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S-Boats in the Royal Norwegian Navy 1940 - 2010 (Sjøforsvaret)

Norway had ordered four boats of type Vosper 60' in 1939. Boats "No 5" and "No 6" were delivered in May 1940. 

The boats displaced 32 t at a length of 19,04 m and reached a speed of 35 knots by their two  Isotta Fraschini gasoline-motors of each 2330 PS. mThe armament consisted of two swedish 45,7cm torpedo-tubes and four depth charges. The crew consisted of 10 men.

"MTB 5" ("No 5") of Type Vosper 60 ft - Picture: Imperial War Museum

MTB "No 5" was claimed back by the Royal Navy and sailed under a Norwegian crew. She was lost caused by an explosion on 01.07.1941. "MTB 6" (No 6)  was leaking caused by bad weather and was abandoned by her Norwegian crew on 26.09.1940  in the Channel. She drifted ashore in the Seine-Bight.

 Boats "No 7" and "No 8" were completed, however, they were commissioned by the Royal Navy as "MTB 71" and "MTB 72". "MTB 71" was sailing under a Norwegian crew. It was realized pretty soon that this type of boats was constructed too weakly for action in times of war.

In winter 1941/42 the Norwegian Sboat-force was strengthened to a total six boats. blev den norske S-båd-styrke forstærket på seks både. "MTB 71" of the same class as was commissioned on 10.11.1941 and returned to the RN on 04.02.1942. As substitution they got five new boats of type Thornycroft 75 ft ("MTB 56", "MTB 52", "MTB 50", "MTB 51", "MTB 54"), operated in the Channel until summer 1942. Also these boats were built too weakly and had frequent engine-problems. Therefore, these boats were returned to RN in summer 1942. 


"MTB 102" type Thornycroft 75 foot - Picture: Imperial War Museum

The task of these boats was to operate against the German support-trafic i Norwegian waters. In fulfillment of that task the boats were camouflaged in the Norwegian skerries during daytime and sailed patrols during the nights.

Boat Commissioned Returned to RN
MTB 56 28.07.1941 29.06.1942
MTB 52 01.12.1941 18.06.1942
MTB 50 06.12.1941 18.06.1942
MTB 51 24.01.1942 18.06.1942
MTB 54 06.02.1942 18.06.1942

The first boat under Norwegian crew was "MTB 56". In the night 08./09.09.1941 the crew of "MTB 56" together with two British boats performed an attack against  a German convoy off Cape Blanc Nez. "MTB 56" sank a Freighter out of the convoy.

"MTB 56" performed a sortie against the Norwegian coast on 02./03.10.1941. Since her range was not big enough she was towed by the chaser "Draug" to about 120 nautical miles off the coast. In the darkness she sailed into Korsfjord with her auxiliary motors, where she was camouflaged at a little ununinhabitated island and sailed patrol during the night. "MTB 56" sank a supply-ship which had loaded 3.500 liters of kerosine. On her way back to the shetlands she was towed again by "Draug".

The Norwegian boats served well as training units for the Norwegians who were prepared to take over better vessels.

On 11.11.1942 the "Shetlandsafdelingen" (Shetland Department) was officially formed. As office- and depotbuildung an old storagehouse at Lerwick was used while the personnel was accommodated in Nissen huts near the harbour. The flotilla got the indicator 30. (N) MTB Flotilla. The flotilla got eight MTBs of type Fairmile D.


"MTB 724" of Type Fairmile D - Picture: Imperial War Museum

In summer 1943 the  indication of the flotilla was changed to 54. (N) MTB Flotilla. Sorties against the Norwegian coast took place during the lighter time of the year, in the darker time the boats were operating in the Channel.

Northern Northsea - Picture from Wikipedia

Boat Commissioned Remarks
MTB 618 18.06.1842 Broken up 10.11.1944
MTB 619 23.08.1942 Returned 06.06.1944
MTB 620 06.09.1942 Returned 20.08.1943
MTB 623  27.08.1942 Returned 19.01.1945
MTB 625 04.09.1942 Lost 08.04.1944
MTB 626 24.07.1942 Lost 22.11.1943 by fire at Lerwick
MTB 637 20.09.1942 ?
MTB 631 11.11.1942 Lost 14.03.1943 running aground off Florø


The Norwegian boats performed 161 sorties against the Norwegian coast (distance about 200 nm) between Trontheim and Kristiansand and sank 27 ships among them seven warships.

"MTB 345" (Thornycroft testboad) was also employed under Norwegian command from the Shetlands to operate against the Norwegian coast since marts 1943. On 27.07.1943 she was conquered during a fight with picket "V 5301 Seeteufel" off Aspøy close to Ålesund. The crew (four Norwegians an one British) were shot by Gestapo. The boat was commissioned as "SA 7" in August 1943 and caught fire off the Shetland Islands in August 1943 and sank.

