Royal Marines raided the Arctic coastline and secured a vital landing point for supply lines working alongside a Norwegian stealth ship, say the Royal Navy.

According to a news release, the exercise in the fjords of northern Norway saw marines of Plymouth-based 47 Commando, the small boat raiding specialists of 3 Commando Brigade, work closely with Norwegian counterparts and their stealth corvette.

“Elite commandos were dropped ashore by the Skjold Class Corvette, which has a low radar signature, ship-busting missiles and is able to speed through the water at up to around 70mph. Once ashore, a reconnaissance team from 47 Commando were tasked to secure a keying landing point, allowing for resupply to flow through a ‘contested’ area.”

“The range, stealth and firepower of the Corvette aligns perfectly with the Future Commando Force Operating Model that the Royal Marines are moving towards,” said Captain Jack Denniss, Operations Officer of 539 Raiding Squadron.

“Equipped with capabilities that allow it to dominate Norway’s coastline, the corvette’s stealth and speed also make it highly suited for inserting small teams of commandos into contested areas unseen.”

Skjold class corvettes are a class of six large, superfast, stealth missile corvettes 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 corvettes (korvett) because their seaworthiness is seen as comparable to corvettes.

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Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
7 months ago

What’s the sea worthy ness of these corvettes like? Could they act as a picket/reconosance ship to a carrier group out in the open ocean.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
7 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Bit short legged. You also need a hull that can push on in any weather. They are surprisingly sea worthy. But that is more about dashing out from the end of one fjord and into another.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Taylor

Thought the Shape would hamper it. Although didn’t think of its range.

Joe16
Joe16
7 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

I don’t think so; the reason they’re so fast is that they are a cross between a genuine boat and a hovercraft, they create an air cushion between twin hulls. It’s clever, but I doubt it’d make them very effective in blue water- they’re true littoral combat vessels. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’d suit the RN though; they’re great for Norway because they suit sneaking around in home fjords before sneaking out at speed to put a couple of NSMs into a Russian warship. We would need them for this, but we’d also need to run them in the gulf,… Read more »

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Well even if they were suitable to RN needs, they’d never get them. I was just thinking more generally, perhaps even the USN.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

We are talking a couple of hundred nautical miles offshore in mild weather (only rated for sea state 5, waves upto 4m) range is officially 800 nautical mile range at half speed. They certainly dont have the legs for carrier group action.

Henry Root
Henry Root
7 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

I don’t think Norway is interested. They’ve built a plethora of coastal defence craft instead of two giant aircraft carriers. Sweden has too. They’ve put national security and coastal protection first. I expect assisting larger navies with carriers was the last thing on their mind. Their coastline is even bigger than ours.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
7 months ago
Reply to  Henry Root

I wasn’t suggesting the Norwegian navy war interested in such things, I was simply asking about such a vessels useful ness outside of littoral waters.

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
7 months ago

For a reference point, these Skjold Class ‘Corvettes’ come in at around only 250 tonnes. That’s around 1/7th the displacement of a River Class 2 ‘OPV’… I know they are 2 completely different animals but they are armed with 8 × Kongsberg NSM, a 76mm Super Rapid Cannon, a couple of 12.7mm BMG’s, some Mistral SAMs &
Protector (RWS) (Sea Protector)… Plus Softkill…

Talk about punching above your weight!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Awesome bit of kit, the Visby class is also impressive.
Clearly not designed for the same duties as the Skjold Class Corvette.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBzlkSCTO60

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
7 months ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Yes but not very good if they are hit by the enemy even low calibre rounds could send the whole thing up in a bang if the ammo onboard gets hit. I’m pretty sure that is why RN vessels of opv size and smaller limit their offensive ability. Sure I read that somewhere?

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago

That’s what they might say but lets face it, its all about the lack of money.

That, and the Rivers aren’t war fighting ships as such.

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Yes I wouldn’t disagree with that assessment at all. I don’t know what the actual reality is with the RN reasoning? . Jutland is a perfect example of what can happen when munitions are not properly protected onboard a vessel .

