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Vorma Class Aircraft Carrier
VORMA05
Vorma Class Aircraft Carrier
Career Flag of Kalmar Union
Nationality: Kalmar Union
Operated by: Kongelige Sjøforsvaret
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding
Upgraded and retrofitted by Odense Staalskibsværft
Ordered: First of class: March 1997
Commissioned: First of class Mk2: September 1999
Status: In Service
General characteristics
Displacement: 87,000 tons
Length: 330 m
Beam: 87 m
Draft: 12 m
Power: 210 MW
Propulsion: NAtech/Westinghouse COFCAG (multi-gas turbine and fuel cell propulsion system) with two pods
Speed: 33 knots
Maximum speed: 39 knots
Range: 19,000 nautical miles at 33 knots
Complement: Ships company 3,000
Air wing: 1,940
Armament: Sensors
1 x Saab 9LV CMS Combat Management System
1 x TERMA ATM Air Traffic Management
1 x Saab 9lv FCS Fire Control System
2 x Saab EOS 500 Weapons Control Radar
2 x TERMA SCANTER 6000 Surveillance Radar
1 x Saab Hull Inspector Sensor
1 x Saab DD90 Diver Detection System
Electronic warfare
1 x Saab SME-200 Tactical EMS / ELINT
1 x Saab NLWS Naval Laser Warning System
Decoys
2 x TERMA DL-12T decoy launcher
2 x TERMA Loki torpedo countermeasure
Armament
2 x ESSM launchers
2 x RIM-116 RAM
3 x Phalanx_CIWS
Aircraft carried: 70+
2010 Typical Aircraft wing:
40 x F/A 18 Super Hornet
2 x C-2 Greyhound
2 x Saab 2000 AEW&C
2 x Sea King HAR4 Search and Rescue
6 x AS532 Cougar ASUW / ASW
12 UAVs

The Vorma Class aircraft carrier is the first supercarrier class in service under the Kalmar Union flag. The two ships of class are the former Sierra Kitty Hawk class EVS Constellation and EVS Kitty Hawk.

KUFLO decided in 2012 to launch the "Future Aircraft Carrier" program to define what should be the Sjøforsvaret's requirements to maintain its blue water capabilities beyond 2020, for which it assembled a committee of experts who had to submit a report within a year. . The report recommended not prolonging the operational life of the Vorma class aircraft carriers due to its high operating costs and the complexity of keeping up to date ships designed in the 60s . In 2018 only KKS Frigg remains operational, keeping KKS Freyja in a state of " operational reserve ". It is planned that the first of the Muspelheim Class aircraft carriers will be delivered to the Sjøforsvaret during the summer of 2018 while the second one will be delivered before the end of 2019, so the Vorma class aircraft carriers will be removed from service in 2020.

Background

As part of the strategy to achieve a truly blue water navy, started with the purchase of the Spruance destroyers for further modification, KUFLO negotiated with several North American nations the possibility of acquiring any of its conventional carriers.

The opportunity would come in February 1997 when the government of Kalmar Union raised the possibility of acquiring the aircraft carriers Kitty Hawk and EVS Constellation that would be decommissioned by the government of Sierra.

Upgrading design

Once the purchase agreement was signed, technicians began working on the design of the new ship that was awarded to Odense Staalskibsværft. One carrier will be activated inmediately and the other one would suffer a series of modifications during the next two years. Once the upgraded unit would enter service, the first one should be upgraded.

The guidelines were as follows:

  • Reforming and strengthening of the hull
  • Changes in the flight deck to accommodate the new aircraft and new automated systems
  • Installing a new power plant more modern and efficient, adapted to the new requirements of power
  • A completely new installation of all the ship's electronic systems
  • Upgrading weapons systems

Hull

New hull modifications include a new propeller design, a new bulbous bow design that provides more buoyancy to the forward end of the ship and improves hull efficiency, curved flight deck edges to reduce radar signature, a new underwater hull-coating system, deck covering modernized to reduce ship weight by 100 tons, low Solar Absorptive and Anti-Stain Paint, and a redesigned hangar bay that has less clutter.

