The Storm-class fast patrol boat was designed by lieutenant-commander Harald Henriksen of the Royal Norwegian Navy. All 20 vessels were built between 1965-1967 in Bergen, Norway. These boats were designated to be mostly used in coastal waters but were also well suited for arctic conditions. In 1970 the boat series was also armed with Penguin anti-ship missiles. In 1994 two boats were donated to the Baltic States (Estonian Border Guard and the Latvian Navy). The Storm-class boats were well suited for the Baltic Sea conditions. Therefore in 2000 an additional ship was donated to the Lithuanian Navy and five more were sold to the Baltic countries (Latvia 3 and Lithuania 2) the same year.
The future PVL-105 Torm was built in 1965-1966 in Bergen. The boat`s original name was RnoN Arg P968 and she was in service in the Norweigian Coastal Combat Flotilla from 1966-1994. After Estonia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 one of the main tasks of the newly formed republic was to organise her defence forces. A lot of attention was paid for establishing control over the country`s territorial waters. But there were no combat crafts available. The Estonian Border Guard recieved their first ship, a motorboat, from Sweden in 1992. The following year Finland also donated three ships and Sweden gave an additional motorboat. In 1994 the Norwegian Government also decided to aid the Baltic States and decided to donate patrol boat Arg P968 to Estonia. At that time Arg was the largest vessel to be commissioned to the Estonian Borded Guard`s coastal fleet. A ceremony was held on 16th December 1994 at the Estonian Border Guard operational base, the Süsta harbour in Tallinn, when the vessel was officially handed over to the estonians. Also the HNoMS Horten (A530) was present for this occasion. This was a significant occasion because it showed the support of the Norwegian Government for the Estonian Republic. A key role in this donation have to be credited to the Norwegian military attaché in Tallinn, Mr Anders Mørki. During the ceremony a speech was held by the Norwegian defence minister Jørgen Kosmo who assured that the Storm-class boat would be a good addition to the Estonian fleet and that the aforementioned shipdesign was considered very successful by the Norwegian Navy standards. During this time 10 Storm-class vessels were still in active service in Norway, where the estonian crew recieved special training. The first commanding officer of PVL-105 Torm under the Estonian flag was lieutenant Ülo Kahre.
Although the patrol boat was in good condition it is worthy of mentioning that all the naval armament was dismantled in Norway. The ship was re-armed in 1996. The same year Torm took part in international sea exercises Amber Sea 96. In 1997 Torm participated in the Kurkse search operation and in 18.-25. September 1999 in the Amber Sea 99 along with Latvian, Lithuanian and German warships. During her career she was mostly stationed in Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Paldiski region. Later on was on active duty in Northern-Estonian waters. Torm was in active service in the Estonian Border Guard from 1994-2008. During this time she aided many ships in distress, conducted patrol sweeps in coastal waters and took part in military operations. In 31.01.2008 the Estonian Government decided to decommission Torm and handed her over to the Estonian Maritime Museum. In 31.03.2008 she was towed to the Lennusadam harbour. The crew stayed onboard the boat for several days to teach the musem staff how to maintain the boat.
General characteristics of PVL-105 Torm while commissioned in the Estonian Border Guard:
Type: Patrol Boat
Displacement: 118 t
Length: 36.5 m
Beam: 6.3 m
Draught: 1.8 m
Main Propulsion: 2x Maybach MB 872 A diesel engines, 7200 hp
Auxiliary engines: 2 x 73 hp
Range: 600 miles
Speed: 30 knots
Fuel tanks: 17 t
armament: 2M3 (1 x 2-25 mm), Bofors L/60 (1 x 1-40 mm)
Rescue equipment: 2-4 liferafts (each could hold 6 people), 6 life rings, 3 rescue suits, 30 life belts and TRON 30 S MK II buoy
Computer: Compaq 2000
Write up and picture courtesy of Arto Oll - Estonian Maritime Museum