OSLO, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Norway said on Friday that due to cost consideration and uncertainty in reparation, it would discard its damaged KNM Helge Ingstad navy frigate that sank after colliding with an oil tanker off its western coast last year.
"The government has now decided that it is more appropriate to dispose of KNM Helge Ingstad than to repair it," Norwegian Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a statement.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the cost of reparation was estimated to be between 12 billion kroner (1.4 billion U.S. dollars) and 14 billion kroner (1.6 billion U.S. dollars), while building a similar vessel would cost 11-13 billion kroner.
Bakke-Jensen said the disposal of the navy frigate will have significant consequences for Norway's defense.
"We have large sea areas and a long coastline. Good control at sea is absolutely essential in the defense of the country. Therefore, we have been aware all the way that the capacity represented by KNM Helge Ingstad must be re-established," he said.
The ministry will therefore search for military advice from Norwegian Chief of Defense Haakon Bruun-Hanssen on how the operational capacity can be replaced, Bakke-Jensen said.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces have already implemented measures to maintain operational capability in the short term, including the use of double crews on the other vessels in operation.
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."
In late February, Norway started the operation to raise the sunken KNM Helge Ingstad frigate and the vessel arrived at the Haakonsvern naval base in early March. (1 U.S. dollar = 8.56 Norwegian kroner)