Flight deck

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A detail of the new EMALS system

Changes to the flight deck are the most visible of the differences between the Kitty Hawk and Vorma classes. Several sections have been altered from the layout of the Kitty Hawk class flight deck to improve aircraft handling, storage, and flow. Vorma Class have no catapult-specific restrictions on launching aircraft, but still retains 4 catapults, 2 bow and 2 waist and the number of aircraft lifts from hangar deck to flight deck level is reduced from 4 to 3. The design changes to the flight deck are instrumental in the maximization of sortie generation.

The route of weapons to the aircraft stops on the flight deck has been replanned to accommodate higher re-arming rates, and in turn higher potential sortie rates.

Another major change is the creation of a deck space for a centralized re-arming and re-fueling location. This reduces the number of times that an aircraft will have to be moved after landing before it can be launched again. Fewer aircraft movements require, in turn, fewer deck hands to accomplish them, reducing the size of the ship's crew. On Vorma-class carriers the time that it takes to launch a plane after it has landed is defined by the time necessary to re-arm and re-fuel. To minimize this time, ordnance will be moved by robotic devices from storage areas to the centralized re-arming location via re-located weapons elevators. The new path that ordnance follows does not cross any areas of aircraft movement, thereby reducing traffic problems in the hangars and on the flight deck. The launching system has been completly redefined and the old steam catapults habe been replaced by Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) developed by General Atomics for the Everetty Gerald R. Ford-class aircraftcarriers. This system allows to launch aircraft from carriers using a linear motor drive instead of steam pistons used in conventional aircraft catapults. This technology reduces stress on airframes because they can be accelerated more gradually to takeoff speed than steam-powered catapults. EMALS also uses less fresh water, reducing the need for energy-intensive desalination.

Power generation & propulsion

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A detail of the AZIPOD

The power plant of the ship has been completely redesigned to suit the needs and requirements of the Sjøforsvaret and the new systems and elements of the ship. KUFLO chose to equip the ship with a mixed multi-gas turbine and fuel cell propulsion system (COFCAG) using the existing Westinghouse gas turbine and adding a suit of NAtech fuel cells able to use natural gas. At low speed and during maneuvers the system uses the power delivered by the fuel cells, using the gas turbine system to achieve higher speeds. In addition, the system reuses the exhaust gases to supercharge the turbine and for the ship's heating systems, which considerably reduces the ship's thermal footprint. Power plant of the ship was designed taking into account the current needs of energy for propulsion and other systems on board, so it was possible to assume an increase in power required if new equipment or systems were installed in the future.

The propulsion system is fully electrical with four AZIPOD s (ABB azimut thrusters) mounted externally to the main hull. The electricity for the motors is supplied by the power system.

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Electronic systems

One of the main design premises was the need to mount Kalmar Union made electronic systems in order to full integration with other Forsvaret systems and satellite net.

Sensors

  • 1 x Saab 9LV CMS Combat Management System
  • 1 x TERMA ATM Air Traffic Management
  • 1 x Saab 9lv FCS Fire Control System
  • 2 x Saab EOS 500 Weapons Control Radar
  • 2 x TERMA SCANTER 6000 Surveillance Radar
  • 1 x Saab Hull Inspector Sensor
  • 1 x Saab DD90 Diver Detection System

Electronic warfare

  • 1 x Saab SME-200 Tactical EMS / ELINT
  • 1 x Saab NLWS Naval Laser Warning System

Decoys

  • 2 x TERMA DL-12T decoy launcher
  • 2 x TERMA Loki torpedo countermeasure

Armament

The Vorma class use three main weapon systems. All of them are Everett made and common with the new Everetti aircraft carriers. The weapons system of the ships are:

Air wing

The ships are able to carry more than 70 aircrafts. The 2010 Typical Aircraft wing is formed by:

List of ships

The ships are named after old norse goddesses Frigg and Freyja.

# Name Ordered Launched Commissioned
C-11 KKS Frigg March 1997 November 1997 March 2002 (Upgraded)
C-12 KKS Freyja March 1997 January 1998 October 1999 (Upgraded)
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