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Canadian Surface Combatant RFQ

FSTO

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With the project lifespan we could almost just slow down the drumbeat of delivery and have them keep building new blocks of CSCs.

FELEX was really only about the sexy combat systems and didn't do any baseline mechanical systems; it's killing us on the primary and auxiliary mechanical systems, and we have thousands of obsolete items that are trying to be processed for replacement, with very little LCMM/procurement resources.
Chatting with the former Winnipeg XO the other day. She had some horror stories on the physical and mechanical condition of that ship. I’m sure others have similar stories.
 

Edward Campbell

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Chatting with the former Winnipeg XO the other day. She had some horror stories on the physical and mechanical condition of that ship. I’m sure others have similar stories.

Well, they are already between 25 and 30 years old and they will need to last for what: another 10+ years?

Given our history with the St Laurent ~ Restigouche ~ Mackenzie ~ Annapolis and now Halifax class ships it looks like 40 years is the expected service life of a Canadian warship. Maybe mid-life refits need to be part of the initial design/development scheme.
 

YZT580

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Is it possible to maintain the same hull design and continue updating the bits that make it a war vessel so that we have a constant intake of new hulls every 20 to 25 years and each block of 3 or 4 is state of the art compared to the predecessor block? Then we would never have to do this again
 

Navy_Pete

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Well, they are already between 25 and 30 years old and they will need to last for what: another 10+ years?

Given our history with the St Laurent ~ Restigouche ~ Mackenzie ~ Annapolis and now Halifax class ships it looks like 40 years is the expected service life of a Canadian warship. Maybe mid-life refits need to be part of the initial design/development scheme.
Previously we used to do baseline refits; which meant that they would systematically go and just replace sections of piping, valves etc in whole sections. Meant that you would be replacing equipment that still had service life left, but also meant that you wouldn't be afraid of poking a section of piping in case you went through the paint. The replacements was staggered over a number of refits, so you would do something like a third of the firemain (for example) and replace all of it over 3 refits (or about 15 years).

We stopped doing that with the 280s at TRUMP and switched over to conditioned based docking work periods, so basically you do surveys but don't replace anything unless you find out it's messed up. If you do substantial enough surveys it works fine, but as you can imagine you'll miss things, but also coincided with a lot of spending cuts, which reduced the depth of our surveys, as well as not taking on work during DWPs (leaving it to the crews to hopefully fix).

When they retired, the 280s had sections of firemain that were at most about 25 years old (with some large chunks being less then 20). Similarly the old steamers also had the old refit philosophy and had a lot of stuff in relatively good repair, plus large engineering departments to keep up with PM (280s were about 70-80 MSED).

The CPFs started out as condition based, and we've really only started doing in depth surveys in the last 5-8 years, so there is a lot of things that have piled up. With the shortage in staffing, pretty typical to have small crews during the post DWP reactivation (20-30) now, which isn't enough to keep up with just standard PM (preventative maintenance), let alone the repairs. It's pretty usual on some systems that the FMF goes in to do a simple 4 hour PM routine that turns into a few weeks of repairs because the systems are so degraded. And all that missed PM usually leads to something breaking, increasing the repair load and takes away from doing more PM.... (continues ad naseum). Long story short is that the CPFs are in worse mechanical shape now in a lot of areas then the 280s were at retirement.

Ships can do 40 years if you treat them well and maintain them properly; still have a lot of obsolescence issues but you can handle that if you aren't overrun by things being broken and trying to figure out what to do for some kind of bandaid solution. We're beating on the CPFs like rentals, hoping nothing goes bad, and coughing and humming a tune through the safety inspections hoping no one looks to closely. Pretty nuts.

At this point just keeping my fingers cross that when something does go wrong no one gets hurt/killed before we start enforcing our own safety policies. Not really a lot to ask, as they are built around basic commercial requirements, but we're deploying ships to HR missions that might not be allowed to leave port under commercial rules, so I don't really know. Boggles my mind that we never took our foot off the pedal through COVID, despite having major impacts on our ability to fix things, and really no one cared what we were doing anyway.
 

