Norwegian frigate takes over as flasghip of Operation Ocean Shield

The Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HMNoS Fridtjof Nansen has joined Operation Ocean Shield, NATO’s counter piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa.

The Nansen is the lead ship in her class of 5 multi-role frigates, built for the Sjøforsvaret by Navantia in Ferrol, Spain. The Nansen-class replaced the old (1960s built) Oslo-class frigates and are equipped with the Aegis combat system. For counter piracy operations, the frigates are equipped with 2 RIBs and a detachment of Kystjegerkommandoen naval infantry.

Norwegian frigate leads anti-pirate operation

HMNoS Fridtjof Nansen

The Norwegian frigate “Fridtjof Nansen” is the flag ship and command center for the NATO-led anti-pirate operation Ocean Shield in the Bay of Aden and off the Horn of Africa, over the next six months.The NATO force numbers altogether 700 men, and 170 of these are stationed on the Norwegian frigate.

In addition to the Norwegian contingent, there are also personnel from Denmark, the Netherlands, the Ukraine and USA.

Ocean Shield is an operation set up to combat the threat of piracy in the Bay of Aden and the Indian ocean, an area the size of Western Europe.

Even though 850 seamen were exposed to attacks from Somalia-based pirates in 2012, it was a reduction by nearly 80 per cent from the year before, when nearly 3900 sailors came under attack, the newspaper Vårt Land reports.

Today, aropund 600 seamen are held hostage by Somali pirates.