The Icelandic Coastal Guards’ Þór, also known as Thor, is a multipurpose offshore patrol vessel (OPV). Named after one of the Nordic mythology gods, the Thor arrived at Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, in October 2011.
The new OPV will patrol in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the North Atlantic territorial waters to protect the marine resources and perform search and rescue (SAR) operations.
The Thor OPV was built at the Astilleros y Maestranzas de la Armada (ASMAR) naval shipyard in Chile. It was originally scheduled for delivery in June 2010, but was delayed owing to damage caused by an earthquake and tsunami that had hit the area in February 2010.
The ship was in the dry dock at the time of the catastrophe and hence had suffered damage only in the main engine. The vessel was delivered in September 2011, after an overhaul.
In addition to protecting territorial waters and SAR operations, the Thor will also support functions such as oil retrieval, fire fighting (Fi-Fi), helicopter in-flight refuelling (HIFR) and multibeam underwater research. With these vast operations, the Thor is expected to become the flagship vessel of the Icelandic Coast Guard and replace the decommissioned Óðinn OPV.
The Óðinn was commissioned in 1960 and decommissioned in 2006. It is currently displayed at an exhibition in the Vikin-Maritime Museum in Reykjavik.
The Thor is an enlarged design of the Norwegian Coast Guard multipurpose vessel Harstad, which is designated as UT 512. Rolls Royce designed the Thor by incorporating a few changes to the Harstad’s design to suit Iceland’s need for a bigger and faster ship. The new model is designated as UT 512L.
The Thor sails at a speed of 19.5 knots. It is 93.6m (307ft) long and has a gross ton weight of 4,049t. The beam and the draft length of the vessel are 16m (52.4ft) and 6.5m (23.3ft) respectively.
The steel hull of the vessel can tow up to a bollard pull of 120t. The vessel can accommodate 48 people. A medium-sized helicopter can be stationed on the flight-deck, for use in SAR operations.
Landhelgisgaeslan (LHG), a division of the Icelandic Ministry of Justice, felt the need for a modern and high endurance OPV to protect the North Atlantic territorial waters following the decommissioning of the 46 year old OPV, Óðinn. The Thor project was planned and approved in December 2006 to replace the Óðinn.
LHG signed a $38.6m contract with Rolls Royce of Norway and ASMAR in February 2007 to construct the new OPV. The vessel was launched in April 2009 at the ASMAR shipyard.
OSK-ShipTech, as the project manager, was involved in the evaluation of the plan and supervision of the design and construction of the vessel.
The company was also involved in the preparation of tender documentation, shipyard evaluations and contract negotiations.
The Thor is armed with BAE’s Bofors 40mm gun and two 12.7m machine guns.
The Thor features a Vision Master FT Integrated Bridge System (IBS) radar designed by Sperry Marine.
The in-built radar system presents uniform data on the screen across all functional modes, facilitating ease in the training procedure while increasing the operational efficiency of the vessel.
The Vision Master FT IBS displays interactive conning information, which provides quick response during emergencies.
The vessel’s power plant includes two 10,730hp Rolls Royce Bergen B 32 40L diesel engines and two Kamewa Ulstein controllable pitch propellers (CPPs).
An aqua master azimuth thruster, two bow thrusters and a 736kW tunnel thruster were supplied by Kamewa Ulstein. Two reduction gear sets and two shafts also form part of the machinery.
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