Edward Campbell

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Previously we used to do baseline refits; which meant that they would systematically go and just replace sections of piping, valves etc in whole sections. Meant that you would be replacing equipment that still had service life left, but also meant that you wouldn't be afraid of poking a section of piping in case you went through the paint. The replacements was staggered over a number of refits, so you would do something like a third of the firemain (for example) and replace all of it over 3 refits (or about 15 years).

We stopped doing that with the 280s at TRUMP and switched over to conditioned based docking work periods, so basically you do surveys but don't replace anything unless you find out it's messed up. If you do substantial enough surveys it works fine, but as you can imagine you'll miss things, but also coincided with a lot of spending cuts, which reduced the depth of our surveys, as well as not taking on work during DWPs (leaving it to the crews to hopefully fix).

When they retired, the 280s had sections of firemain that were at most about 25 years old (with some large chunks being less then 20). Similarly the old steamers also had the old refit philosophy and had a lot of stuff in relatively good repair, plus large engineering departments to keep up with PM (280s were about 70-80 MSED).

The CPFs started out as condition based, and we've really only started doing in depth surveys in the last 5-8 years, so there is a lot of things that have piled up. With the shortage in staffing, pretty typical to have small crews during the post DWP reactivation (20-30) now, which isn't enough to keep up with just standard PM (preventative maintenance), let alone the repairs. It's pretty usual on some systems that the FMF goes in to do a simple 4 hour PM routine that turns into a few weeks of repairs because the systems are so degraded. And all that missed PM usually leads to something breaking, increasing the repair load and takes away from doing more PM.... (continues ad naseum). Long story short is that the CPFs are in worse mechanical shape now in a lot of areas then the 280s were at retirement.

Ships can do 40 years if you treat them well and maintain them properly; still have a lot of obsolescence issues but you can handle that if you aren't overrun by things being broken and trying to figure out what to do for some kind of bandaid solution. We're beating on the CPFs like rentals, hoping nothing goes bad, and coughing and humming a tune through the safety inspections hoping no one looks to closely. Pretty nuts.

At this point just keeping my fingers cross that when something does go wrong no one gets hurt/killed before we start enforcing our own safety policies. Not really a lot to ask, as they are built around basic commercial requirements, but we're deploying ships to HR missions that might not be allowed to leave port under commercial rules, so I don't really know. Boggles my mind that we never took our foot off the pedal through COVID, despite having major impacts on our ability to fix things, and really no one cared what we were doing anyway.

Thanks for that; it helps a lot to understand what the RCN is doing. I was in the office of the Chief of Engineering and Maintenance (CEM ~ RAdm Ed Healey) in the mid-1980s when the CPF and CF-18s and TCCS were all major projects. I had (35 years ago) a good, but broad (big hand/small map) overview of what we wanted to do, then, but I've been retired for nearly 25 years. Hearing what we are (and aren't) doing is very helpful, albeit not always reassuring.
 

Underway

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There is a reason that they added Davie to the list for DWP's. The Irving drydock can only do a single ship at a time. Adding Davie does two things, increases the drumbeat for ships able to undergo DWP's where they can get much needed repairs and gets the gov't votes.

This is also why the CSC program is going ahead come hell or high water. We can afford NOT to have that project work. There is no plan B. The ships will fall apart by then. When CSC 12 is built the frigate it will replace will be 40ish years old.

In other news there was a conference on Digital Fires not too long ago (Army folks suddenly start paying attention to navy thread). There were reps from various stakeholders and CSC was one of them. They were there to explain TLAM and 127mm capabilities as well as make connections so that when a FOO calls in Naval Gunfire support its ready to go with no hicups.
 

