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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:59 am 
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NOTE: This is an updated, re-titled thread. Please scroll down for the latest updates.

Sigh. To think the then-Chretien govt.'s decision to push ahead with the purchase of the 4 ex-RN Upholders back in the 1990s for only $750 million for all 4 SSKs seemed like a good deal compared to the Trafalgar class SSNs (at $450 million each) and Rubis class SSNs (at $350 million each) being considered back then.

Ottawa Citizen

Quote:
Will the Liberals let the Victoria-class submarine fleet fade away?

More from David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: June 18, 2016 | Last Updated: June 18, 2016 9:00 PM EDT

As outlined in a recent Defence Watch post, the Liberal government’s defence review is expected to take a hard look at the Victoria-class submarine fleet.

The second-hand subs, purchased by the Chretien government on the advice of senior navy officers, has had more than its problems.

The Royal Canadian Navy wants to continue operating the submarines, as they see them as valuable assets for the country’s security.

The previous Conservative government felt the same way. It examined whether to continue with the sub fleet and determined it made sense to carry on with the Victoria-class fleet.

Navy commander Vice-Admiral Mark Norman says the boats have proven their worth in recent times and funding will be needed to modernize the subs to keep them operating into the 2030s. A decision is needed in the next year or two on whether to commit the funding to that, Norman told the Ottawa Citizen’s Lee Berthiaume.

(...SNIPPED)

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Last edited by Haijun watcher on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:05 am 
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I read, somewhere, that they have to replace the screen doors with something a little more waterproof! :big_grin:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:53 pm 
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Major update:

Macleans

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Liberals to spend nearly $2.5B to keep used subs sailing past 2030

The move comes following calls from senior naval officers to save the controversial ships from the scrap heap


Jason Kirby

June 16, 2017


OTTAWA – The Trudeau government is planning to spend billions more on the navy’s four wayward submarines to keep them operating into the 2030s.

The plan to extend the lives of the troubled vessels is included in the Liberals’ new defence policy and comes following calls from senior naval officers to save the controversial ships from the scrap heap.

The actual price of the plan was not revealed in the policy document, which was released to much fanfare last week, and National Defence refused to provide a price tag following multiple requests.

That is despite assertions from the Liberal government that the defence policy was fully costed and following promises of full transparency when it came to the overall plan.

(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:07 pm 
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hopefully they will look for new subs during the next 10yrs plus so that the new subs are ready to be used as the current subs are retired. time will tell.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:13 pm 
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More articles of note:

Ottawa Citizen

Quote:
Navy transferring main battery from HMCS Victoria to HMCS Chicoutimi
David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: June 23, 2017 | Last Updated: June 23, 2017 6:21 PM EDT

The Royal Canadian Navy has confirmed an earlier Defence Watch article that the main battery is being removed from HMCS Victoria and transferred to HMCS Chicoutimi. Chicoutimi has been experiencing battery problems, which resulted in the sub having to return to port in mid-May.

“HMCS Chicoutimi is currently removing her main battery and replacing it with HMCS Victoria’s battery as a result of performance issues noted while operating off the coast,” LCdr John Nethercott stated in an email. “Submarine batteries are carefully maintained to ensure their optimal performance and the overall safety of the submarine. Issues detected during routine monitoring are dealt with quickly to return the submarine to service. This battery replacement is an example of that type of maintenance routine.”

(...SNIPPED)


CTV

Quote:
Navy commander defends spending billions to upgrade Canada's submarine fleet
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, June 23, 2017 12:00PM EDT

OTTAWA -- The commander of the Royal Canadian Navy is defending the Trudeau government's plan to spend billions of dollars on upgrading Canada's submarine fleet.

Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd tells The Canadian Press that having a submarine is the best way to spot others that may be approaching or have even entered Canadian waters or those of NATO allies.

But Lloyd won't say whether Russia, China or any other country has been sniffing around Canadian waters, citing the need for secrecy.

(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:02 pm 
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Canadian Press/Delta Optimist


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Canadian navy pressing ahead on life extensions for submarines
The Canadian Press
January 22, 2019 01:37 PM
OTTAWA — The Department of National Defence is pushing ahead with plans to extend the lives of Canada's submarine fleet, with the head of the navy hoping some work will start in the coming months.
The movement comes as countries around the world have stepped up investments in their submarine and anti-submarine fleets to protect their waters — and operate in waters not under their control.
(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:57 pm 
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Now Ottawa wants to run these old subs till 2040!!!!!!!

