STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) — Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide and German Defense Minister Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen have agreed to begin cooperation on naval defense equipment, the Norwegian Defense Ministry press service said in a statement Tuesday.
"Today, the German and Norwegian Ministers of Defense formally marked the start of long-term cooperation on new submarines and naval missiles," the statement said.
The Norwegian defense minister said she considers the meeting as a formal beginning of bilateral naval defense cooperation.
"I am very pleased that Norway and Germany have agreed upon a strategic cooperation on naval defense equipment. This agreement is the start of a long-lasting cooperation on new submarines, naval missiles and other defense systems," Soreide stressed.
"The partnership includes a procurement of identical submarines and cooperation on training, exercises, spare parts, maintenance and lifetime-management of the new submarines, as well as industrial cooperation between German and Norwegian defense industries," Soreide stated.
According to the Norwegian Defense Minister, Germany's Atlas Elektronik and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Norway's Kongsberg Defence Systems have established a joint venture which will supply combat management systems to German and Norwegian submarines.
On February 3, Norway announced a strategic partnership with Germany, which implies in particular purchasing new submarines from the German company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Norway expects the shipment of four submarines to begin in 2019. The partnership also includes personnel training and technical maintenance of the submarines.