OSLO, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The salvage of Norway's sunken KNM Helge Ingstad frigate that had collided with an oil tanker off Norway's western coast last year cost 726 million kroner (85.2 million U.S. dollars), public broadcaster NRK reported Tuesday.
The recent annual report of the Norwegian Armed Forces showed that the cost was an increase from the 640 million kroner that had been estimated for raising, securing and transporting of the ship, the report said.
The vessel is now worth 2.2 billion kroner less than before the accident and Norway's defence capability has been weakened because KNM Helge Ingstad is not in service, the Armed Forces concluded.
The ship, which was bought by the Armed Forces and delivered in 2009, had been worth 4.3 billion kroner with equipment on board.
This means that the value of the frigate has more than halved after the accident, but its value will be determined once a condition report is published by the end of April.
"It should also be considered whether parts of the frigate can be used for remaining vessels or whether it is possible to sell the steel," the Armed Forces said.
Norway has four more frigates that sail more than usual and the accident affected operational ability, deliveries and preparedness of the Armed Forces, the report said.
The Norwegian Navy's operating expenses were 82 million kroner over budget last year, which is mainly due to the frigate accident, NRK reported.
The Norwegian navy's frigate KNM Helge Ingstad collided with the Malta-registered oil tanker Sola TS on Nov. 8. near Bergen, Norway.
In late November, investigators ruled out technical errors in the collision, saying the "preliminary assessment is that the accident was not caused by any single act or event, but can be explained by a series of interacting complex factors and circumstances." (1 U.S. dollar = 8.52 Norwegian kroner)