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New Canadian Shipbuilding Strategy

Stoker

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I am basing it on age and past precedent with the Iroquois destroyers on when they ultimately gave up the ghost. The Halifax’s are being pushed hard, their operational tempo is going full tilt and this won’t stop until they rust out.

Actually our operational tempo is very light compared to what it used to be so its not going "full tilt" because we don't have the personnel. One 280 was laid up due to personnel shortages and was ultimately decided to be paid off, one because of an accident and the money to repair was deemed too expensive, one had corrosion issues and was paid off immediately and the other sailed right up she was paid off and she had corrosion issues as well not to the degree as the other. These all gas turbine ships were driven hard over the years going into crazy sea states that we typically don't do too much of now. There were also all kinds of issues with these ships due to botched refits and issues after TRUMP conversion also keep in mind lack of personnel and we still had 12 CFPs to sail. Hard decisions were made so when you say all the 280's gave up the ghost was factually wrong. Also keep in mind we now have the imperative to keep these ships going, this the reason why Davie now does half the refit work and more money is being being spent on maintenance. As a civilian you have no idea the plans to keep these ships sailing other than stating they're going to rust out based on the 280's, apples and oranges but if you want a good comparison we ran the steamers for almost 40 years.
When do you believe the 12th CSC will be delivered? What year? What will be the age of the 12th Halifax at this point? Will it be fully operational at this point?
I saw the proposed timelines and I have no idea if they maintain these as we are talking years away but I do know they will do everything in their power to keep these ships sailing. We will see some ships more than likely stay alongside at some point but all 12 won't be getting paid off.
Before Covid hit were the AOPS still on schedule? There was all this talk about there being a ‘gap’ between the 6th AOPS and the 1st CSC that it necessitated the ‘need’ for 2 CCGS AOPS. Now there is zero talk about those two ships and lots of talk about delays to the finishing of the 6 AOPS and the start of the first CSC. Why did this occur? Was it Covid related or did it happen before Covid. It happened before Covid and now Covid is the natural scape goat.
Of course not all kinds of delays, some contractor, some navy, some beyond everyone's control. Ship building programs always have delays and some were expected and remember these ships were built to get the yard to build the skills and processes needed to build the CSC. You talk there is some type of conspiracy here, as of last month the 2 CCG APOV's are still being built. That being said it could very well that these ships could be given to Davie if the gap is no longer there.
I’d like to be wrong but I’ve not seen anything over the last 8yrs in closely watching how our military procurement or delivery mechanisms work to think otherwise. There are no examples, on this scale, to think otherwise. Would I like to be wrong, you bet, but I’m sticking with me statements, whether they are bold or not, ‘uninformed’ or not. But if I, a proud and vocal supporter of the CAF cannot be convinced, with all the reading and trying to become as informed as I possibly can, why would you think that the average CDN would care or think otherwise?
Procurement is broken and everyone knows that, no political will to fix it. I know you try and keep yourself informed but generally most of what you state is refuted by SME's who try and explain it to you. You are not an SME and there is many moving parts that you are not privy to.
I’m sticking with my statement, the 12th Halifax will be retired before the 12 CSC is accepted and operationally accepted by the RCN.
Fill your boots, I think your wrong. There are many people in Ottawa and the fleet looking for solutions to keep these ships running, it is in the realm of possibility.
 

Dale Denton

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Why not depoliticise procurement altogether? Start with a "Canadian Shipbuilding Commission", a Commission of public/private body of strategists/highly experienced strategists to dictate RCN, CCG key capabilities. Capabilities that must be studied, released, independantly strutinzed to X degree and worked until no longer feasable. Then funded proposals for the fleet compositions to accomplish these tasks, and appropriately release to public the costs.

Purpose: Takes away the perception that military contracts are fishy based on price/cost, and should redirect the scrutiny at...

Why: "Why is X worth this much?, and if so, how could it benefit Canada local/NATO friendly industry?"

How: Funds an independant military civilian commission of retired/seconded Canadian GOFOs/industry/academics to determine procurement risk thresolds and capability strengths/gaps to fill/maintain.
Career benefit: A new public/private partnership career path for strategists and articulators within gov't to secure funding in key industry sectors (Warships, Aircraft, Firearms. Munitions/Missiles?). This is all for the benefit of Canadians Defence, Security, and Piggy Bank/Billions$$$. This also removes the question of the gov't having to make the decision on specific capabilities that are expensive. This just makes it so the gov't can just say the budget stays at X% GDP, the experts do the rest.
 

