Author Topic: Protecting Canada by Sub (split fm Canada's New, Liberal, Foreign Policy)  (Read 34239 times)

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Offline dapaterson

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Your questions apply equally to the rest of Canada's navy.  The RCN is grossly undersized, but is there political will to double its size (which would still be too small)?
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Your questions apply equally to the rest of Canada's navy.  The RCN is grossly undersized, but is there political will to double its size (which would still be too small)?

Of course not, the taxpayers won't go for it unless "1939" comes to visit us once more.  The Liberals have not been big on the military since those days either and I don't forsee them changing course today, despite having a MND who at least understands what threats are out there can be like.  Mr. Sunshine will be like his father, I'll wager.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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4 more MPAs might give you 1 extra flyer on each coast.  I'd rather see a single sub in the water;  you never know where those guys are after they dive.  Anyone can sit at an airfield and watch MPAs take off. 

LRPA...the 'long' in it equates to endurance (which the Aurora is a ***** at compared to the Argus...and we had wayyyy more Argus's in the day...) but a LRPA's endurance is nothing near a sub, even a diesel boat in comparison. 

You are best with all 3 dimensions for effective ASW IMO.  Knowing a country 'has no subs' is like knowing the neighbor who is away has no dogs or alarm systems.  Having 4 subs, 2 alongside...means 2 are 'somewhere'. 

Quiet boats, even if not able to do expeditionary ops or what folks who wear Dolphins call them, with good ears and fast fish are worth having and keeping.  We wouldn't be the only Navy with a small sub service, but size alone isn't the only thing to judge the usefulness of something. 

Lastly, if we did close out the sub service, and then later decided that was bad, we'd be in the hurt locker to get it back.  E.g. the RAF loosing the Nimrod and now getting the P8.  All that corporate knowledge, how much was lost in the between years?
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Offline Karel Doorman

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I have no doubt about the utility of subs in general or for Canada specifically.  The question I have though is if there is a certain minimum number required to make the expense worth the opportunity cost lost to other capabilities?

Does the relative usefulness of just 4-6 subs with all the overhead related to having subs (infrastructure, support, training & manning issues, etc.) equal the same amount of money added to other capabilities like additional MPA's, surface hulls, UUV's, satellites, etc. 

If having just 4 (or 6?) subs realistically means we can only have one (or two?) on active deployment at any given time then is that capability really effective?  Say we are in a conflict with Russia and are able to deploy one sub to defend each coast at any given time.  While individually the sub may be a much better anti-sub platform than an MPA, can it provide enough coverage to be militarily effective?  Would 5 x MPAs instead be more effective in overall terms?

Again, not questioning if subs are an effective and important platform.  But in a Canadian context how many would we realistically need to be worth the expense?  Is four enough?

I don't know what's the minimum number required for Canada's needs(since i'm Dutch  ;D )I know that in the Netherlands 4 is the minimum required to do all things(the submarines do )adequate.(2 on active duty,1 in overhaul,1 working up)
The problem for Canada is offcourse that in the beginning the Victoria's were badly taken care of(the seller)and there were things to change on them which all costs lots of money(and didn't help the sub case).Here in the Netherlands the time has come to(at least)think about replacing our Walruses,which will be a formality(normally)(which by the way are on par rangewise with Collins/Victoria's and Soryu's to name the ones with the greatest ranges,since we need those kind off boats as well.
We were lucky(apart from a fire when constructing a boat)all went relatively well with this class(fist class with a automatic engineroom in the world BTW)and didn't have unexpected extra costs(the figures of the costs of these subs is in my thread since some of you asked i could come up with some costs)

Anyway my thinking is that Canada needs as well(minimum )4 subs,so when the time comes to buy new ones again 4(minimum)

gr,walter
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 11:26:45 by Karel Doorman »
Karel Doorman(Battle of the Java Sea)

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Offline Colin P

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A sub is a bit like a mobile minefield, you know it's out there, but not sure where and the extent, so you have to assume it's everywhere and take precautions.

Offline GR66

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Excellent info.  Hopefully when the defence review is completed somebody will have listened!

Offline Chris Pook

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What would a mixed flotilla of Upholders and large AUVs, like the Explorer to which Thuc just linked up-thread, look like?

Three or four AUVs down, along with an Upholder, and maybe an AOPS or two on the surface?

