Norway intends to deploy multi-role frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen with a US Navy carrier strike group (CSG) by the end of the year, with the aim of “building closer ties with its leading ally, the United States.”
According to Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg, the frigate will be part of a group of ships escorting a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier on operations in the US 6th Fleet area of operations, which covers the Mediterranean and the Black Seas in the south and the North and Baltic Seas in the north.
“Security and overview in our maritime environment is something we create together with our allies,” Royal Norwegian Navy chief, Rear Admiral Rune Andersen, said.
“By contributing to something that is a routine voyage for the Americans and one of their aircraft carrier groups, we take this collaboration a step further. In 2020, Norway led two of NATO’s standing maritime forces. This assignment will be another clear signal that Norway is an active contributor to Euro-Atlantic security.”
The “cooperative deployment” will mark the first time a Norwegian warship has been integrated into a US carrier strike group, according to the defense ministry, which noted that Norwegian authorities would retain full control over which assignments the Norwegian vessel will participate in.
It is however not the first time a Norwegian vessel is closely working with a US CSG. In 2018, Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Roald Amundsen (F 311) travelled to the US East Coast for exercises with USS Harry S. Truman, ahead of the carrier’s deployment to Europe. The frigate did not conduct operations with the carrier following the pre-deployment exercise.
According to details currently available, Fridtjof Nansen will participate in COMPTUEX, a major naval exercise each CSG undergoes ahead of a deployment, in the United States in October, before sailing out with the aircraft carrier group towards the end of the year. Norway did not specify which CSG the frigate will be joining.