Skjold class patrol boat
The Skjold class patrol boat
Patrol boat
A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties.There have been many designs for patrol boats. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, or police force, and may be intended for marine and/or estuarine or river environments...

s (skjold means "shield" in Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

) is a new class of superfast, large stealth missile craft, formerly known as MTBs (missile torpedo boats). From 2009, the Royal Norwegian Navy
Royal Norwegian Navy
The Royal Norwegian Navy is the branch of the Norwegian Defence Force responsible for naval operations. , the RNoN consists of approximately 3,700 personnel and 70 vessels, including 5 heavy frigates, 6 submarines, 14 patrol boats, 4 minesweepers, 4 minehunters, 1 mine detection vessel, 4 support...

 officially label them as coastal corvettes (kystkorvett) because their seaworthiness is seen as comparable to corvettes. They are built at the Umoe Mandal
Umoe Mandal
Umoe Mandal AS is a shipbuilding company in the Ulltveit-Moe Group. Their shipyards are based at Mandal in Norway.Founded in 1989 as Kværner Båtservice, later Kværner Mandal, and known as Umoe Mandal since 2000, the company specialises in high-speed naval vessels, mine countermeasure vessels and...

 yard. Although the Skjold class patrol boats remain the fastest armed craft in the world (60 knots / 110 km/h) they still fall short of the unarmed Canadian Navy high speed patrol craft hydrofoil prototype HMCS Bras d'Or (successfully recorded speeds of well over 63 knots/ 116 km/h).

Development and production

The Skjold class vessels began with the development of the Royal Norwegian Navy's "Project SMP 6081", and the first preproduction version was ordered on 30 August 1996. The first of its class, the P960 Skjold, was launched on 22 September 1998 and commissioned on 17 April 1999. The Norwegian Parliament's White Paper of 2001 recommended the building of five additional ships, which was confirmed in 2002. Ultimately the Skjold class MTBs will consist of six ships, four having already been launched in early 2008. The remaining two are currently under construction. Ship # 2,Storm, was to be delivered in April 2008. Following that, one new ship will be delivered every three months until Gnist is delivered in June 2009. Once full production has been completed the six Skjold-Class MTBs will supplement the Royal Norwegian Navy's existing pool of fourteen Hauk class
Hauk class patrol boat
Hauk class patrol boats are a series of Norwegian fast attack craft. Hauk means hawk in Norwegian. They were ordered in the 1970s and the first boat, Hauk, was commissioned on 17 August 1977...

 MTBs, the latter soon to be retired.


The Skjold design is a surface effect craft
Surface effect ship
A Surface Effect Ship or Sidewall Hovercraft is a watercraft that has both an air cushion, like a hovercraft, and twin hulls, like a catamaran. When the air cushion is in use, a small portion of the twin hulls remain in the water...

, constructed of glass fibre/carbon composite materials. Buoyancy is augmented underway by a fan-blown skirted compartment between the two rigid catamaran-type hulls. This provides an alternative solution to the planing hull/vee hull compromise: the air cushion reduces wave slam at high speeds while presenting a low-drag flat planing profile at the waterline.

To ensure stealth capabilities, anechoic
Anechoic chamber
An anechoic chamber is a room designed to stop reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves.They are also insulated from exterior sources of noise...

 coatings of radar absorbent material
Radar absorbent material
Radar-absorbent material, or RAM, is a class of materials used in stealth technology to disguise a vehicle or structure from radar detection. A material's absorbency at a given frequency of radar wave depends upon its composition...

s (RAM) have been used in the load-bearing structures over large areas of the ship. This strategy leads to significant weight saving compared to the conventional construction technique of applying RAM cladding to the external surfaces. The ship's profile has a faceted appearance with no right angle structures and few orientations of reflective panels. Doors and hatches are flush with the surfaces and the windows are flush without visible coaming (edge of window aperture) and are fitted with radar reflective screens.
The final design will see some changes compared to the prototype Skjold, which itself is being rebuilt to the new specifications. Most notably, the new vessels will use 4 gas turbines, two large ones and two small ones, giving greater power. The two MTU 123 cruise diesel propulsion units used previously for loiter speeds have been removed. Furthermore, the foredeck will be strengthened due to the addition of the 76 mm Super Rapid gun.
The production of the hull material is being done using a different method to improve its strength and minimize fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

 vulnerability. The bridge will see some changes, including an upgrade to six weapon systems control consoles. Heavyweight torpedoes may also be included.

US Navy

The U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and Coast Guard expressed interest in the design and leased the P960 for a period of one year, from 2001 until 2002. During that time it was operated by a 14-man Norwegian crew out of Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet. The base comprises four locations in three states, including almost 12,000 acres of real estate. Its Little Creek location in Virginia Beach, Virginia totals...



Skjold class — significant dates
# Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Notes
P960 Skjold August 4, 1997 September 22, 1998 April 17, 1999
P961 Storm October, 2005 November 1, 2006 Due to enter service spring 2008 Sea trials as of Jan 08
P962 Skudd March, 2006 April 30, 2007 Due to enter service mid 2008
P963 Steil October, 2006 January 15, 2008 Due to enter service spring 2011
P964 Glimt May, 2007 Due to enter service late 2011
P965 Gnist December, 2007 Due to enter service mid 2011

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.