Grimey

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Previously we used to do baseline refits; which meant that they would systematically go and just replace sections of piping, valves etc in whole sections. Meant that you would be replacing equipment that still had service life left, but also meant that you wouldn't be afraid of poking a section of piping in case you went through the paint. The replacements was staggered over a number of refits, so you would do something like a third of the firemain (for example) and replace all of it over 3 refits (or about 15 years).

We stopped doing that with the 280s at TRUMP and switched over to conditioned based docking work periods, so basically you do surveys but don't replace anything unless you find out it's messed up. If you do substantial enough surveys it works fine, but as you can imagine you'll miss things, but also coincided with a lot of spending cuts, which reduced the depth of our surveys, as well as not taking on work during DWPs (leaving it to the crews to hopefully fix).

When they retired, the 280s had sections of firemain that were at most about 25 years old (with some large chunks being less then 20). Similarly the old steamers also had the old refit philosophy and had a lot of stuff in relatively good repair, plus large engineering departments to keep up with PM (280s were about 70-80 MSED).

The CPFs started out as condition based, and we've really only started doing in depth surveys in the last 5-8 years, so there is a lot of things that have piled up. With the shortage in staffing, pretty typical to have small crews during the post DWP reactivation (20-30) now, which isn't enough to keep up with just standard PM (preventative maintenance), let alone the repairs. It's pretty usual on some systems that the FMF goes in to do a simple 4 hour PM routine that turns into a few weeks of repairs because the systems are so degraded. And all that missed PM usually leads to something breaking, increasing the repair load and takes away from doing more PM.... (continues ad naseum). Long story short is that the CPFs are in worse mechanical shape now in a lot of areas then the 280s were at retirement.

Ships can do 40 years if you treat them well and maintain them properly; still have a lot of obsolescence issues but you can handle that if you aren't overrun by things being broken and trying to figure out what to do for some kind of bandaid solution. We're beating on the CPFs like rentals, hoping nothing goes bad, and coughing and humming a tune through the safety inspections hoping no one looks to closely. Pretty nuts.

At this point just keeping my fingers cross that when something does go wrong no one gets hurt/killed before we start enforcing our own safety policies. Not really a lot to ask, as they are built around basic commercial requirements, but we're deploying ships to HR missions that might not be allowed to leave port under commercial rules, so I don't really know. Boggles my mind that we never took our foot off the pedal through COVID, despite having major impacts on our ability to fix things, and really no one cared what we were doing anyway.
The 280s (and steamers) had a big enough MSE department that PM rarely slacked off or had a chance to snowball. It helped that the (Esquimalt based) 280s had a fairly strong return spring.....I've known guys that have done a full career from OD to CPO2 on a combination of HUR and ALG. The WENG dept for the most part had the same privilege and if you weren't at sea, you were posted to the School teaching systems and equipment you'd just been maintaining. The end result was you had a department that was extremely familiar with their equipment and systems and the pride of being able (again, the numbers had a lot to do with it) to maintain them....up to changing out cruise gas turbines with next-to-no shore side support.

Just a personal observation from my (limited) time on CPFs. in October 2002, ALG returned from Op APOLLO with fully functional engines and generators. We'd been gone for 7 months less a week and were in better material condition than when we left. A few months later, I was carrying out a diesel inspection on WIN who trailed us back from the gulf. The overall mechanical condition was shambolic. Considering the ship was less than 10 years old at that point, it did shine a light on how lean a frigate's MSE department was.
 

Navy_Pete

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The 280s (and steamers) had a big enough MSE department that PM rarely slacked off or had a chance to snowball. It helped that the (Esquimalt based) 280s had a fairly strong return spring.....I've known guys that have done a full career from OD to CPO2 on a combination of HUR and ALG. The WENG dept for the most part had the same privilege and if you weren't at sea, you were posted to the School teaching systems and equipment you'd just been maintaining. The end result was you had a department that was extremely familiar with their equipment and systems and the pride of being able (again, the numbers had a lot to do with it) to maintain them....up to changing out cruise gas turbines with next-to-no shore side support.

