OSLO, Norway, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Norway's Ministry of Defense has issued a Request for Information to a number of shipbuilders as it eyes replacement submarines.
Pre-qualified companies receiving the RFI included DCNS of France, Italy's Fincantieri, Navantia of Spain, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (representing Kockums AB, Sweden and HDW, Germany), and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of South Korea.
"Our current submarines will reach the end of their service life after 2020," Norwegian Minister of Defense Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen said. "I am, therefore, very pleased that the process that will eventually allow us to decide on how to best secure the continuation of a Norwegian submarine capability beyond this point is progressing according to schedule."
The RFI issued represents the second stage of the country's submarine capability program and will enable the government to weigh investment costs, life cycle costs, production times, performance and other aspects in regard to procuring new submarines or extending the life of its current fleet.
The Ministry of Defense had earlier conducted a two-year study to assess the country's future needs for a submarine capability.
Recommendations resulting from the RFI will be presented to the government in 2014 and then be presented to Parliament in 2017.