CBC

Quote:
DND extends life of submarine escape suits beyond expiry date as fleet shows its age
Liberals plan to modernize and sail the navy's 4 aging submarines until 2040


Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Mar 01, 2019 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: March 1

The Canadian navy's stock of survival suits, which allow submariners to escape in an emergency from a sunken boat, has been thrown a lifeline after much of the equipment had reached its expiry date, federal documents reveal.
The critical safety suits give stranded crew members the ability to ascend from a depth of 183 metres and protect against hypothermia.
They even inflate into a single-seat life raft once on the surface.
The orange whole-body suits were part of the original equipment aboard the Victoria-class submarines, diesel-electric boats originally built for the Royal Navy and purchased from Britain in the late 1990s.
(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:52 pm 
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Sigh...speaking of the current fleet of SSKs:

Ottawa Citizen

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Work on HMCS Corner Brook could stretch out to 2021, DND confirms
David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
Updated: March 22, 2019

HMCS Corner Brook’s Extended Docking Work Period, or EDWP, is presently underway in Esquimalt, BC and was scheduled to be completed in 2020.
But an assessment conducted by the contractor, Babcock Canada Inc., indicates that the work could take longer than expected, the Department of National Defence confirmed to Postmedia.
DND spokeswoman Ashley Lemire said given the complex and lengthy nature of submarine EDWPs, periodic assessments are routinely undertaken by Babcock Canada to ensure that the schedule remains achievable. “The most recent schedule assessment took into account the remaining work, and an updated assessment of the potential risk factors, to produce a probabilistic assessment of the completion date that showed that the EDWP could continue into 2021 if a number of the risks materialized,” Lemire noted in an email.
The Canadian government and Babcock will now undertake a review of all risks to determine how those can be avoided and or mitigated, she added. They will also review the remaining items still to be done to ensure that only essential work has been scheduled.
(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:05 pm 
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An April Fool's Day setback yesterday that was no joke, and to think I just posted the previous day about this very same sub:

Vancouver Island CTV News

Quote:
Fire breaks out on Canadian navy sub undergoing retrofit
Published Monday, April 1, 2019 4:19PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 2, 2019 8:36AM PDT
Firefighters made fast work of a blaze onboard HMCS Corner Brook, a hunter-killer navy submarine undergoing a major retrofit at CFB Esquimalt.
CFB Esquimalt firefighters and local fire crews were called to the base's graving dock at around 12:40 p.m. Monday.
No one suffered any injuries and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze quickly.
(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:02 pm 
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Wasn't there a plan about 30 years ago to build 10-12 nuclear powered submarines for the RCN?

And also around thirty years ago, the RCN was bringing on the 12 Halifax-class as well as the 12 OPVs, all as new ships. The two replenishment oilers were ageing, but the navy still had two important purpose-built auxiliaries.

The Arctic will become (or already is) a geopolitical theater of competing interests, and the RCN has a fleet of 20-30 year old ships. The approach of successive governments in Canada seems to have been to turn a blind eye to defense - at least the navy - and to hope nothing ever happens. Funding delays of 10-15 years seem to have become typical.

I recall (I think on navaltoday.com) articles about borrowing tankers from other navies; the demise of an amphibious assault ship project, and a proposal for a marine commando regiment that went nowhere (if no amphib platform you don't need one of those I guess).

One of the more disappointing things has been the Nanisivik naval "base." IIRC that was to be the "Gibraltar of the Arctic." Apparently it will be an occasional summertime stop for photo ops with a Maple Leaf on the flag pole in the background - a sovereignty statement and little else.

From articles, and from statements of the non-government persons involved, it appears that the politics of defense north of the border revolves around keeping the shipyards in contracts for refurbishing old ships and keeping their voting workers employed.

One guy on another forum likened the current defense procurement situation to "public policy of subsidy for the manufacturers of pink paint and hail gel." I assume he is not a supporter of Mr. Trudeau.

The Royal Canadian navy has a proud history. That it has been allowed to decline from a Class 3 to a Class 5 (whatever that classification system name is) is discouraging, and also poor public policy. Yes, there are to be new surface combatants and apparently a new type of OPV at some point, but that will be a good many years in the future. The new replenishment ships AFAIK will not be ready until the middle of the next decade. The state of the submarine force....well what can be said?