Just a personal observation from my (limited) time on CPFs. in October 2002, ALG returned from Op APOLLO with fully functional engines and generators. We'd been gone for 7 months less a week and were in better material condition than when we left. A few months later, I was carrying out a diesel inspection on WIN who trailed us back from the gulf. The overall mechanical condition was shambolic. Considering the ship was less than 10 years old at that point, it did shine a light on how lean a frigate's MSE department was.
For sure, switching from the 280s to the CPFs was eye opening. The east coast was similar, and there were a few people that were posted to the same ship for over a decade (with some breaks for career courses).

The other big change is the level of training and experience. Previously people were overtrained to an extent, but we had guys trained up to the same standard as FSRs to be able to do OEM level maintenance on the ship (which was a really good thing, as we kept running those cruise engines after the OEM stopped supporting them). Now it's pretty hit or miss. Got really luck and our deployed crew included a red seal diesel mechanic and a few diesel inspectors, plus some 280 pers with GT experience, so we actually got up to having all four of the old DGs running, but the black water system, hot water and all the other domestic systems were a running guerilla war of attrition against weird failures, and the crews are now getting promoted faster due to lack of people, so the more senior folks in the department don't have the same experience to mentor the new folks or otherwise have already dealt with whatever fault came up. The hot water system is particularly insane, and still can't believe it doesn't have an automatic temperature control (you instead have to manually tune the electric coils with a really touchy rheostat, which goes from cold to burning people in a fraction of a turn).
 

Underway

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So I haven't posted CSC info in a while, here's the latest virtual water cooler talk (as I'm still on WFH... discussion for another thread).

CSC is being built in Flights or batches. There are off-ramps built into the contract to modify the design, deal with obsolescence issues and new technology growth.

-Underway Editorial Section follows -

This makes complete sense to me. The program is a 20-year-ish build. Some of the technologies on the ship (things as mundane as administrative computer networks, wifi and printers) have 2-3 year technology turnover. There will be new warfighting technologies that should be integrated and old ones that don't apply anymore.

An example of this could be the slow trend of removal of FC illuminators from ships. Air warfare missiles are gradually moving to active from semi-active homing. European navies like the French and British have been using Active homing missiles for decades, and their ships are generally not outfitted with fire control illuminators. New US missiles like ESSM2 and SM6 have active homing modes.

We know that CSC is going to have an FC illuminator built by MDA If all missiles have active homing then there is no need for a fire control illuminator anymore. That would free up space and weight higher in the ship (and topside space so critical) for new technologies. If the CSC later Flights don't need an illuminator anymore take them out.
 

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^^
Batches of 3?
My supposition is that the first batch is actually 4 "ships". It includes the tests and trials stone frigate to be built in Dartmouth. But then the next batches will be 4 actually floating ships. But maybe 5 batches of 3.

Side note on terminology for those non-naval types:
Batches - the number of ships ordered/built at a time.
Flights - this a different version of the design, (aka v1.0 is a different flight than v2.0)
So for example you can have a Flight I build that is in two batches. And then a Flight II ship that is built in three batches etc.
 

Colin Parkinson

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If we were really smart by the time we are finishing the last CSC, we should have the design to start building a replacement for the first batch. My guess is we won't be that smart.
 

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For Reference - Initial delivery "early 2030s" You know! Plus or minus. Somewhere round about then. Ish.

Canadian Surface Combatant​

What's new

Project Type​

Project Replace

Objective​

To recapitalize the Royal Canadian Navy's surface combatant fleet by replacing and updating the capabilities found in both the Iroquois Class destroyers and the multi-role Halifax Class frigates and provide the necessary ammunition, training, support and infrastructure. The new Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) will ensure that Canada can continue to monitor and defend its waters and make significant contributions to international naval operations.