Joseph R
Joseph R
7 months ago

true enough.. but I don’t think Jutland stands as an argument for warships not to be armed. regardless of embarked NEQs an unarmed warship is inherently more vulnerable than a heavily-armed one.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago

The munitions on our WW1 battlecruisers would’ve been fairly well protected had they not been stockpiled out of protected areas to maximise the rate of fire. Magazines & hatches were left open rather than any care for the hazards which were well known so we could shoot faster. The German ships were a bit better protected, but they handled the gun ammo more responsibly, so instead of blowing up with near total loss of crew after a couple of hits(like our battlecruisers) they took lots of punishment & usually survived.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Until there’s a war or terrorist attack. Then having practically civilian ships grossly underequipped & well away from home UK ports may be a liability for the RN & the poor crews.

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
7 months ago

They will be rated for the size of the magazines etc yes and what they can carry vs the space available from a firefighting perspective, but like Steve R says… In the majority of cases anything other than lack of funding is a convenient excuse.

Some will say RN Doctrine is that Astute fulfils the anti-ship role, and again, only because the Treasury tends to dictate equipment purchases rather than strategic requirement.

Jon
Jon
7 months ago

B2 River class OPV has “enhanced magazine protection”, probably Kevlar. So I think that’s where the dividing line is, between the original Rivers and the second batch.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago

There’s probably v little or no protection on the Rivers, so while not loaded with all that ammunition the Skjolds carry, they’d be shot-up PDQ from well out of range in any exchanges with little to return even token return fire.

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Tho whole point as others have said is that they are supposed to nip out of some fiord and zap off a couple of missiles (at somebody casually loitering about) and then nip back behind some rock in the fiord. Hence it has missiles which the OPVs don’t.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Plus a medium gun which also adds to AAA & anti-missile defences.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago

Whatever their usefulness, mean looking vessels. Saw one up close in Bergen last year.

Joe16
Joe16
7 months ago

Yeah, they’re pretty cool, although not been lucky enough to see one in the flesh yet. The manufacturer has been trying to sell them to offshore wind farm operators too, as transfer vessels because of their combination of speed and stability.

Felix
Felix
7 months ago

I think that the marines are looking for something like these that can be launched from mother ships (LPD) that can operate further from contested shorelines

Liam
Liam
7 months ago

The RN should buy these simply because they are just about the coolest boat on the face of the earth. Can you imagine a couple of these in the Falklands?

Felix
Felix
7 months ago
Reply to  Liam

Or Gibraltar

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Liam

I wondered, how many would fit in HMS Albion or a Littoral Strike Ship?

Liam
Liam
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

You could imagine them putting gaggles of Iranian powerboats off.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Liam

No good for the Falklands as the seas are way too rough. In sea state 5 their speed is reduced from 60kts in dead calm to 25kts. Probably too small too. Their weapons fit would be decent on any much larger corvettes though.

BIG D
BIG D
7 months ago

It’s nice to dream about the RN having some but even if they are seen to be ideal for the Royal marines new role lets face it they are not going to get any especially when the RN are being forced to find 5% in savings. We are going to be lucky if they get to keep the Albion class.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  BIG D

Yes, I agree, very shortsighted if that will be the case. The Albion class being a solution to the short-leggness of mini corvettes

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  BIG D

I wanted to add, that legacy landing-craft are becoming increasing obsolete in the future.

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Totally agree, unless the shore is unprotected. There are number of options that could be used to replace the current landing craft. Helicopters are the obvious answer, but they have a limited lift capacity and are easy to spot on radar. A radical rethink is required if you want to get troops and equipment on to the beach safely. There are two concepts that could be looked at, one is speed the other is stealth. For speed there are number of different platforms available ranging from hovercraft to high speed catamarans. However, no matter how fast they are they will… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  BIG D

Seeking 5% cuts when we already are below minimum fleet levels for the tasks we have & similar for all services is dangerous madness. Strange how all our adversaries keep increasing funding & equipment rather than painting a big bulls-eye on ourselves by cut after cut, just so we don’t have to bother the super rich with pesky taxes us plebs arestuck with.