EDIT: The Todd-Lindberg system of naval classification now has Canada as "Regional offshore coastal defence" (Rank #5). It was previously "Multi-regional power projection" (Rank #3).


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:33 am 
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.

The UK was trying to sell the Canadians some upgraded Trafalgars, but the USA interfered claiming they had a veto on the use of submarine PWR reactors. This pi**ed off Rolls Royce and Associates (and the RN) who felt that the latest RN reactors owed little to the original info transfer.

One thing that got the Canadians riled up about a decade ago was some posturing by the USA when they tried to claim that once there was a proper "North West Passage" (despite the US saying Global Warming doesn't exist) that they would claim that the new route would be "International Waters" ! THEN, the Canadians were really worked up, I haven't heard anything about it for ages, but the US trying to renew its ice-capable ships MIGHT be a sign of their renewed interest.

.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:17 pm 
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pgollin wrote:
.

The UK was trying to sell the Canadians some upgraded Trafalgars, but the USA interfered claiming they had a veto on the use of submarine PWR reactors. This pi**ed off Rolls Royce and Associates (and the RN) who felt that the latest RN reactors owed little to the original info transfer.

One thing that got the Canadians riled up about a decade ago was some posturing by the USA when they tried to claim that once there was a proper "North West Passage" (despite the US saying Global Warming doesn't exist) that they would claim that the new route would be "International Waters" ! THEN, the Canadians were really worked up, I haven't heard anything about it for ages, but the US trying to renew its ice-capable ships MIGHT be a sign of their renewed interest.

.


The position of the US government had to do with treaties with both France and the UK which included no transfer of nuclear technology to "a third country." I think it was a matter of policy rather than intentionally pissing anyone off. In any event, the ongoing support of nuclear vessels is hugely expensive, and AFAIK there is little capacity for heavy maintenance on nuclear warships among Canadian shipyards/dockyards.

The Northwest Passage issue is a diplomatic one, and that is how it must be addressed. Whatever the result of diplomacy in that regard, Canada is still the primary defense of the Canadian Arctic. Successive governments have started and then stopped, and started again, and then pushed off necessary investment in naval assets and facilities usually claiming the costs cannot be justified. There is still - as there is in Western Europe - a sugar high from the collapse of the USSR. Canadians and European NATO members still think there is a peace dividend to spend elsewhere. Military establishments have been affected either by repositioning because of costs (the US army has a much smaller footprint in central Europe), substantially downsized as with the Royal Navy, or in the case of Canada allowed its navy to become a fleet of 20-30 year old ships.

Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy at this time remains a wish list on paper. With climate changes in the Arctic, and with aggressive foreign state actors becoming involved there, 6 or 8 Arctic patrol vessels are a poor statement of national sovereignty and defense capability.

Russia is not likely to be shy about claims on Arctic resources wherever they may be found. The Chinese are messing around spending money in autonomous Greenland, and it is not because they like cold weather. Against such a background, Canada has over 200,000 miles of coastline for which it is responsible - very much of it in the Arctic Archipelago. A credible navy is of great importance to Canada and her interests. Politicians being mostly concerned about spending government money to bribe voters so they can retain their positions of influence, defense has been an afterthought for decades.

The four overage, mechanically unreliable and numerically inadequate submarines are one of the results. If Canada feels eight Arctic patrol vessels are needed, Canada also could probably use at the very least six or eight diesel-electric submarines with adequate range and endurance to further patrol her EEZ, continental shelf, and to gather intelligence both for her own defense needs, and also for NATO. Submarines are not even (AFAIK) part of that shipbuilding strategy, so acquiring them from France or Germany is likely the necessary approach.

The United States navy can't do as much in the Arctic as it should. The fleet is stretched globally, and the Pentagon has wasted many billions of dollars on white elephants like USS Zumwalts and those puny Littoral "Combat" Ships, and not replaced the frigates that it needs for all the tasks ships such as those must do. All you can do is shake your head.

With Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy, the political powers talk a good game, but it would not be a surprise to see the numbers reduced, and reduced once again, and capabilities degraded due to cost. Canada is a huge, wealthy country with a mature and sophisticated shipbuilding industry. The population is well educated and the country is technologically advanced. I am hardly a supporter of the current US administration, but the US position is correct that NATO members must increase defense spending and realize that there are renewed security threats and geo-political concerns. The "peace dividend" has been spent. That was three decades ago.


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