Actually, I think, if we were serious about controlling the Northwest passage, and still allowing the ice and the seasons to dictate our strategy wouldn't we need to maintain two boats on station? One in the east in Baffin Bay and one in the west in the Beaufort sea?  The same as with the AOPS?

From that wouldn't you need a fleet of about 8 SSKs?  6 to maintain a rotation on station and 2 for maintenance and/or discretionary expeditionary ops?   Together with whatever AUVs could bring to the party?

Personally I think the AUVs would be something between a less predictable (from the enemy's POV) SOSUS line and a minefield (assuming they were armed).  In which case the AOPS would become their tender.
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Offline Karel Doorman

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What would a mixed flotilla of Upholders and large AUVs, like the Explorer to which Thuc just linked up-thread, look like?

Three or four AUVs down, along with an Upholder, and maybe an AOPS or two on the surface?

Actually, I think, if we were serious about controlling the Northwest passage, and still allowing the ice and the seasons to dictate our strategy wouldn't we need to maintain two boats on station? One in the east in Baffin Bay and one in the west in the Beaufort sea?  The same as with the AOPS?

From that wouldn't you need a fleet of about 8 SSKs?  6 to maintain a rotation on station and 2 for maintenance and/or discretionary expeditionary ops?   Together with whatever AUVs could bring to the party?

Personally I think the AUVs would be something between a less predictable (from the enemy's POV) SOSUS line and a minefield (assuming they were armed).  In which case the AOPS would become their tender.

Chris,when i may, [:D

We had a sortlike discussion on the Dutch Defence Forum about what AUV,UAV could do and offcourse there were some who thought that maybe these things could replace the "actual"(manned)subs completely(all in the name of them being cheaper) ::)
My questions (since i'm no "underwater" expert )logically thinking were the following(maybe some of you know the answers and or possibilities;
-How do you control these things underwater(let's say at a 100 mtrs depth?Since my thinking was that the subs can't "call" anyone(have contact)when under(i know some of it has to do with the mission objectives but still)
-How do you get them there?(the place they need to operate in)deliver them by a "mothership"with a big role of cable on deck?That will be pretty "in your face"when patrolling enemy territory or conducting covert operations(me thinks),plus the fact that hauling them back on board with miles of cable will be quite the workout.Dropping them from a flying by Hercules(for example)saying "yep we are JUST flying here ,coincidence" >:D (hoping that the machine survives the fall)
-How do you control what they do?(i mean program a set route?),if you don't want cables.
-But by doing a programmed run,how will they react to an enemy sub or ship or AUV?(they can't adapt or "read"the situation like a human can.)

Questions,questions ,i know but this is my reaction to those who think the manned subs are obsolete weapons.

walter

Ps,i think there's the hope(OZD,sub service) that we(dutch)go for 6 new subs as well(all depending on the budget)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 11:55:33 by Karel Doorman »
Karel Doorman(Battle of the Java Sea)

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Offline Chris Pook

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Walter, "Chris" is just fine.

I would never suggest the replacement of the manned sub with the AUV.  I look at it as an auxilliary,  for augmenting the capabilities of the manned units.  Exactly in the same way that patrol vessels, SOSUS systems, minefields and LRPAs all aid and assist in the creation of a capability.

With respect to the comms issue:

I, like you, I believe, am an amateur and not a professional.  An interested amateur but still an amateur.

There are, I believe, a number of possible comms systems available.

Some of them have range. Some of them are stealthy.  Some of them allow for large packets of information to be transmitted. I don't believe there is one solution that does everything.

Some use low frequency sound for long range.  But everyone can hear that and probably localise the source.   Some use lasers and lights but the communicating parties have to be close together.  Some use a "pass the baton" relay system and physically detach a transmitter as a buoy, or possibly a smaller AUV and move the transmitter to a better location (like the surface).

The suitable communication solution would, largely, in my opinion, depend how how much information, how often, in which direction and how discretely.

Manned subs need to be incredibly discrete (stealthy) to protect the people inside as well as for tactical advantage.  AUVs may not need to be as stealthy.  And they may not need to communicate as frequently.

It may be adequate for an AUV to spend its time gliding and not reporting until it actually makes contact.  Then the question becomes does that report have to be done in a stealthy fashion.  Sometimes you might want the contact to know that it has been detected.  In which case a loud report to everyone in the area of "It is over here!" would seem appropriate.  In other cases it might be enough to release a messenger buoy, or vessel to say "At 10 O'Clock on the 25th of Never a contact was discovered over here".

