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New Canadian Shipbuilding Strategy

Colin Parkinson

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At one time everything on the coast had to come by sea and there was actually a bigger population in some areas than today. But then technology replaced most of the cannery workers and as fish stock plummeted, so did the canneries, so a lot of the traffic was lost there. There was also quite a few mines and they all shut down eventually as well.
Currently for ports on the coast (not counting Vancouver Island and Lower mainland) You have Sechlet, Powell River, Bella Coola, Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Stewart. Prince Rupert is doing very well, but constrained by geography.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Can you elaborate? This is sector I don't know too much about.

I always just assumed that the popularity of pushing tugs in the internal waters of BC was more that the environmentals could support it, and it allowed flexibility to quickly (relatively speaking) change loads and get underway again while the port staff worked on unloading the original barge.
It wasn't environmental, but mostly to cut manning costs which is a big topic right now as the tonnage rules are implicated in several recent fatal accidents.
Tugboat tragedy raises questions about safety on B.C. coast
 

Kirkhill

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At one time everything on the coast had to come by sea and there was actually a bigger population in some areas than today. But then technology replaced most of the cannery workers and as fish stock plummeted, so did the canneries, so a lot of the traffic was lost there. There was also quite a few mines and they all shut down eventually as well.
Currently for ports on the coast (not counting Vancouver Island and Lower mainland) You have Sechlet, Powell River, Bella Coola, Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Stewart. Prince Rupert is doing very well, but constrained by geography.

There's a line of reasoning that suggests that the Age of Enlightenment started with something called The Invisible College which arose in the 1640s. Just prior to the British Civil Wars.

The Invisible College led to something called the Republic of Letters which tied together all the printing presses of Europe and America by the 1670s. The Invisible College and the Republic of Letters constituted the early internet. And caused the hierarchy of the day no end of grief due to not being able to settle the truth of things. Causing things like licencing presses, stamp taxes and paper taxes and prosecutions for slander, libel and sedition - and any other method to restrict the flow of ideas.

The Royal Mail was established as a private courier service for the crown in 1512 by Henry VIII. One of his many useful innovations. It tied all towns in England by requiring them to maintain a horse at the ready for a royal courier. Day or Night. Speeding up communications and allowing Henry to expand his control north of the Trent-Severn line. 1603 the Scotsman Jimmy the Sixth expanded the Royal Mail, still as a private service of the Crown, into Scotland (or at least Edinburgh).

In 1635 Jimmy's son Charlie, always notoriously short of the ready saw an opportunity to make a bit of cash. He opened up his courier service to the public for profit. It was that communication system that Ashmole, Boyle and the Royal Society exploited to create their Invisible College and the Republic of Letters, and the Freemasons, that led to the free exchange of ideas and the Enlightenment.

Not necessarily a new idea. Comms and empire have gone hand in hand at least since the era of Darius's royal highways.

But yet another example of "If you build it they will come".

And add in freeports (Royal Burghs, Freistadts or what have you) and you have a time tested recipe for economic development.

And the basis of a developing Navy.
 

Colin Parkinson

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One can argue that the decline in government docks for coastal communities has hurt development and industry. The docks were often essential for a lot of small businesses but beyond their means to build and maintain. Transport Canada and DFO have been divesting them with a pot of money, but when that runs out, it's often beyond the means of these small communities to maintain them. Considering the total lack of other Federal and provincial services in these communities, they don't get much for their tax dollar.
 

Navy_Pete

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Not really sure, but tried to answer some items below.
Question in regards to what you mentioned about not having the proper budget to maintain the ships properly, or fix what needs to be fixed.

Is this a matter of DND not receiving enough funding? Or somehow not able to use money to accomplish this? I ask because for a long time (I'm not sure if still the case) DND was returning around $1B to $2B annually to the government, that DND was unable to spend.
Different types of fundig (NP/Capitol/SWE) plus a general lack of people available to replace everyone that retired under the last sweep, and is currently retiring. People with 20 years experience are being replaced with people with a few years of experience, so also takes longer to work through things as people are learning.

For the FMFs, they could keep up with just PM, but normally a 5 hour PM routine turns into a 50 hour corrective maintenance. Also the fleet sched sends out a bunch of ships for a TG exercise, then schedules everyone for the same time for work periods, so it's a feast/famine. Top that off by the ship staff not being fully crewed, and pulled in other directions as well, the lack of 1st line PM leads to increased 2nd/3rd line CM, and the ships are 30 years old. Not a simple answer, but it's a bit of a bow wave of issues that have aggregated to make the personnel shortage more critical
Was crew compliment a large consideration when deciding what ships will replace the CPF?

As much as I obviously support a well funded military, DND and TB need to simplify and smooth things out...how can we ask for more money, when we aren't able to spend the money we have? And basic things like maintaining a ship at a basic level isn't being done because of self-created obstacles?
Crews keep getting smaller with increased automation, but you reach a point where you still need a sailor to do something. Damage control while fighting the battle is pretty labour intensive, as experience shows that you might need to keep doing it with normal systems down. But all that automation also needs maintenance, so it's a bit of a balancing act. Our sailors all wear a lot of hats, so that helps but at the end of the day we can only reduce the crew down so much and still be effective.

