|Operators||Royal Norwegian Navy|
|Succeeded by||U212-CD class|
|Built||1987–1992 (in Germany)|
|In commission||April 1989 – present|
|Length||59 m (194 ft)|
|Beam||5.40 m (17.7 ft)|
|Draft||4.60 m (15.1 ft)|
|Range||5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)|
|Test depth||200 m (656 ft)+|
|Sensors and |
|Notes||Unit cost: 700,000,000 NOK;|
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 modernise the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) submarine flotilla, which then consisted of the aging Kobben-class submarines. The contract was signed on 30 September 1982 for six boats with Thyssen Nordseewerke, Emden. An option for two more submarines was included in the original deal, however, it was never picked up.
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. In Germany, the design is known as the U-Boot-Klasse 210.
When commissioned, the Ulas were the first Norwegian submarines to have enough bunks for the entire crew and a shower.
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 is regarded as both the most effective and cost-effective weapons in the RNoN.[ citation needed ]
In 1989, while undergoing trials, Ula was damaged by a practice torpedo. In March 1991, Uredd was involved in an accident while docking. In February 1992, Uredd suffered a control room fire.
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".
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.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. Furthermore, Kongsberg was contracted in 2012 to upgrade the submarines' combat systems. The 2020 long-term defence plan envisages the Ula class being kept in service until replaced by the new Type 212CD submarines in around 2030.
In 2012 the Norwegian MoD set 2014 as a deadline for deciding whether to further extend the operative life of the Ula class after their slated end-of-life in 2020, or to replace them with a new fleet.In December 2014, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence made the decision to begin the process of replacing the Ulas. As part of that decision, the Ula-class submarines would be kept in service for a further five years, but would not exceed 35 years total service as that would be too costly. Given the delay in replacing the Ula-class, it was subsequently decided to further life-extend the Ula-class through the 2020s until a new class of submarines entered service.
In 2016, two suppliers (DCNS and Thyssen Krupp) were shortlisted to provide competing options to replace the Ula-class boats. In February 2017, Thyssen Krupp was selected to provide four replacement submarines based on the Type 212-class for service entry in around 2030. A firm build contract had been anticipated in the first half of 2020.However, as of the end of 2020, the contract had not yet been signed. In March 2021 it was indicated that an agreement had been reached between Norway and Germany to initiate the acquisition program, pending approval by the Bundestag. The contract was signed in July 2021 and construction of the first vessel is to begin in 2023. Delivery of the first boat to the Royal Norwegian Navy is anticipated in 2029.
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 Uredd ("Fearless" in English), in honour of the World War II 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).
|S 300||HNoMS Ula||29 January 1987||28 July 1988||27 April 1989||Active|
|S 301||HNoMS Utsira||15 June 1990||21 November 1991||30 April 1992||Active|
|S 302||HNoMS Utstein||6 December 1989||25 April 1991||14 November 1991||Active|
|S 303||HNoMS Utvær||8 December 1988||19 April 1990||8 November 1990||Active|
|S 304||HNoMS Uthaug||15 June 1989||18 October 1990||7 May 1991||Active|
|S 305||HNoMS Uredd||23 June 1988||22 September 1989||3 May 1990||Active|
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