As far as incoming traffic is concerned maybe all that is required is a single encoded "Weapons Free" burst transmission.

As for spools of wire on the deck: I wasn't thinking along those lines.  I was thinking of AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) and not ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles).

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Offline Karel Doorman

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Walter, "Chris" is just fine.

I would never suggest the replacement of the manned sub with the AUV.  I look at it as an auxilliary,  for augmenting the capabilities of the manned units.  Exactly in the same way that patrol vessels, SOSUS systems, minefields and LRPAs all aid and assist in the creation of a capability.

With respect to the comms issue:

I, like you, I believe, am an amateur and not a professional.  An interested amateur but still an amateur.

There are, I believe, a number of possible comms systems available.

Some of them have range. Some of them are stealthy.  Some of them allow for large packets of information to be transmitted. I don't believe there is one solution that does everything.

Some use low frequency sound for long range.  But everyone can hear that and probably localise the source.   Some use lasers and lights but the communicating parties have to be close together.  Some use a "pass the baton" relay system and physically detach a transmitter as a buoy, or possibly a smaller AUV and move the transmitter to a better location (like the surface).

The suitable communication solution would, largely, in my opinion, depend how how much information, how often, in which direction and how discretely.

Manned subs need to be incredibly discrete (stealthy) to protect the people inside as well as for tactical advantage.  AUVs may not need to be as stealthy.  And they may not need to communicate as frequently.

It may be adequate for an AUV to spend its time gliding and not reporting until it actually makes contact.  Then the question becomes does that report have to be done in a stealthy fashion.  Sometimes you might want the contact to know that it has been detected.  In which case a loud report to everyone in the area of "It is over here!" would seem appropriate.  In other cases it might be enough to release a messenger buoy, or vessel to say "At 10 O'Clock on the 25th of Never a contact was discovered over here".

As far as incoming traffic is concerned maybe all that is required is a single encoded "Weapons Free" burst transmission.

As for spools of wire on the deck: I wasn't thinking along those lines.  I was thinking of AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) and not ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles).

Th Chris,one's never too old to learn(as i did here) ;)

And yes i also am just an amateur,but a concerned one,i mean when you just see what's happening here in Europe(budgetwise),apart from the UK and France(these 2 being the only ones actually aiming for the 2% investments,agreed by all NAVO partners to do so in the year 2020,i believe)it's not going well(we spending a measly 0.99%,shamefull really)and i'm not even talking about the richest nation,Germany,wich  couldn't care less about defence(budgetwise)
I mean everybody shouting over things that they don't like happening in the world,but nobody's,apart from the 2 forementioned, willing to actually invest accordingly. :rage:

As for the AUV part ok ,but how long will they be on station or will they be able to get there(range,duration)
Ok maybe possible to recharge by solarpower(just thinking with you on this part)and indeed the forementioned spools of wire belong to ROV's(my mistake) ;)
But still can a AUV react to changing situations as well as humans can?

gr,walter

ps i know the subs need to be stealthy to protect the crew,that's why we've got the Walrus. >:D
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 13:25:37 by Karel Doorman »
Karel Doorman(Battle of the Java Sea)

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Offline Chris Pook

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I always enjoy this type of conversation.  I learn (sometimes I am schooled).

With respect to time on station -

Gliders can stay at sea for very long periods as they don't use any fuel for propulsion.  They fill bladders with gas to lower their density, increase their buoyancy, and float to the surface.  Then they blow tanks, become heavier, denser, less buoyant and let gravity work. As they sink they can use their wings to fly against the currents.

http://www.ioos.noaa.gov/glider/welcome.html

For the powered AUVs, the autonomous ones, a Canadian firm, ISE has built and deployed a 7 m, 2000 kg unit (Arctic Explorer) that mapped 1000 km under the ice in a single 10 day sortie.

http://www.ise.bc.ca/auv.html

And if the Boeing video on their Explorer (posted by Thucydides upthread) is to be believed, their Explorer is intended to have an endurance of months, similar to the endurance of the gliders.

