The new FS Marjata IV military intelligence collection ship has become a new addition to the Norwegian Navy and will join NATO missions in the Barents and Norwegian Seas this spring.
The new ship will be one of the two ships which Norway and NATO will send into the high Arctic seas in an attempt to find lurking Russian, Sputnik reports.
FS Marjata IV is the significantly improved and bigger version of its predecessors which have been operated by the Norwegian Intelligence Service since the days of the Cold War. The fourth model of the reconnaissance ship is 126 meters (413 feet) long and 23.5 meters (77 feet) wide. The ship's equipment was developed by experts at the Chatham naval base in the United States. The Marjata project ended up being one of the most expensive ones in the history of the Norwegian military - approximately 149 million euros.
Furthermore, in addition to the new Marjata IV, the Norwegian Navy plans to re-equip its older, third-generation Marjata and send it back to keep an eye out for potential Russian submarines. For the first time in history there will be two Marjata ships sent by the Norwegian Navy.
Amid NATO's eastward expansion, Norway, as a loyal member of the Western military alliance, is preoccupied with its mission to make sure that it leaves no stone unturned on the bottom of the Norwegian and Barents Seas, in search of imaginary Russian submarines.
Norway has been regularly involved in military drills near Russian borders, including Cold Response, Joint Viking, Dynamic Mongoose and others.
Last year, the Norwegian daily Dagsavisen criticized the Norwegian Armed Forces, accusing it of inventing Russophobia and using it to justify its increasing military spending to counter an imaginary Russian threat. The newspaper said that Norway doesn't need any more weapons, because Russia isn't a threat to Norway.