Comparisons – NATO Allies –
Current Danish Naval Projects – May/July 2008
An Overview of Current, On-Going Danish Naval projects
Danish defence is run by government and parliament (the Folketinget ) through the Forsvars- ministeriet
(Ministry of Defence) and Forsvaret (or Danish Defence Force). Normally the cost and objectives of
Danish defence are written in four year broad agreements in the parliament. This provides some stability
to procurement and continuity to the running of defence matters.
The current defence plan agreement is for the period 2005-2009. The two previous periods were when transformation of
the armed forces into an expeditionary force began to be implemented. Several Danish naval projects now
coming into service were conceived in the planning period 1996-2000, turning into proper projects (ie: design,
plan, and contract ) in the 2001-2004 period. The last project covered in this review - for three frigates -
was agreed upon during 2004-2009, first steel was cut in February 2008, and commissioning into
service is expected in 2010-2013.
All new Danish naval vessels are built to classification society naval rules, presently DNV (Det Norske Veritas)
Rules for Naval Surface Craft. At present, Danish naval Ro-Ro transport ships are chartered and there is
no replenishment ship. A purpose-built replenishment AOR (auxiliary oiler and dry stores ship) was listed
in the last defence commission's stipulated requirements. But such a ship failed to materialize in
any defence spending plans. Only time will tell whether a dedicated AOR ship will appear in the
next defence agreement slated for the period 2010-2014.
See the official Forsvaret homepage on the latest Danish defence agreement ( naval section ).
Why the Small Ships? — Coastal Duties and the Organization of the Royal Danish Navy
When looking at the new-build ships for the Royal Danish Navy (Kongelige Danske Marine or Søværnet),
one must remember that Denmark has no coast guard as such. Tasks which might be assigned to a coast guard elsewhere
are incorporated into daily naval activities. All of the ships that would form a Danish coast guard are assigned to
the KDM's First Squadron or 1. Eskadre. This arrangement gives more flexibility in rotations
of men and material, and some international tasks can be carried out using OPVs - such as at present.
The most recent Danish naval projects are:
1) 6 x Standard Mk Is (Holm
class) for use in hydrographical surveys, officer cadet training,
and mine countermeasures (MCM) drones.
2) 6 x Standard Mk IIs
(Diana class) for surveillance (including environment patrol), search
and rescue, explosive ordnance disposal, sovereignty patrol, assisting civil authorities,etc.
3) 2 x new ice-resistant Knud
Rasmussen class Offshore Patrol Vessels for use off Greenland
and in the North
Atlantic. Besides sovereignty and fisheries patrol, these OPVs will perform
icebreaking duties, SAR, and assist the Danish and Greenlandic civil authorities.
4) 2 x Absalon class Command
and Support Ships. Absalon can be considered hybrid frigates
carry 200 soldiers, have Roll-On/Roll-Off loading capabilities for military vehicles,
optional containerized hospital (or additional living quarters modules for troops).
5) 3 x Iver Huitfeld class
patrol frigates based on an Absalon class hull but with substantially
more engine power. These frigates will also be better armed than the Absalon class although
the details of the main gun armament have yet to be made firm.
6) 11 x Hjemmeværnet or Naval Home Guard vessels (MHV 900 class). These small ships will
used primarily for coastal surveillance, search and rescue, and environmental