In 1709 there were about 15,000 personnel enrolled in the common fleet; of these 10,000 were Norwegian.When Tordenskjold carried out his famous raid at Dynekil in 1716 more than 80 percent of the sailors and 90 percent of the soldiers in his force were Norwegian.Because of this the Royal Norwegian Navy shares its history from 1509 to 1814 with the Royal Danish Navy.

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In English, they are given the prefix "HNo MS", short for "His/Her Norwegian Majesty's Ship".

Coast Guard vessels are given the prefix "KV" for Kyst Vakt (Coast Guard) in Norwegian and "No CGV" for Norwegian Coast Guard Vessel in English.

The history of Norwegian state-operated naval forces is long, and goes back to the leidang which was first established by King Håkon the Good at the Gulating in 955, although variants of the Leidang had at that time already existed for hundreds of years.

During most of the union between Norway and Denmark the two countries had a common fleet. A large proportion of the crew and officers were Norwegian.

Swedish War of Liberation (1510–23) Count's Feud (1534–36) Nordic Seven Years' War (1563–70) Kalmar War (1611–13) Torstenson War (1643–45) Second Nordic War (1657–60) Scanian War (1675–79) Great Nordic War (1700 & 1709–20) Battle of Copenhagen (1801) Battle of Copenhagen (1807) Gunboat War (1807–14) First Schleswig War (1848–51) World War II (1940–45) Cold War (1945–90) War on terror (2001– ), the RNo N consists of approximately 3,700 personnel (9,450 in mobilized state, 32,000 when fully mobilized) and 70 vessels, including 5 heavy frigates, 6 submarines, 14 patrol boats, 4 minesweepers, 4 minehunters, 1 mine detection vessel, 4 support vessels and 2 training vessels. The Royal Norwegian Navy has a history dating back to 955.

From 1509 to 1814, it formed part of the navy of Denmark-Norway, also referred to as the "Common Fleet".Since 1814, the Royal Norwegian Navy has again existed as a separate navy.In Norwegian, Royal Norwegian Navy vessels have since 1946 been given the ship prefix "KNM", short for Kongelig Norske Marine (Royal Norwegian Navy).At the time of separation, the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy was in a poor state and Norway was left with the lesser share.All officers of Danish birth were ordered to return to Denmark and the first commander of the Norwegian navy became Captain Thomas Fasting.It then consisted of 39 officers, seven brigs (one more under construction), one schooner-brig, eight gun schooners, 46 gun chalups and 51 gun barges.