I doubt if these things are for fast transit but instead for slow patrols
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Offline Thucydides

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In any rational discussion on submarines, there would be a minimum of 8 boats, just to ensure there is always one on patrol per coast and having one extra per coast to "surge" or apply to an expeditionary force when needed. Still hardly adequate, but probably better than nothing. 12 would probably be closer to what we "really" need, but given defense priorities and the limited amount that the government and people are willing to spend, this is likely a non starter. The other aspect, as mentioned, is the boats would be part of a team effort, so "X" subs should also teamed up with "Y" surface ships and "Z" LRPAs. For Canada, this would be an extraordinary expense.

The Boeing vessel is an example of the sort of tool which can supplement subs. I see things like that and the seaglider or waveglider as being useful in extending the "reach" of the fleet, patrolling for long times and distances and acting as sensors to vector other assets via the various means that Chris has mentioned upthread. Even a relatively small ship like the "Kingston" class should be able to tender and observe several UUV's. Of course there still need to be assets which are capable of actively investigating and if need be prosecuting contacts, and having a manned vessel provides the all important person in the loop to make the "shoot/no shoot" decisions.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline GR66

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I wonder if something like like a seaglider or waveglider would be capable of trailing a towed array sonar?  I'm guessing the extra weight and drag would impede their method of propulsion.  I can see a powered AUV acting something like a mobile SOSUS line though.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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I would be interested in hearing the thoughts on this stuff from someone who is an acoustician and understands the ASW game far better than I do.  There are a few on this forum who have served under and above the water...maybe they'll weigh in.

A lot of this would be centered around water.  From my basic introduction to oceanography, 3 things affect how sound travels (and where it travels...) through water;  salinity, temperature and pressure.  I'll assume there is a completely different set of considerations for areas like up north, but I don't understand them enough to do more than mention them.

But I'll wager that this type of info would have a considerable effect on the cap's and lim's of systems being discussed...
Everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

Offline Chris Pook

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I would be interested in hearing the thoughts on this stuff from someone who is an acoustician and understands the ASW game far better than I do.  There are a few on this forum who have served under and above the water...maybe they'll weigh in.

A lot of this would be centered around water.  From my basic introduction to oceanography, 3 things affect how sound travels (and where it travels...) through water;  salinity, temperature and pressure.  I'll assume there is a completely different set of considerations for areas like up north, but I don't understand them enough to do more than mention them.

But I'll wager that this type of info would have a considerable effect on the cap's and lim's of systems being discussed...

And I wouldn't be at all surprised if, as in your game EITS, that those who do know probably won't be saying much here.   :)
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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I am sure he could generalize it so it is 'ok' for here.   :nod:
Everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

Offline Thucydides

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I wonder if something like like a seaglider or waveglider would be capable of trailing a towed array sonar?  I'm guessing the extra weight and drag would impede their method of propulsion.  I can see a powered AUV acting something like a mobile SOSUS line though.

Maybe not a full towed array, but I can imagine several of these devices towing a very small array and the control vessel integrating the input from multiple arrays distributed in a "box" formation rather than a single linear array.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Baz

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I would be interested in hearing the thoughts on this stuff from someone who is an acoustician and understands the ASW game far better than I do.  There are a few on this forum who have served under and above the water...maybe they'll weigh in.

A lot of this would be centered around water.  From my basic introduction to oceanography, 3 things affect how sound travels (and where it travels...) through water;  salinity, temperature and pressure.  I'll assume there is a completely different set of considerations for areas like up north, but I don't understand them enough to do more than mention them.

But I'll wager that this type of info would have a considerable effect on the cap's and lim's of systems being discussed...

I was an acoustician (CH-124B) HELTAS, and I've also written code to do passive, active, and prediction; I can help some.  Everything below is open source and I can provide links if you want to read; well, maybe, depending on how much I care :-)

You are, the speed of sound is determined by salinity, temperature, and pressure; the path of water through sound is determined by the speed changing at different depths.  It will curve towards lower speeds.

However, something else is going to happen: its going to hit the top (surface), and except in pure blue water (ie really deep), it's also going to hit the bottom.  Depending on a whole lot of stuff (to which you can add ice in this case) some will bounce and some will reflect.

As well, it will be attenuated... and this is where frequency becomes important: lower ones attenuate less (http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/37689-seawater-acoustic-absorption-calculator).  It's also easier to put more power behind lower frequencies.