Looking at some options for that from the commercial side, but it's pretty slow. Probably will trial them on the frigates and if they work, fit them onto later flights of the CSC, but yeah.

And with the FELEX program, I know a lot of the PR stuff was on systems enhancement & 'mid life upgrades'. That honestly didn't include walking around the ship, inspecting some pipes or joints that are prone to maintenance, and at least patching some things up to 'spruce up the ship'? (I've realized here in my adult life that I don't know very much, about very much. So what seems simple to me, is inevitable more complicated once someone explains it who actually has experience with the subject matter. Maintaining piping on warships is probably a lot more complicated than just putting a ring-thing on it & it's done.)

I would think that lowering the crew requirement per ship would be one of the foundational factors into the decision being made, as that alone would ease a lot of stress off of the Navy?
Pre-CPFs, we used to do baseline refits, which included full replacement of piping (ie a third of a big system each DWP). We went to 'conditional based maintenance', which is supposed to be less expensive because you don't replace items with life left, but didn't do the kind of extensive pipe surveys necessary to support that at MLR. The 280s had those baseline refits up until TRUMP, so they actually had newer firemains at retirement then most CPFs have now.

Replacing sea water, blackwater, freshwater piping etc isn't sexy, and isn't capitol money so didn't get a lot of attention. It is now, but it's such an extensive, expensive issue at this point that we have to triage. That stuff got cut to have more whizbangs. Also most valves etc are obsolete, so there is also a massive load on the LCMMs to replace them (ps; we're short of LCMMs, and a lot of experienced ones retired within the last 5 years). Get that there isn't much point of a warship with obsolete gear in a shooting match, but also no point of having high tech gear that can't leave the wall because the ship is barely running.

Like any 1000 lb marshmallow, we can only tackle it one bite at a time. If the RCN had taken some kind of operational pause during COVID that would have helped (for both the sailors and the maintenance) but they are pressing on regardless.

Lot of people are working on it, and it's a bit of a disaster, but if we can get through this without anyone getting killed or maimed I'd consider it a win. There are a lot of former sailors working on it as civilians going way above and beyond because they don't want anyone getting, so optimistic, but would be easier if the RCN was actually honestly assessing the actual material state of the ships before sending them to sea, instead of talking it until it's yellow, and pretending we've actually implemented any of the on-paper mitigations in the risk assessments.
 

Maxman1

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From what I've heard, their version is actually less capable than ours will be.
 

Underway

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Meanwhile in the UK they just shaved 12 months off their first Type 26 build

I saw that as well. There is some funny business with the schedule (pushed back delivery and then suddenly ahead of schedule) but generally, they are doing great! It's amazing what happens when you have an established shipyard and experienced employees.

From what I've heard, their version is actually less capable than ours will be.
It likely will be. Theirs is a more focused approach for a GP frigate. Ours needs to be able to do Area Air Warfare as well as GP.
 

suffolkowner

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I saw that as well. There is some funny business with the schedule (pushed back delivery and then suddenly ahead of schedule) but generally, they are doing great! It's amazing what happens when you have an established shipyard and experienced employees.


It likely will be. Theirs is a more focused approach for a GP frigate. Ours needs to be able to do Area Air Warfare as well as GP.

I've read on Navy Lookout (save the royal navy) a few times that the type 26 build/schedule was slowed down purposefully, maybe to spread the costs out(?)
 

Underway

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I've read on Navy Lookout (save the royal navy) a few times that the type 26 build/schedule was slowed down purposefully, maybe to spread the costs out(?)
Projects are weird sometimes.

Payment milestones are set up for when the shipyard reach certain milestones. The problem is that the project office asks the treasury for money on the timing of those milestones. If the payment is delayed (not meeting the milestone) past the end of the fiscal year, that money goes back into general revenues and the project has to ask the government for that block of money again. In the next budget. It's essentially "lost".

Spreading the project out may have been to readjust those milestone payments to be further away from the end of the fiscal year, in the event of a schedule slip.
 

Uzlu

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Yet another opinion piece, though I think we would be out if our minds to restart the process. I do agree however there needs to be penalties for late delivery and delays.
An excellent rebuttal of Williams by Timothy Choi: Strategic and Operational Considerations for Canadian Naval Shipbuilding
 

Underway

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For a maritime nation dependent directly and indirectly on seaborne trade and where most military threats will be overseas, spending a third of the defence budget throughout the lifespan of the navy's only major surface warships would seem far from excessive. If anything, Canadian strategic priorities should see the navy occupy a greater proportion of the budget compared to the other branches
The above is quoted directly from the article. Which is excellent.

I've been saying the same for years. The navy is the first line of defence and the first to respond in almost all circumstances.

I also appreciate his deconstruction of the costs involved with shipbuilding, in particular how expensive "less capable ships" are for the long term.

And also really like the three ships discussion. His analysis really hits home at the two small navy problems and why our ships are generally built in multiples of three. And one of the reasons the RCN really wished for a third JSS.
 

Weinie

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I feel like we talked about this before on this thread but here's another article about the program and weight of the ship. We're getting into Burke tonnages now full load.

Does that have an impact on top speed? I would think so, but rely on your expertise.
 
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