Had the personnel of the Norwegian contingent in the Royal Navy in 1942 counted about 250 persons so were in the beginning of 1945 about 550 persons in operation and support of the units under Norwegian flagg. As replacement for the boats lost rsp. returned to RN the Norwegians received: 

Boat Commissioned Name Whereabouts
MTB 72 1945 - 1959 Lom  
MTB 653 1943 - 1945   Returned 18.01.1945
MTB 688 1943 - 1945   Returned 22.01.1945
MTB 704 1945 - 1948 Ørn  
MTB 709 1943 - 1945   Lost 26.01.1945, run aground at Shetlands
MTB 711 1944 - 1959 Falk  
MTB 712 1943 - 1945   Lost 26.01.1945, run aground at Shetlands
MTB 713 1945 - 1948 Hauk,  Explosion 23.11.48 at Bergen
MTB 715 1943 - 1945   Returned May 1945
MTB 716 1944 - 1959 Ramn  
MTB 717 1944 - 1959 Stegg  
MTB 719 1945 - 1959 Skarv  
MTB 720 1944 - ? ? ?
MTB 721  1945 - 1959 Teist  
MTB 722 1944 - 1958 Jo  
MTB 723 1945 - 1959 Tjeld  
MTB 726 1942 - 1945   Returned 31.01.1945

At the end of World War II the Norwegian navy personnel which had escaped to England while Germany occupied the country and had served in the Royal Navy came back to their homeland.

The Norwegian fleet lumped together consisted at that point of time of 52 ships and boats, among them former units of the Coastal Forces, 12 S-boats of type Fairmile D and three Motorlaunchs of type Fairmile B, "ML 125", "ML 213" og "ML 573". 

The Ministry of Defence introduced a three-years-plan for the years 1946 to 1949. It contained a plan to consolidate the Norwegian Navy and to return the loaned and leased vehicles. 

Of the British Fairmaile-D-boats 10 were bought by Norway. "MTB 715" was destroyed by a fire on 19.05.45 with an explosion as succession. The boats got the names "Falk", "Hauk", "Jo", "Kjeld", "Lom", "Om", "Ravn", "Skarv", "Stegg", "Teist". The boat "Hauk" was destroyed by a fire in November 1948. the other vehicles seved in the fleet as "Falk"-class until 1958/59.

On the day of the German capitulation "S 10", "S 11", "S 13", "S 15", and "S 16" of the 51. picketflotilla were laying at Åstveitvågen. The 1. Schnellboot-Schooleflotilla with "S 62", "S  79", S 86", "S 89", and "S 133 was at Egesund together with Begleitschiff "Adolf Lüderitz" and the 8. SFltl with "S 195", "S 302", "S 303", and "S 709". Boats "S 195", "S 302", and "S 303" were at Bergen in summer 1946. They hab been alottet to USA as war-loot and hab gotten the indicators "E 1", "E 2", and "E 3".

Norway bought 14 boats of the US war-loot and boat "S 196" of the English war-loot, which was only used as sparepart-depot. 

"Taarnfalken" - P 563 after it was taken over by Søværnet - Picture: Søværnet

10 of the 15 boats bought from the Allied were modernized and employed until 1951 as follows:

German Nr.



S 10


Broken up 1950

S 21


Broken up 1950

S 27


Broken up 1950

S 48


Broken up 1950

S 64


1951 sold to DK - Stormfuglen

S 76


Used up as target-vehicle

S 85


1951 sold to DK - Tranen

S 98


1945/46 run aground and broken up

S 117


1951 sold to DK - Hejren

S 174


Broken up 1950

S 195 (E 1)


1951 sold to DK - Lommen

S 196


1951 sold to DK as sparepart-depot

S 210


1945/46 run aground and broken up

S 302 (E 2)


1951 sold to DK - Falken

S 303 (E 3)


1951 sold to DK - Taarnfalken


The boats "Kvikk" and "Snar" were so heavily damaged by their running aground at Østøya after they had torn of their moorings at Horten during a gale in winter 1948/49 that they were broken up. They were stricken in the listing of Norwegian warships in 1950.

The boats "S 10" to "S 48" used as sparepart-depots until then and "Rap" (ex "S 174") were broken up in 1950, the boat "Tarva" (ex "S 76") was canibalized and used as a target-vehicle until the 1970s. The other six boats were sold to Denmark in 1951.



As substitution for the former German boats 10 S-boats of type "Elco-80“ were bought from the US Navy in the same year, boats with gasoline-motorsk. The boats were bought with financial support of USA (Military Defence Assistance and Advisory Program = MDAP) and ot the indication "Hai"-class. Six boats were decommissioned in the years 1960 to 1964. The other boats followed in 1966.

Elco 80'-Boat, here "PT 109" in the Pacific - Picture from Rottman: US Patrol Torpedo Boats

A private undertaker, Westermoen-Båtverft i Mandal, offered Sjøforsvaret 1952 a boat built on own cost for test-voyages. After thorough testing of the boat which had been called "Rapp" the Royal Norwegian Navy ordered five more boats which were commissioned in the years 1955/56.

