aegis norwegian ship nato

Aegis-equipped Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad is run aground after colliding with an oil tanker on its way home from NATO's Trident Juncture war games, 8 November 2018
We still don't know many details surrounding what appears to be a particularly desperate incident that occurred near Bergen, Norway overnight, but in this case, a picture is worth a thousand words. The Aegis combat system equipped Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad had a collision with the oil tanker Sola and suffered significant damage. According to reports and the photo in the embedded tweet below, the damage was so bad that the captain ordered the ship's crew to run the vessel aground near the entry to a fjord to keep it from sinking.

The photo shows the vessel grounded and listing badly with its stern sitting very low in the water and a giant gash running down the starboard side of its hull. Helge Ingstad had been participating in the massive Trident Juncture wargames taking place primarily off the coast of Norway. Some accounts state it the frigate was returning to port when the incident occurred.

At this time we have no information as to how many sailors were injured or worse as a result of the accident and we still don't know the status of the oil tanker aside from the fact that its transponder shows it sitting idle across from where the grounding occurred. The Malta flagged tanker is a monster at roughly 820 feet in length.

The 440 foot long Helge Ingstad displaces 5,290 tons and is one of five in the Fridtjof Nansen class that serve with the Royal Norwegian Navy. They are considered the most advanced combat vessels in the service's inventory and are equipped with an eight-cell Mk41 vertical launch system (VLS) that can hold up to 32 RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs), eight Naval Strike Missiles in their own launchers, four torpedo tubes armed with Stingray torpedoes, a 76mm deck gun, as well as other smaller caliber weapons. An NH-90 helicopter is also commonly embarked. These ships were designed with expansion in mind and have space for multiple types of additional armaments, like another eight cell Mk41 VLS.

Regardless of the ship's combat capabilities, something went horrifically wrong here, but sadly these types of collisions have become all too familiar as of late. Still, the tough decision to ground the vessel-literally something a commanding officer avoids at all costs-may have saved the ship and many of the lives aboard it.

norwegian ship NATO
© Norwegian Defense /
Ouch. Highly visible damages on the hull of the frigate.