The Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has unveiled plans to enhance the submarine capability of the Norwegian Navy with the establishment of submarine cooperation with other nations.
A statement on the Norwegian MoD website read: "The project is in its definition phase. This phase will be completed in the first half of 2016, when the external quality review is completed."
The collaborative development project is expected to reduce Norway’s development costs for the vessel, which will replace the Norwegian Navy’s ageing fleet of Ula-class submarines, which will reach their end-of-life in the 2020’s.
The Norwegian MoD said: "The Ministry of Defence has not chosen a supplier for new submarines, and is at present in dialogue with several different shipyards. It is therefore important to inform all parties as equally as possible.
"The Ministry of Defence and the project are in active discussions with several different nations with regards to potential submarine cooperation, with the aim of achieving the Norwegian ambition for cooperation."
Norway and Germany have already collaborated on submarines in the past. However, a potential partnership between the countries has not been confirmed yet by the latter.
Earlier, the MoD allocated funding to extend the operational life of the navy’s six Ula-class submarines until 2020.
The fleet’s first midlife upgrade programme includes equipment of new combat systems, periscopes, navigation and sensor systems, communications equipment, electronic warfare systems, steering controls and engines.
Thyssen Nordseewerke-built 59m-long Ula-class submarines have a surfaced and submerged displacement capacity of 1,040t and 1,150t respectively, with a beam of 5.4m and a draft of 4.6m, and capacity for a crew of 21.