The ministry said the submarines will be based on the 212-class subs already in service in Germany and Italy. Basing the submarines on an existing design will allow Norway to avoid an extensive development project as well as the risks involved in such an undertaking.
The project also includes cooperation between the Norwegian and German industry. Most likely the German Navy will buy Kongsberg's Naval Strike Missile for its future MKS 180 frigates, while the Norwegian company will provide the battle management system for the new submarines.
Norway will now enter into final negotiations with German authorities. When a government-to-government agreement is in place, a German-Norwegian negotiation with TKMS will commence.
The plan is to sign a common contract for the submarines in 2019 and start delivery from the mid-2020s to 2030. This timeline should ensure a continuous Norwegian submarine capability as the six Ula-class submarines reach the end of their life.
The MoD also wants to continue cooperation talks with nations like the Netherlands and Poland in order to achieve even greater synergies and economies of scale. Sources familiar with the subject stated that the Royal Netherlands Navy recently has shown interest in the project as it also plans to replace its aging subs.