On 3 May 2022 the Defence & Aerospace arm of Norwegian international technology group, Kongsberg Gruppen, contracted with NanoAvionics, Lithuania, to supply them with three maritime surveillance microsatellites. These satellites are intended to enhance Norway’s ability to monitor its maritime territory. Improving this ability is expected to have both civilian and state benefits – specifically around Norway’s position as NATO’s northern gatekeeper.
The satellites are set to utilise the recently debuted NanoAvionics MP42 microsatellite platform. They will be equipped with an AIS (Automatic identification System) payload supplied by Kongsberg and a “navigation radar detector” provided by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). A Kongsberg group company KSAT (Kongsberg Satellite Services), known for the provision of ground station services, is set to operate the spacecraft.
According to Kongsberg it has budgeted approximately NOK300 million (US$31.95 million) for the three satellites as well as a new satellite manufacturing facility in Kongsberg, Norway. The satellites are reportedly targeted to launch in 2024.