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What's been happening with those submarines?

Hydrogen

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Why, they are at the centre of a lawsuit!
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Submarine maintenance contract won't be re-tendered
MURRAY BREWSTER
Canadian Press
January 3, 2008 at 4:33 PM EST

OTTAWA — A British Columbia consortium has won a $1.5-billion maintenance contract for Canada's four Victoria-class submarines in a controversial decision that defence sources say went all the way up to the prime minister's desk.

Canadian Submarine Management Group was informally awarded phase one of the 15-year contract by the Conservative government almost a year ago. But a signed, written agreement was put on hold last year after a lawsuit was filed by a group that includes Maritimes-based rival Irving Shipbuilding.

There were suggestions last fall the contract would be re-tendered, but the navy has told both Defence Minister Peter MacKay and the Privy Council Office that such a move would create an unacceptable delay in the submarine program, which is already years behind schedule.

“Going back out to tender and getting it totally put to bed means three years,†said a senior defence source. “We can't afford that.â€

The issue was shuttled up the chain of command early last fall to the point where Prime Minister Stephen Harper became involved — and ultimately gave the green light for negotiations to resume “and get this done,†said a second defence source.

“There will be no re-tendering,†a senior government official said on background.

A spokesman with the Defence Department's material branch confirmed Thursday that negotiations with the B.C. consortium, headed by Victoria Shipyards, have resumed and a final contract would be awarded in a few months.

“Due to legal and other issues, negotiations were delayed for several months,†said David Martin.

“Detailed contractual negotiations are under way with completion expected in a few months.â€

Almost 18 months ago, the Conservative government announced it would publicly tender the contract. It identified Canadian Submarine Management Group or CSMG as the “most compliant†with the contract aims and began negotiating a final contract.

But Irving Shipbuilding and Fleetway Inc. — part of a rival consortium led by British defence giant BAE (Canada) Systems Inc. — challenged the decision by calling for a judicial review. The Irving-owned companies stood to gain $750-million in work.

The lawsuit alleges one of the companies that participated in the winning bid played a role in developing the statement of work and evaluation criteria for the contract.

Last summer, a Federal Court judge dismissed an attempt by the federal government to have the case thrown out of court.

A spokeswoman for Irving Shipbuilding said she wasn't aware that negotiations with CSMG had resumed and confirmed the lawsuit was still on track.

“We continue to believe the contract was awarded unfairly, contrary to applicable law,†said Mary Keith.

“There has been a preliminary exchange of information between legal counsels and the case is proceeding.â€

The contract has also been the subject of some intense, powerful backroom lobbying.

Long-time Tory heavyweight Fred Doucet was hired to plead the Irving's case to federal officials and politicians. Stephen Dover, of Capital Hill Group Inc., registered as a lobbyist on the file for Weir Canada Inc., one of the partners in CSMG.

The four mothballed diesel-electric submarines were purchased by Canada from the Royal Navy in the late 1990s for almost $900 million. They were built in Britain by BAE Systems in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but taken out of service when the British decided to go with an all-nuclear fleet.

Reactivating the submarines has proven to be a huge challenge for the navy, especially in the aftermath of a fatal fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi in October 2004.

HMCS Corner Brook is the only submarine currently in service. HMCS Windsor and HMCS Victoria are undergoing repairs and upgrades.

The Chicoutimi is not scheduled to have its fire damage repaired until 2010 and is being used for spare parts.
 

MisterF

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Time to scrap these rusting deathtraps and get all new subs. Ones that can patrol the Arctic.
 

Admiral Beez

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Time to scrap these rusting deathtraps and get all new subs. Ones that can patrol the Arctic.
We won't need subs to patrol the arctic.

Let's say we order four new AIP (air independent propulsion) subs. With the exception of Russia, only two nations currently sell non-nuclear AIP submarines for export, per wiki as follows http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-independent_propulsion:

French-Spanish Scorpène-class submarine (MESMA) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpène_class_submarine
German Type 214 (Fuel cell) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_214_submarine

If we went with the Type 214 submarine the build time is about four to five years. I think we can assume that Harper or whomever will not order any subs until he has a majority, and thus in about 2009/10 we can expect the government to declare that replacement AIP subs are needed. After an arduous committee, review and tender process, we'll place the order for four new subs in 2011/2012. Meanwhile the yard that builds the subs is busy with other orders (see their order docket on the above link), so we'll have to get in line behind the others. So, we'll likely get our four subs by 2018.