Requirements​

15 Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) ships. These ships will be Canada’s major surface component of maritime combat power. With its effective warfare capability and versatility, it can be deployed rapidly anywhere in the world, either independently or as part of a Canadian or international coalition. The CSC will be able to deploy for many months with a limited logistic footprint. The CSC will be able to conduct a broad range of tasks, in various scenarios, including:

  • the provision of decisive combat power at sea and support during land operations
  • counter-piracy, counter terrorism, interdiction and embargo operations for medium intensity operations
  • the delivery of humanitarian aid, search and rescue, law and sovereignty enforcement for regional engagements
The project budget is $56-$60 billion with a Definition Contract of $185M awarded to Irving Shipbuilding under the National Shipbuilding Strategy in February 2019 for the design of the ship. The Definition Contract value will increase as design work progresses.

Visit the project website

Funding Range​

Greater than $5 billion

Anticipated Timeline (Fiscal Year)​

  • Completed Start Options Analysis
  • Completed Start Definition
  • 2021/2022 Start Implementation
  • Early 2030s Initial Delivery
  • To be determined Final Delivery
 

Navy_Pete

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My supposition is that the first batch is actually 4 "ships". It includes the tests and trials stone frigate to be built in Dartmouth. But then the next batches will be 4 actually floating ships. But maybe 5 batches of 3.

Side note on terminology for those non-naval types:
Batches - the number of ships ordered/built at a time.
Flights - this a different version of the design, (aka v1.0 is a different flight than v2.0)
So for example you can have a Flight I build that is in two batches. And then a Flight II ship that is built in three batches etc.
I think at any one point they will have 4 different ships undergoing some kind of construction/trials, so there will be a lag between any design changes and the flow through into the planning/scheduling process. Minor tweaks to things that are done in the module stage (like where a pipe bracket goes) are relatively easy, but would take a while to actually get implemented in the build because of far ahead some of that is done. I think by the time we figure out some of the issues on the first of class while on trials, it will already exist on 3-4 more that are in production, and if they are major issues it will take a while to engineer the fix.

So even if we do the contracting in batches, actual changes may not flow through like that.

Bit different than the older method of building from the keel up, where you were basically working on one ship at a time (and maybe starting some of the preliminary work on forming/cutting the plate for the hull). Modular building should give you much better consistency between ships, but also means that you get the same defects passed through (consistently) and there is a bigger impact when you want to make changes, because you have a lot of concurrent activities on the go that affects multiple hulls.

For example, flagging issues on HDW right now, but they are also on MGB, and at least two other of the in construction AOPs. The solution may make it into the sixth ship baseline design, and hopefully implemented on 4 and 5 as design changes before delivery, but probably will have at least 3 ships with the same first of class issue. If it's a docking dependent repair, they run like that for the full 5 year op cycle. Don't worry though, the original design was approved by a class society, so there won't be problems.... :rolleyes:

Pretty funny to see DND defer to class society opinions over our own SMEs, despite the fact that some of the surveyors have no specific expertise, and some of our people have decades of it. 🤷‍♂️
The Godfather Sigh GIF
 

Colin Parkinson

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If it's any consolation, commercial operators pushed for Class certification in lieu of Federal Ship Safety Inspectors. last I heard, the private Class inspectors cost more and take longer to get to an inspection than the Feds did.
 

Weinie

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I think at any one point they will have 4 different ships undergoing some kind of construction/trials, so there will be a lag between any design changes and the flow through into the planning/scheduling process. Minor tweaks to things that are done in the module stage (like where a pipe bracket goes) are relatively easy, but would take a while to actually get implemented in the build because of far ahead some of that is done. I think by the time we figure out some of the issues on the first of class while on trials, it will already exist on 3-4 more that are in production, and if they are major issues it will take a while to engineer the fix.

So even if we do the contracting in batches, actual changes may not flow through like that.

