New Finnish and Norwegian OPVs powered by LNG

Finnish Border Guards are procuring an new class of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV). It is fairly large at 96 meters long and 17 meters beam (315’x56′) and ice strengthened, but the most unique aspect of the design is that it is designed to use both conventional diesel and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as fuel. Picture and more here.

The Norwegians are also planning duel fueled OPVs, three ships of the slightly smaller Barentshav Class.

Descriptions seem to indicate that while the Norwegian ships have separate engines for diesel and LNG, the engines on the Finnish ship apparently will be able to burn either diesel or LNG.

Not only is LNG more environmentally friendly, the US is well endowed with natural gas.

Russia Opens Its Maritime Arctic-USNI

The Naval Institute has a good review of recent developments in the Russian Arctic, written by Captain Lawson Brigham, USCG (ret.).

Looks like the Russians are opening up this formerly closed area for commerce and exploitation. Moreover they have settled their boundary dispute with Norway and their handling of hydro-carbon deposit that straddles the new Russia-Norway EEZ boundary will provide precedence for handling other similar situations. The infrastructure appears to be growing rapidly and year round operations are planned.

(Note the US and Canada still have an outstanding dispute over a boundary line in the Arctic.)

Icebreaker Envy

Ryan Erickson has published the Arctic SAR boundaries on the Naval Institute Blog. Looking at this chart got me thinking about ice capable ships. That of course lead to looking for similar information on Antarctica, so this is going to be a survey of What nations are interested in the Polar regions? and What do their ice capable fleets look like?

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A Tale of Two Harbor Defense Organizations–Part Two

This is the second in a series comparing two incidents from World War II in which ships tried to force entry into a hostile harbor. Part one looked at the bloody, but ultimately successful British assault on the fortified port of St Nazaire. This part will look a German attempt to force their way into Oslo, Battle of Drøbak Sound. Part three considers what these incidents can tell us about what it takes to stop a terrorist attack on an American port using a ship as a weapon.

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Early in World War II, After the invasion of Poland, but before the invasion of France, the Germans invaded Norway to secure their access to Swedish steel and Iron ore and deny it to the British. (Denmark was also invaded on the same day, to secure airfields to support the Norway invasion.) Unlike their other invasions, there was no direct land route into Norway, so the invasion had to came by sea. With the Royal Navy and their French ally dominate at sea, the transit would be risky, but resistance from the Norwegians was expected to be light. Norway was at peace. They had only a small Navy and standing Army. Their defense depended primarily on mobilizing reservists. If they could be defeated before they mobilized, it would be a quick and relatively inexpensive campaign.

Six separate task forces would seize critical facilities all along the Norwegian coast. Rather than a Normandy style assault, the invasion of Norway looked like several simultaneous Special Forces operations. Troops would be landed from warships that could make the transit quickly. It would all be over before the Norwegian military could react–or so they thought.

The Target:

The particular operation we will examine was to seize the seat of power in Norway. It was intended to capture the capital, Oslo, and with it, the King, the Norwegian cabinet, the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) and the national gold reserve.

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