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Skjold-class corvette
P965 KNM Gnist.jpg
P965 KNM Gnist
Class overview
Name: Skjold class
Builders: Umoe Mandal, Mandal, Norway
Operators:  Royal Norwegian Navy
Preceded by: Hauk-class patrol boat
In commission: 1999–
Planned: 6
Active: 6
General characteristics
Type: Coastal Corvette
Displacement: 274 tonnes full load
Length: 155.83 ft (47.50 m)
46.8 ft (14.3 m) (Length on cushion)
Beam: 44.29 ft (13.50 m)
Draught: 3.3 ft (1.0 m)
Propulsion: 2 × Pratt & Whitney ST18M plus
2 x Pratt & Whitney ST40M gas turbines
12,170 kilowatts[1]
Speed: In rough sea:
45 knots
In calm sea:
60+ knots (classified)
Range: 800 nmi at 40 knots (74 km/h)
Complement: 15–16
Sensors and
processing systems:
Thales MRR-3D-NG air/surface radar
Ceros 200 FC
CS-3701 electronic warfare suite
Sagem Vigy 20 Electro-optical sensor
Armament: 8 Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile SSMs kept in an internal weapons bay
76mm Otobreda Super Rapid multi-role cannon
Mistral Surface to air missile
12.7mm gun
Notes: Soft kill:
TKWA/MASS (Multi Ammunition Softkill System)

Other: Link 11 and Link 16

Skjold-class coastal corvettes (skjold means "shield" in Norwegian) are a class of large, superfast, stealth missile craft in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy. The boats were formerly classed as MTBs (motor torpedo boats) but, from 2009, the Royal Norwegian Navy has described them as coastal corvettes (kystkorvett) because their seaworthiness is seen as comparable to corvettes, and because they do not carry torpedoes. They were built at the Umoe Mandal yard. Although the Skjold class corvettes remain the fastest armed craft in the world with 60 knots (110 km/h), the unarmed Canadian Navy high speed patrol craft hydrofoil prototype HMCS Bras d'Or has attained speeds of over 63 knots (117 km/h).[2]

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 ship of its class, P960, was launched on 22 September 1998 and commissioned 17 April 1999. A Norwegian Parliamentary White Paper of 2001 recommended building five additional boats, and this was agreed to in 2002. Six Skjold-Class MTBs have replaced the Royal Norwegian Navy's previous fourteen Hauk class MTBs.


The Skjold design is a surface effect craft, 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 coatings of radar absorbent materials (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 vessels are additionally protected by the Rheinmetall MASS sensor / decoy system.

Royal Norwegian Navy corvette Storm.

The final design was changed compared to the prototype Skjold, which itself was rebuilt to the new specifications. Most notably, the vessels use 4 gas turbines, two large ones and two small ones, giving greater power. Two MTU 123 cruise diesel propulsion units used previously at loiter speeds were removed. The foredeck was strengthened to accommodate the addition of a 76 mm Otobreda Super Rapid gun.

Port side view of Royal Norwegian Navy corvette Skjold.

The hull material was produced by a different method to improve strength and minimize vulnerability to fire. The bridge saw some changes, including an upgrade to six weapon systems control consoles.

US Navy

Skjold-class corvettes in harbour at Umoe Mandal shipyard, Norway.

Royal Norwegian Navy corvette Skjold on its American tour, view from astern.

The U.S. Navy 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.


Skjold class – significant dates
# Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Notes
P960 Skjold 4 August 1997 22 September 1998 17 April 1999
P961 Storm October 2005 1 November 2006 2008
P962 Skudd March 2006 30 April 2007 2008
P963 Steil October 2006 15 January 2008 2011
P964 Glimt May 2007 2011
P965 Gnist December 2007 2011

See also

Similar ships


External links

Norwegian state flag
Royal Norwegian Navy patrol boat classes
HNoMS Rap 1873–1920
Rapp 1952–?
Tjeld 1959–1992
Storm 1965–2000
Snøgg 1970–1994
Hauk 1979–2009
Skjold 1999–Present

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