Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 431

Arctic Yearbook 2014 431 Sources: (Wezeman, 2012; Lasserre-Le Roy-Garon, 2012) Sea capabilities Canada - Canada’s 15 major surface warships are large enough and its 4 conventional submarines have enough range to operate in the Arctic Ocean - The Royal Canadian Navy currently has no ice-strengthened warships. Patrolling the Arctic is mainly done by the Canadian Coast Guard which has five large- or mediumsized unarmed icebreakers and six small icebreakers. However, most of these can only operate in the Arctic in the summer. - plans for 6 to 8 large Arctic offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the navy and 1 large icebreaker for the coastguard to be operational by 2017 replacing an older ship - The nearest naval base is at Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the far south-east of Canada. However, the existing small coastguard base at Nanisivik on Baffin Island, Nunavut, is being expanded in the period 2010–15 to a naval base with docking and supply facilities Denmark incl. Greenland - Denmark’s 3 frigates, are able to operate in Arctic waters but are not ice-strengthened (soon to be increased to 5). However, 4 Thetis class OPV/frigates, which were commissioned in the early 1990s and designed for patrols in the North Atlantic and off Greenland, are capable of breaking ice up to 1 metre thick. - 2 smaller but potentially more heavily armed ice-strengthened Knud Rasmussen class OPVs are dedicated for patrols off Greenland; they were ordered in 2004 and commissioned in 2008–2009, and a third is planned for 2017 - 1 ice-strengthened large patrol craft also operates from Greenland. - the Royal Danish Navy has a base at Kangilinnguit (Grønnedal) in the south of Greenland Norway21 - the Royal Norwegian Navy is based mainly in Bergen, in the south - in 2010 the coastguard’s headquarters was moved north, to Sortland - they had replaced its 5 small frigates by 5 much larger and more capable Fridtjof Nansen class frigates by early 2011. Because of their size and equipment, the new frigates are much more able to operate in Arctic waters, as are Norway’s six Ula class submarines. - for the first time, Norway is planning to acquire a large support ship, to be in service in 2015, which will give the frigates a substantial increase in range - Norway also operates a large ‘research ship’ with electronic and signals intelligence equipment, which is capable of operations in thin ice. A replacement was ordered in 2010. - the Norwegian Coastguard operates 4 large but lightly armed OPVs capable of operations in icy conditions, including 3 with a helicopter hangar, and 4 other large ocean-going OPVs. None of Norway’s warships or patrol ships can break ice. Russia22 - the Northern Fleet is the largest of the 5 Russian fleets, stationed at several large Russian Military Build-Up in the Arctic