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Ula-class submarine
Ula class submarine
Ula class submarine
Class overview
Builders: Kongsberg/Nordseewerke
Operators: Royal Norwegian Navy
Preceded by: Kobben class
Built: 1987–1992
In commission: April 1989[1] – present
Completed: 6
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
Displacement: Surface: 1,040 tons
Submerged: 1,150 tons
Length: 59 m (194 ft)
Beam: 5.4 m (18 ft)
Draft: 4.6 m (15 ft)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
2 MTU 16V 396 diesel engines (970kW each)
1 electric motor, 6,000 shp
Speed: Surface: 11 kn (20 km/h)
Submerged: 23 kn (43 km/h)
Range: 5,000 miles at 8 knots (15 km/h)
Test depth: 200+m (700+ft)[2]
Complement: Approx. 18–21[citation needed]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar: Kelvin Hughes 1007 Surface Search
Sonar: Atlas Elektronik CSU83
Thomson Sintra flank array
Armament: 8 bow 21" torpedo tubes
14 Atlas Elektronik DM2A3 torpedoes
Notes: Unit cost: 700,000,000 NOK[1]

The Ula class is a Norwegian submarine type which was assembled in Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The class, consisting of six vessels, is currently the only submarine type in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy.


The ordering of a new Norwegian submersible design stemmed from a 1972 decision to modernize the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) submarine flotilla, which then consisted of the aging Kobben class submarines.

The construction of the vessels was an international project. The combat systems were made in Norway by Kongsberg, the attack sonar is German and the flank sonars French. The hull sections were produced in Norway and assembled in Germany by Thyssen Nordseewerke, Emden. In Germany, the design is known as the U-Boot-Klasse 210.

When commissioned, Ulas were the first Norwegian submarines to have enough bunks for the entire crew and a shower.[1]

The Ula class submarines are among the most silent and maneuverable submarines in the world. This, in combination with their relatively small size, makes them difficult to detect from surface vessels and ideal for operations in coastal areas. The Ula class submarines are regarded as both the most effective and cost-effective weapons in the RNoN.


In recent years, several submarines of the Ula class have been deployed in the Mediterranean Sea in support of the NATO Operation Active Endeavour, where their intelligence-gathering ability surpassed expectations. Their operational availability proved to be highest of all ships taking part in the operation. This mission highlighted a need for better temperature regulation for crew comfort in warm waters. As a result, HNoMS Ula was "tropicalized" by the installation of new cooling systems, and two more of the class designated for "tropicalization".

Future submarine capability

During 2006-2008 the Ula class was slated for modernisation. Most notably, new communication equipment (Link 11), new electronic warfare support measures and a periscope upgrade.[3] In May 2008, a contract for new sonars was signed, with the first submarine to have new sonar 21 months after that, and the last 52 months later ( article). The Ula class will probably be kept in service until 2020.[4]

In 2014 the MoD will decide on a replacement submarine project, to commence 2020 or thereabouts.[5]


Six submarines were delivered (1989–1992) to the RNoN. All are based at Haakonsvern in Bergen. The boats are all named after places in Norway, with the exception of S305, Uredd ("Unafraid" in English), in honor of the WWII submarine HNoMS Uredd (P-41). The ship prefix for RNoN vessels is KNM (Kongelig Norsk Marine, Royal Norwegian Navy), in English HNoMS (His Norwegian Majesty's Ship).

Vessel list

Ula class in order of delivery[6]
# Name Commissioned
S 300 HNoMS Ula 1989
S 301 HNoMS Utsira 1992
S 302 HNoMS Utstein 1991
S 303 HNoMS Utvær 1990
S 304 HNoMS Uthaug 1991
S 305 HNoMS Uredd 1990


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 (Norwegian) Hvem Hva Hvor 1990, ISBN 82-516-1267-5, yearbook issued by Aftenposten.
  3. (Norwegian) Videreutvikling av ULA-klasse u-båter, Forsvarsdepartementet
  4. (Norwegian) Ula-klassen, Forsvarsnett
  5. "Request for Information (RFI) regarding submarine capability beyond 2020 has been forwarded to shipyards."
  6. World Navies Today: Norway, Haze Gray

External links

(Norwegian) "Oppdaterer ubåtene"
(Norwegian) "Her tar den norske ubåten smuglerskipene"
(Norwegian) "Hestehviskerne"

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