KONGSBERG unveils Vanguard – a game changer in naval operations

26 September 2019 – Kongsberg Gruppen ASA (KONGSBERG) in a ceremony in Oslo today unveiled a new naval ship design called Vanguard. The concept combines long experience in both the maritime and naval sectors to design a platform that meets modern threats and demands for safety, security, economy and environment.

The Vanguard couples KONGSBERG’s knowledge, technology and systems together with the competence coming from the Norwegian Maritime and Offshore Industry. The Vanguard fulfils the needs of coastal nations for both military and civilian operations, such as Search & Rescue, Harbor and Assets Protection, Subsea Survey, Exercising Authority and Sovereignty, Anti-Access/Area-Denial, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Mine Clearance, and Detection and Disposal.

Vanguard, by design, is highly adaptable and capable of fulfilling a multitude of roles. It is designed with a multi-role hangar for air, surface and sub-surface assets. Easily interchangeable mission modules and extensive use of unmanned vehicles enables quick change of operational roles. The Vanguard is also based on an open architecture to integrate and take advantage of new technology as it becomes available.

In order to offer extremely capable yet affordable military vessels, Vanguard is based on civilian and commercial ship design, combined with flexible military mission packs. This approach represents significant cost savings as compared to traditional military bespoke solutions.

“The Vanguard by KONGSBERG represents a game changer in naval operations. Combining our experience from the maritime, offshore and naval sectors, this innovative concept provides an adaptable and affordable solution to meet the operational needs of coastal nations”, says Eirik Lie, President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

Vanguard System

An innovative system for territorial waters Surveillance & Protection

-Ensuring mission success

A key national security requirement is the effective understanding of all activities, events and trends in the maritime domain that could threaten the safety, security, economy, or environment of a state.

VANGUARD is a maritime system adaptable and affordable to every role relevant to achieve this understanding and to act accordingly. The effective area covered by VANGUARD is the combined areas of the mothership and the UAVs/USVs acting in manned, remote or autonomous modes.

The mothership is truly a “workhorse” built around a multi purpose hangar supporting both helicopter, UAVs and USVs according to role as needed. Change of roles is done in hours.


  • A mothership/USV/AUV/UAV design providing a survey area twice the size of conventional Navy vessels
  • A hybrid ship, adapted to operational needs, built to the highest IMO standards with military reinforcements for handling weapons and communications
  • World class Naval Systems Integration expertise
  • Proven ship design expertise from the roughest waters in the world
  • Both procurement and maintenance costs signifi­cantly lower than Navy vessels, giving approx­imately 50% reduced Life Cycle Cost

Flexible capabilities The ship is designed for Organic Vehicle launch and recovery in high sea states, and the hangar is optimised with elevator and handling system in order to prepare for new tasks and maintain equipment. Equipment for different roles is packed in ISO containers.

Based on experience VANGUARD combines World Class expertise in Naval Systems Integration from Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS, ship design expertise from the most challenging waters in the world by Salt Ship Design AS and ship equipment from Kongsberg Maritime AS which has proven its quality from more than 18 000 ships around the world.

Efficient “Design to Purpose” procurement process The VANGUARD system introduces an efficient and proven design to purpose process securing customer involvement in the design phase, local yards participation in the building process and short building time, all of which ensures that the ship is relevant and state of the art when delivered.

Pictorials courtesy Kongsberg