Home Europe Norwegian tanker ‘Maud’ starts maiden deployment 3 years after delivery

Norwegian tanker ‘Maud’ starts maiden deployment 3 years after delivery

HNoMS Maud getting underway for first operational tasking
HNoMS Maud departing Norway's main naval base Haakonsvern for its maiden deployment. Photo: Norwegian defense ministry

The Royal Norwegian Navy’s new fleet tanker finally began its maiden deployment on Monday after overcoming a number of issues since its delivery in 2018.

During its maiden deployment, HNoMS Maud will work with the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), providing an international fleet of ships with fuel.

The Norwegian defense ministry did not reveal how long the ship will remain deployed, but it has certainly taken the navy a long time to get the ship ready for the tasking.

First ordered from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in 2013, the ship was delivered with a two-year delay in 2018 and headed home shortly thereafter.

Once in Norway, it was barred from returning to sea by the classification society DNV GL due to numerous safety shortcomings. These were resolved in 2020 and the ship sailed to the Netherlands for unplanned work on the replenishment rigs, which were not completely installed in South Korea. The final work was expected to take place in Norway but the COVID-19 pandemic complicated the undertaking and officials decided it would be best to have the ship undergo the work in the Netherlands.

Bosch Rexroth supplied the rigs for the ship, as well as for the four Royal Navy Tide-class tankers, which share the scalable BMT AEGIR design platform with HNoMS Maud.

It remains to be seen how prepared the ship and the crew are for such a demanding and high-profile deployment. The Royal Norwegian Navy chief said the deployment would allow the service to compare the tanker’s and the crew’s operational capability with the rest of NATO.

The start of the maiden deployment for HNoMS also has a symbolic meaning for the service, as September 6 marks the anniversary of the Norwegian Navy.

Named after Queen Maud of Norway, HNoMS Maud is the largest Norwegian Navy ship with a displacement of 26,000 tons.

The fully winterized ship features a helicopter flight deck and hangar and a 48-bed hospital capability.