with Norway is to be concluded this summer. In principle, this German-Norwegian cooperative project is open to other partners as well.