By 2020 it is being reported that during the summer surface ships will have full ice-free access to the Arctic. http://slcblues.blogspot.com/2007/05/ice-free-arctic-by-2020.html Thus, to show sovereignty over Canada's arctic we need only to send a frigate or OPV from CFB Halifax, NS to CFB Esquimalt, BC each summer, with a few weeks stay at Canada's new deep water port and army base on Baffin Island. In the winter we depend on the Inuit Rangers, and long range flights by our Aurora patrol aircraft and UAV patrol flights. Canada's already buying short range UAVs, http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Canada_To_Buy_Thales_mini_UAV_System_999.html

By 2050, they'll be hardly any ice at all in the area, and no need at all for subs. Remember, subs don't demonstrate sovereignty, because the entire purpose of a sub is to remain hidden until needed to strike. If you want to demonstrate sovereignty you need boots on the ground and/or visible surface warship and aircraft presence.
 

MisterF

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We won't need subs to patrol the arctic.

Let's say we order four new AIP (air independent propulsion) subs. With the exception of Russia, only two nations currently sell non-nuclear AIP submarines for export, per wiki as follows http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-independent_propulsion:

French-Spanish Scorpène-class submarine (MESMA) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpène_class_submarine
German Type 214 (Fuel cell) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_214_submarine

If we went with the Type 214 submarine the build time is about four to five years. I think we can assume that Harper or whomever will not order any subs until he has a majority, and thus in about 2009/10 we can expect the government to declare that replacement AIP subs are needed. After an arduous committee, review and tender process, we'll place the order for four new subs in 2011/2012. Meanwhile the yard that builds the subs is busy with other orders (see their order docket on the above link), so we'll have to get in line behind the others. So, we'll likely get our four subs by 2018.

By 2020 it is being reported that during the summer surface ships will have full ice-free access to the Arctic. http://slcblues.blogspot.com/2007/05/ice-free-arctic-by-2020.html Thus, to show sovereignty over Canada's arctic we need only to send a frigate or OPV from CFB Halifax, NS to CFB Esquimalt, BC each summer, with a few weeks stay at Canada's new deep water port and army base on Baffin Island. In the winter we depend on the Inuit Rangers, and long range flights by our Aurora patrol aircraft and UAV patrol flights. Canada's already buying short range UAVs, http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Canada_To_Buy_Thales_mini_UAV_System_999.html

By 2050, they'll be hardly any ice at all in the area, and no need at all for subs. Remember, subs don't demonstrate sovereignty, because the entire purpose of a sub is to remain hidden until needed to strike. If you want to demonstrate sovereignty you need boots on the ground and/or visible surface warship and aircraft presence.
Fair enough. The reason I mentioned subs is because other countries routinely send their subs into our territory without our consent and with no way of tracking them. Even more countries have heavy duty icebreakers that can get through the ice when ours can't, which you can't really do anything about from land or with UAVs. Maybe subs are a bit much but we should have decent icebreakers at least.
 

allabootmatt

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This speaks to a larger issue, which is that of redefining the mission of the military. Canada seems to be doing a very good job of re-purposing the armed forces for so-called low-intensity combat--all the 21st-century, failed-state, easily deployable stuff like Afghanistan. But that might just be fighting the last war, as it were.

The air force and navy have been grumbling for a while about the diversion of money to the ground forces, and it seems possible to me anyway that the real focus should be on more traditional stuff--like maintaining control of our increasingly accessible north. At the same time, Russia is clearly a resurgent power, and its intentions toward us and the rest of the West may not be entirely benign. A renewed focus on a military capable of meeting that possible threat--which means a strong air force and navy--may be more important in the medium term than an army that can stabilize parts of far-off countries.

Expect this debate to come to the fore in the next few years, since both the air and sea forces are heading for major block obsolescence problems: the CF-18 and Aurora fleets are reaching the end of their service life, as are many of the navy's largest ships. The procurement cycle for both will have to start very soon.
 

Admiral Beez

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Russia is clearly a resurgent power
Not true. They'd like to be, and are flexing their now near-1990s obsolete tech muscles in order to ensure that the world remembers them, but I'd fathom to guess that Canada has more active surface warships than the Russians have today. Most of the Russian fleet is rusting away in harbour or on the selling block to other nations due to lack of funds, manpower and political will.
 

Mustapha

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What a strange place to find a thread like this.

:)

Admiral Beez mentioned Aurora aircraft patrols. IMHO probably the best most cost effective way to go. Russian subs / American ships transiting could be put on notice with one of these toting depth charges and transponders. I believe they are so armed now.

F18s equipped with anti-ship missiles would be a effective way of covering lots of water fast.
 

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