Posted: 11 February, 2009 by SeaBart in ugly
Tags: ,


IMO :9107277

Build : 1993 by Aker Langsten Shipyard, Tomrefjord, Norway nr ??

After posting about the delta shaped Ramform Sovereign I found another one of this shape, The Norwegian navy vessel Marjata. Not much is known about this vessel, she is called many things, an intelligence ship, an ELINT* ship, a research ship and a spy ship and everything about her is a bit hush-hush. But we know one thing for sure: she is strange, very strange and also ugly!

Dunno source, via

Dunno source, via

Dunno source, via the Interweb

Dunno source, via the Interweb

I wonder why the Norwegians choose for this shape of hull in stead of a normal-shaped one. Well, something to look for on a later time.

*ELINT = ELectronic Signals INTelligence, or intelligence-gathering by use of electronic sensors

  1. PJBlackbird says:

    Look at the back and the wave picture – nearly no waves and you have the answer for the shape …

  2. seabart says:

    I don’t think she is doing a good speed through the water, I see no thrusterwash and no bowwave.

  3. North says:

    The hull is extremely stable, even during rough weather. Thus, it is a stable platform for the electronics during the rough storms in the winter.

  4. Aurelius says:

    While the hull is indeed very stable in rough seas, stability isn’t a requirement for radio signal reception. You don’t have to hold your cell phone very still for it to work, do you?

  5. bowsprite says:

    There is something very soothing in the golf-ball-on-the range look. But then, I do not golf.

  6. Joi says:

    Its a spy ship, run by the Norwegian Military Research institute. It role is surveillance of Russian Sub activity up North. And I expect that is why the boat shape corresponds to ships running seismic scanning (

    For instance it was just 15 km away when the Russian Sub “Kursk” blew up and sank. Ironically the officially response was that the spy-boat detected nothing from the explosion or collision with the seabed… (which later was detected on earthquake detectors…) 🙂

  7. Victor M. says:

    You keep calling “Ugley ship” but doesn’t form follow function in both the grey navy as well as the cor-0p navy?

  8. Darth Vader says:

    The shape of the waterline of this ship is a perfect half sinus curve, and the bottom rise to the waterline in the aft, leaving almost 0 drag. I agree it is very strange, but for the purpose of FFI/Norwgian Navy and later as Seismic vessels for PGS it has proven the perfect plattform for their operations.
    The machinery is located in the front of the vessels leaving a huge unobstructed space for laboratories and for the seismic variant, huge deck space for gun and seismic operations.
    It might be ugly, but for me it is a beauty, since it is optimized for what it shall actually do.

  9. pierre says:

    The stability makes it possible to operate also in winter conditions when it might be a lot of icing which makes other ships unstable.

  10. zerohour says:

    a little more info about the ship… the home port is Kirkenes, the city in Norway closest to the Russian boarder. it was designed by Roar Ramde and the shape of the ship is due to the fact that its built after the ramform-concept, where the width of the ship is half the length of the ship. this gives a very stable platform for electronic surveillance equipment in any weather. to make the ship even more suited for listening to seismic activity and sonar surveillance, the engine and propellers are placed at the bow of the ship. officially the ship is a research ship. all other info than speed, tonnage and displacement is strictly confidential. the name Marjata is a collection of initials of the family members of Alf Martens Meyer, who pioneered Norwegian naval surveillance and the word has no meaning in Norwegian.

    the ship is widely known in the Russian navy and its presence is never welcomed. it seems to always show up during Russian naval exercises. during an exercise in international waters in the spring of 1999, Marjata positioned itself in the middle of the exercise and stayed there for hours. the captain of the Russian Krivak-class frigate “Zadorny” said over the radio in rather poor English, “Marjata, Norway. Go hom. Fak eself, son of bitch”. there way no reply. a couple of minutes later, an officer said “Marjata, Norway. We are conducting a pedagogical firing exercise. please head due north and increase speed out of the area”. This time Marjata answers “Russian warship. This is Marjata. Your signal is accepted and understood”, whereas Marjata slowly moved away from the area. The Russian officers did not have patience for this and started firing their test shots over Marjata. The Russian crew counted 24 impacts in the sea from two full batteries of RBU-6000 anti-submarine rockets in the wake of Marjata. The closest was 180 meters from the stern. Soon after another Russian ship informed the lead ship that they were ready to test their artillery and fired 20 shots with their 76mm cannon 500 meters in front of the bow of Marjata. Marjata continued unbothered its slow retreat and remained within 2 km from the Russian fleet.

  11. Dent42 says:

    My father works on this ship. I’ve been inside this ship wheen I was little. One time, when my family and I were at my grandmas home, Marjata passed under a bridge nearby and we waved to the ship and the crew.My mom says its fromed like and iron, and whith the superstucter, the antenna and such its not very bautiful.

  12. plod says:

    I understood that part of the reason for the hull shape is that as it pivots about the stern any sensitive listening equipment deployed over the stern would not be “pumped” up and down and hence free from “swooshing” noises of the eater passing the sensors.

    The predecessor to this vessel is still in service with a site survey company and she has a moonpool and A frame installed about one third of the ship’s length from the stern, which is roughly the tipping centre of the ship and achieved the same objective as with listening devices out they would be head to wind and sea.

    Underway the Ramforms have a very peculiar motion indeed. I have not had the pleasure myself having visited these ships only in port, but friends with strong stomachs have reported that it is “disconcerting” and uncomfortable to a person familiar with “normal” hull shapes.

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