So, in the deep ocean, sound will refract down at first, but then the increasing depth cause increasing speed and it refracts back up.  It then either bounces of the surface or refracts back down, etc, etc...  if it is refracting around the point where sound speed is the lowest then that is the deep sound channel and you can get huge ranges at low frequencies (less attenuation).  Of course, every noise maker in the ocean is also getting huge ranges, so it is harder to pic signal from noise...

However, that doesn't describe the arctic... in most places the deep sound channel won't exist (even leaving out weird surface effects due to fresh water melting and how cold it is).  So all that power may go straight into the bottom, and then all you get is bottom reflection mixing in with your reverb (which is another limfac for high power low freq by the way)...

None of this would determine whether anything you want to do is possible or not (I know some people at DRDC-A that have worked these types of questions), but it would be a consideration (a very important one) for how you would do it.

By the way, somebody may have said it and I missed it, but there are also floating trailing wires...



Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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Even if a revised defence policy were to focus more on "protecting the homeland" and less on expeditionary operations, I feel submarines should still be a no brainer. SSKs would obviously be an easier sell to Canadians than their nuclear equivalents. A modern fleet of subs, with an increased number of AOPS and a small fleet of modern Frigates would probably protect Canada adequately when coupled with sufficient LRPA, MH, and fighter coverage.


Offline PuckChaser

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Problem is, we need subs that are operational, not constantly under refit or repair or restrictions to depth. If the policy says subs, we need to stand up the project now to purchase 5-6 SSKs, and look at options to piggyback into another countries' order as long as it meets the under-ice requirement we'll inevitably have. We've recently signed an ISSP contract for 15 years, that gives us the normal procurement cycle to have replacements in the fleet by the time that contract is finished.

Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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Problem is, we need subs that are operational, not constantly under refit or repair or restrictions to depth. If the policy says subs, we need to stand up the project now to purchase 5-6 SSKs, and look at options to piggyback into another countries' order as long as it meets the under-ice requirement we'll inevitably have. We've recently signed an ISSP contract for 15 years, that gives us the normal procurement cycle to have replacements in the fleet by the time that contract is finished.

Agree 100%. I'm definitely not going to hold my breath for any form of coherent defence policy. Ditto for a proper procurement system.

Offline Underway

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Problem is, we need subs that are operational, not constantly under refit or repair or restrictions to depth. If the policy says subs, we need to stand up the project now to purchase 5-6 SSKs, and look at options to piggyback into another countries' order as long as it meets the under-ice requirement we'll inevitably have. We've recently signed an ISSP contract for 15 years, that gives us the normal procurement cycle to have replacements in the fleet by the time that contract is finished.

Well the Aussies are buying and building these nice Shortfin Barracuda.  On paper they look very capable and for a conventional submarine.  Article here for a comparison of them to the Collins.  I think the range and endurance requirements fit into what Canada may want.


*edited to fix links*
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 13:46:15 by Underway »

Offline Colin P

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My guess the Aussie contract will start facing questions by the 5th sub as governments change directions, that would be 10-12 years from now and good time for Canada to say 'hello we are looking for subs". apparently the Aussie plan is sort of a; subs 1-5 go into service, 6-9 come into service and 10-12 replace 1-5 who are retired.

Offline Underway

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My guess the Aussie contract will start facing questions by the 5th sub as governments change directions, that would be 10-12 years from now and good time for Canada to say 'hello we are looking for subs". apparently the Aussie plan is sort of a; subs 1-5 go into service, 6-9 come into service and 10-12 replace 1-5 who are retired.
I doubt that, (barring the questions part).  South Australia is loosing a large number of manufacturing jobs and there a number of seats at play in Parliament.  Critical ridings need their jobs.  50 billion dollars is a lot of investment into the local economy.  What I did like was the deal structure that was initially worked out but was not taken.  The French proposed building the first two subs in France with half Australian workforce.  By then the facilities for building the rest would be up and ready in Australia.  Then the those workers would be moved back to Australia and the rest of the boats would  be finished.  It would have advanced the timeline significantly and educating Australian workers in how the boats are to be built.  Its a model that could be looked at for any future Canadian sub project.  I mean we already have a shipyard that speaks French and Davies/Irving will be busy for a long time with all their NSS contracts.

Offline Colin P

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that would make so much sense, so it's unlikely to happen.