KNM "Kjapp" - P 354 - Picture: Archives Lars H. Herbst



1958 offered the boat-yard at Mandal Søforsvaret again a boat built on own cost. Sjøforsvaret accepted the boat called "Nasty" which was propelled by diesel-motors as the essential novelty for testing. After detailed testing and some improvements as results from the testing Sjøforsvaret ordered 20 further boats of type "Tjeld" in two parts of 10 boats each were ordered. Two boats were ordered for Germany for comparing-tests ("Hugin" og "Munin"), six other boats were built for Greece and 14 for USA.

The 22. TKB in Northern Norway - in front "Tjeld"-class-boat P 348 "Hval" - Picture: Kalle Scheuch



In the early 1960s "Storm"-class was planned as supplement for the 20 motortorpedoboats of "Tjeld"-class as motorgunboats. The boats of "Tjeld"-class and the 24 boats of "Storm"-class were to form little combat-groups whereby wire-guided torpedoes were the main weapon of "Tjeld"-class-boats while "Storm"-class-boats were to receive a relatively strong artillery-arming.

The type-ship, KNM "Storm", was launched on 8. February 1962 and on 31. May 1963 the boat was finished. Then thorough testing commenced. 1965 the first series-boats with small changed were delivered. For cost-reasons only 20 of the  24 planned units were acquired which were commissioned uintil the end of 19567. As one of the last units followed P 960, KNM "Storm", since the trials-boat with this name was broken up because of the heavy wear and tear and had to be substituted by a new boat.

With six "Rapp"-, 20 "Tjeld"-, and 20 "Storm"-class-boats was Sjøforsvaret in numbers the strongest S-boat-force of NATO.

"Storm"-Class-Boat with Penguin-Launchers on the Quarterdeck in Northern Norway - Picture: Sjøforsvaret

In the early 1970s all boats were modernized. They were retrofitted with anti-ship-missiles »Penguin«, six of them could be taken on board. With that the Norwegian S-boat-Flotilla was also in terms of weapon-technics at the top of the Western Navies.

The boats of the three classes were grouped together in mixed units which got the indicators TKB-Skvadroner (Torpedo- og Gunboat Squadrons), Commander of such group was the Commanding Officer of a "Storm"-class-boat.


A mixed armament with missile- and torpedo-weapon on a S-Boat was for lthe first time introduced with "Snøgg"-class which was built in 1970/71 to release the in respect to weapon-technics old boats of "Rapp"-class. "Snøgg"-boats also got their names. Hull and propulsion were identical with the "Storm"-boats. The higher superstructure and the missing radome and the 76mm-gun were from the outside  the most noticeable destinguishing features. The boats had a command-and-cotrol-system inclusive Link 11 and were employed as guides of mixed S-boat-groups.

P 981 "Rapp" of Snøgg-Class - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Bd. 3


The boats of  "Tjeld"-class which had gotten on in years were substituted by 14 new buildt units of "Hauk"-class in 1978 to 1980. The names of the "Tjeld"-class boats were taken over. 

Boat of "Hauk"-Class - Picture: Sjøforsvaret

The boats of "Hauk"-class were objects of some modernisations in the early 21. century what also made them fit for participation in the NATO-Operations Active Endeavor in the Straits of Gibraltar with four boats of the 21. MTB-Skvadron in 2003. 2006 until 2007 four boats of the 22. MTB-Skvadron were part of UNIFIL off the coast of Lebanon. 2004 th eboats were equipped with anti-air-missiles type Mistral and three heavy machineguns, The Penguin-missiles were upgraded and the command-and-control-system SENIT 2000 was improved. In spite of that six boats were decommissioned already in 2006 and four boats one year later. The last five boats served in the fleet until 2008. 


The type-boat of the last S-boat-class of the Royal Norwegian Navy, "Skjold"-class, was completed already in 1999 and was under thorough testing in Norway and USA. The boats were designed for high speed and restricted detectability. They belong to the fastest warships in teh world. They also show high seaworthiness and good manoeuvrability.

Boat of "Skjold"-Class - Picture: Sjøforsvaret

The Surface Effect Ship (SES) is built of fiberglas. Between the two hulls an air-cushion is built up by rubber-skirts which reduces the 270 t displacement by 50 to 80 %. The draught goes down from 2,3 to 0,9 m. The air-cushion is produced by two diesel-motors. The propulsion of the stealth-vehicle is by water-jet driven by a GOGAG-machinery with two gasturbines for smaller speeds and two further gasturbines for higher speeds and two diesel-motors for manoeuvring. Maximum speed is 60 knots.

The boats have a command-and-control-system SENIT 2000 including Link 11.


2010 untill 2013 five more boats were commissioned and teh boats were reclassified to  "Kystkorvetter" (coastal corvettes). 

After decommissioning of the last "Hauk"-class-boats the Royal Norwegian Navy (Sjøforsvaret) no longer has S-boats at its disposal.