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Norwegian Skjold Corvette

January 27, 2010
15 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott B. permalink
    January 27, 2010 5:35 pm

    D.E. Reddick said : “I know that you’ve been busy with making changes to the blog, but you still haven’t responded to Endre -within- this thread.”

    At this stage, I feel like it’s appropriate to quote a brief paragraph from the infamous NATO SLC study of May 2004 : (emphasis added)

    “The main missions of the FPB has traditionally been littoral warfare – protecting Norwegian waters from an amphibious invasion force. This has traditionally been performed by fast and flexible platforms that are able to exploit their size and manoeuvrability in the skerries. The Skjold improves this tradition by having a very low visual, IR and radar signature, and by having a very high speed and manoeuvre capability. The Skjold has enhanced this by adding increased seakeeping performance, and sustained speed in heavy sea state. This enables the Skjold to operate additionally as a corvette with regard to certain missions/tasks. These capabilities allows the Skjold to operate for sustained periods in more open waters from the coastline – broadening the spectre of operations from war to peacekeeping and crisis. The onboard capacities with regard to both technology and crew fatigue represents less dependence of logistics and bases, utilizing an increased capability to operate for sustained periods in out of area operations.”

  2. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 27, 2010 5:06 pm


    Lackadaisical Copy of Skjold…

  3. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 27, 2010 5:02 pm


    I know that you’ve been busy with making changes to the blog, but you still haven’t responded to Endre -within- this thread.

  4. Bill permalink
    January 27, 2010 4:57 pm

    What’s not to like about the is the world’s fastest warship and for its size, one of the most lethal. It’s seakeeping abilities are superb..its draft extremely low..handles like a Ferrari..yadda yadda

    But..Skjold is the highly-refined product of a well-defined set of mission requirements that were never allowed to creep and containing very few compromises and virtually no infection of ‘muti-mission disease’. As such Skjold is not for everybody..and certainly not something ‘everybody’ could build either.

    With the ‘benefit’ of hindsight as bestowed upon us by the gestation of LCS-1 and LCS-2, particularly the former, I’ll again belabor the point I made earlier: USN could not have pulled off the build of a ‘skjold’ or a ‘skjold-like’ LCS…and a lot of things must change before they ever could. I have to hold out some hope that lessons have been learned…

  5. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 27, 2010 4:41 pm

    If Scott B likes the Skjold, then it must be good! But I’m not endorsing anything.

  6. Heretic permalink
    January 27, 2010 4:39 pm

    Lackluster Compromised Sloop just doesn’t have the same … ring … to it. Why is that?

  7. Scott B. permalink
    January 27, 2010 4:35 pm

    This terminological debate actually opens a much broader perspective, i.e. :

    Is Skjold the corvette Mike B. is looking for ?

    And, for a change I’m being very serious here : under Mike’s *smaller is better* paradigm, my feeling is that the Norwegian Skjold is, by far, the very best option available out there (much more so than anything that’s been proposed under the corvette vocable so far).

    We actually started to have such a discussion back in June last year (start where I’m confessing the soft spot I have for the Skjolds).

    But then, somebody started to yell Bring On The Station Wagon all over the place… ;-)

  8. January 27, 2010 3:54 pm

    Hello X,

    I have often thought “sloop” goes rather well with “patrol”,”minehunting”,”survey” and “C3”.


  9. January 27, 2010 3:46 pm

    I always liked the word sloop.

  10. January 27, 2010 2:20 pm

    Hello Bill,

    There is no particular way to rate a ship so you can define corvette any way you like.
    Some try to define ships by size,others by armament or role.
    The problem is,the worlds navies don’t have any agreed definition so the term can mean whatever you want it to mean.
    To me,a corvette will always be a small frigate and a Skjold would not qualify for that term.
    But corvette can mean whatever you want it to mean and many navies might rate Skjolds as corvettes.
    Many navies would also rate the Littoral Combat Ships as corvettes,but Mike Burleson calls them frigates and I think of them as jumped up brigs!

    In all the discussions we have about small ships,the difference between defensive and offensive vessels never seems to get mentioned.
    Yet there is a world of difference between what is needed to defend your own littoral and what is needed to go into your enemies littoral.

    The Skjolds appear well suited to their role as a defensive coastal vessels.
    One of the biggest problems with the Littoral Combat Ship programme is that it takes the characteristics of a defensive littoral vessel and applies them to a ship intended for offensive combat off a hostile coast.


  11. Bill permalink
    January 27, 2010 1:55 pm

    So, in todays’ parlance, is the ‘corvette’ designation primarily based on size and range?..or that plus armament?

    If armament is a key factor..I guess the definition could certainly be fudged a bit by the Norwegians if both size and range are otherwise also considered important, because for their size, the Skjolds are indeed very heavily armed and their range..well they simply do not need any for the Noregian role. The effective range of the new NSM alone covers about half the distance from the shore that they want to deny to any agressor fleet..;-)

  12. January 27, 2010 1:48 pm

    Hello Bill,

    like all the other terms used to describe warships,”corvette” has different meanings in different countries and those meanings also change over time.

    Personally I prefer to think of a frigate as a “cruising” ship which patrols independently in moderate threat areas or operates in support of the battle fleet in high threat environments.
    That is very much the nineteenth century definition of a British frigate.
    To the Royal Navy a corvette was originally a smaller foreign version of a frigate,the sort of ship which might be built by a navy with local rather than global interests.

    In the twentieth century the Royal Navy reinvented the corvette as a cheap antisubmarine escort.
    When corvettes proved inadequate in this role,a more capable replacement was named as a frigate.
    It is this second world war escort lineage from which the modern British frigate is descended even though it’s role today is more akin to that of the frigate of the days of sail.

    Other navies,Israel for example,have used the term corvette to describe the larger vessels with which they are replaceing small fast attack craft.
    These vessels are often more reminiscent of the early twentieth century torpedo boat than any historical corvettes.


  13. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 27, 2010 1:37 pm

    There are so many comments regarding the Skjold class in the “LCS Alternative Weekly” and “Stiletto & Seakeeping” threads it seems a waste that they aren’t available here (in this Skjold thread).

    Mike – copy / paste / edit time, perhaps…

  14. Bill permalink
    January 27, 2010 1:07 pm

    @ Endre: Just curious, since I’m not particularly expert at what defines what vesel type in many cases; what, in your (or tohers that want to chime in) estimation, makes the ‘Skjold’ ‘not a corvette’?

  15. Endre permalink
    January 27, 2010 12:58 pm

    Norway insists on referring to this vessel as a “Coastal Corvette” now, but I think that is seriously stretching the definition – it is a Fast Attack Craft, or an Interceptor – it does not have the capabilities to justify the “corvette” designation.

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