Bit different than the older method of building from the keel up, where you were basically working on one ship at a time (and maybe starting some of the preliminary work on forming/cutting the plate for the hull). Modular building should give you much better consistency between ships, but also means that you get the same defects passed through (consistently) and there is a bigger impact when you want to make changes, because you have a lot of concurrent activities on the go that affects multiple hulls.

For example, flagging issues on HDW right now, but they are also on MGB, and at least two other of the in construction AOPs. The solution may make it into the sixth ship baseline design, and hopefully implemented on 4 and 5 as design changes before delivery, but probably will have at least 3 ships with the same first of class issue. If it's a docking dependent repair, they run like that for the full 5 year op cycle. Don't worry though, the original design was approved by a class society, so there won't be problems.... :rolleyes:

Pretty funny to see DND defer to class society opinions over our own SMEs, despite the fact that some of the surveyors have no specific expertise, and some of our people have decades of it. 🤷‍♂️
The Godfather Sigh GIF
Are there that many differences between the first of the Halifax’s and the later ships?
 

dapaterson

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Halifax class, I am lead to believe, also differ depending on which yard built them.
 

Navy_Pete

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Are there that many differences between the first of the Halifax’s and the later ships?
A lot of minor things, like trunking and wiring runs in slightly different locations, but normally only really an issue when you are trying to install things years later. Some of those details are left to the installers discretion on the build drawings, but things like plumbing runs for the sinks can vary depending on who was setting it up. Usually there are tolerances on all the measurements as well, but sometimes the individual +/- 5 mm can add up to everything being shifted over a foot when you use relative positions on the drawings.

There are a few equipment design differences; like the fuel main has two setups (ring main vice normal distribution), plus 3 different versions of the steering system. Not really sure about the background on the first one, but on the 2nd one was because the manufacturer went out of business or something during the build. Most people have never see that though, so really only matters for the technicians. In general, if you know how to get from A to B on one CPF, you can do it on the others.

They drift apart over the years as well, but with a few known exceptions for some compartment layouts, it's still effectively the same ship. Takes a lot of work to make sure all the safety equipment is kept in the same spots and things like that, but that's all part of the configuration management program (and that includes ship specific particularization of the drawings as required).
 

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What would happen to pricing and delivery if the average weight of the fleet was dropped? I understand that part of the estimation inflation is based on 15 ships originally estimated at Light Ship Weights of about 5700 tonnes to which, in the Canadian case something like 4000 tonnes of deadweight has been added. Most of that has been added above the waterline from my understanding, in the form of weapons and sensors.

Rather than 15 identical heavy weight ships what would happen if the fleet were reconsidered as, for example, 4x Air Warfare Destroyers (Aegis and Strike Standards), 4x Command and Support ships adhering to the original light ship weight standards configured to emphasise a multi-role, dock accessible mission bay, and 7 GP/Strike ships fitted with strike length Mk41 VLS but armed with ESSM quads?

Is there real money to be saved or is it just the estimate that would be changed?

Also how would the RCN manage a Task Force centred on an AWD, a C&S ship and a pair of GP/Strike ships? I am thinking the C&S would have multi-role utility in terms of boats, UAVs, USVs and UUVs, SeaCans, Accommodations and Vehicles and Engineering plant as well as Non Combatants.
 

Uzlu

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Rather than 15 identical heavy weight ships what would happen if the fleet were reconsidered as, for example, 4x Air Warfare Destroyers (Aegis and Strike Standards), 4x Command and Support ships adhering to the original light ship weight standards configured to emphasise a multi-role, dock accessible mission bay, and 7 GP/Strike ships fitted with strike length Mk41 VLS but armed with ESSM quads?

From this link:
The department also categorically ruled out scrapping the program or going with another design.

"This is not an option we will be pursuing," the statement said. "Selecting a new design at this stage in the project would lead to significant economic loss for Canada's marine industry and those employed in it.

"It would have major operational impacts for the [Royal Canadian Navy], due to associated project delays and life-extension requirements, as well as increasing the costs to operate and maintain more than one class of ships in the future."
 
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