Colin Parkinson

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NSS was sort of meant to reduce the politics and ensure ships got built. the idea was quite good, but about 20 years late.
 

Halifax Tar

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Why not depoliticise procurement altogether? Start with a "Canadian Shipbuilding Commission", a Commission of public/private body of strategists/highly experienced strategists to dictate RCN, CCG key capabilities. Capabilities that must be studied, released, independantly strutinzed to X degree and worked until no longer feasable. Then funded proposals for the fleet compositions to accomplish these tasks, and appropriately release to public the costs.

Purpose: Takes away the perception that military contracts are fishy based on price/cost, and should redirect the scrutiny at...

Why: "Why is X worth this much?, and if so, how could it benefit Canada local/NATO friendly industry?"

How: Funds an independant military civilian commission of retired/seconded Canadian GOFOs/industry/academics to determine procurement risk thresolds and capability strengths/gaps to fill/maintain.
Career benefit: A new public/private partnership career path for strategists and articulators within gov't to secure funding in key industry sectors (Warships, Aircraft, Firearms. Munitions/Missiles?). This is all for the benefit of Canadians Defence, Security, and Piggy Bank/Billions$$$. This also removes the question of the gov't having to make the decision on specific capabilities that are expensive. This just makes it so the gov't can just say the budget stays at X% GDP, the experts do the rest.

Yes more government, more patronized positions for GO/FOs as Public Servants will fix this. Huzaah!

What will fix this is an engagement by the Canadian public. Sadly I know thats a bridge too far..
 

Underway

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Ah, but you're assuming that the contractor was actually using MILSPEC cable....

I can speak with much personal experience about cabling and the HCM project. Several million dollars in cable returned to DND by a certain Halifax entity, and when much of it was compared to the information in the Catalogue, most of it was found to be non-compliant, and did not match the CGCS reference information. I know that still have a 100% inspection requirement on all cable entering and leaving our warehouse to ensure that we're sending out the 'right stuff'.

The question that has not officially been asked (that I'm aware of) is whether or not that non-compliant cabling was installed on the ships (seeing as we have remnant rolls of cable...the answer is almost certainly YES) and whether or not that non-compliant cabling needs to be corrected, and which entity (DND or the contractor) should be responsible for rectifying this...
Current ship projects can only have cable delivered by specific subcontractors that are approved or built by the yard where mil-spec isn't an issue. Also, every system has to undergo a Tempest Test and that includes the cabling. If that's failed then the cable is pulled or not installed. Also, there are two shipyards building ships for Canada. One of them isn't trying to cheat. Cut corners yes but their methods are much less nefarious (and more inexperienced) so far.
 

Underway

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Actually our operational tempo is very light compared to what it used to be so its not going "full tilt" because we don't have the personnel. One 280 was laid up due to personnel shortages and was ultimately decided to be paid off, one because of an accident and the money to repair was deemed too expensive, one had corrosion issues and was paid off immediately and the other sailed right up she was paid off and she had corrosion issues as well not to the degree as the other. These all gas turbine ships were driven hard over the years going into crazy sea states that we typically don't do too much of now.
I have no inside info but I would not be surprised in the least if at least one east coast frigate was put into "reserve" this next calendar year. And it wouldn't be surprising if one wasn't either. Feels like they could go both ways.
 

MarkOttawa

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A lesson for Canada--Aussies signed contract for big Antarctic icebreaker with Dutch firm Damen in 2016--build mainly in Romania, now on first operational voyage (official website here, 25,500 tonnes About Nuyina ). PM Harper announced new Canadian polar breaker in 2018; we'll be lucky to get first of (now) two by 2030. GO FIGURE:

Australia’s New Antarctic Icebreaker Begins First Voyage​

Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker RSV Nuyina departed Hobart Thursday on its first voyage south.

There are 67 expeditioners and crew onboard for the five week voyage to refuel Casey research station and transport helicopters to Davis station...

This summer RSV Nuyina is supported by two other chartered vessels in Antarctica to ensure all the commissioning work required can be undertaken.

Aiviq (Alaskan Inuit for 'walrus'), currently in Hobart, is a 110-metre US icebreaking tug and supply vessel to provide additional icebreaking capability and undertake station refueling [emphasis added].

Happy Dragon is a 157-metre Dutch-flagged ice-strengthened heavy cargo vessel that will help resupply Casey and Davis research stations this summer...

Mark
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Czech_pivo

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This article talks about why Canada (and some others), pay up to double the costs for mass transit compared to a number of other countries. It’s boils down to Politics.
Whether it’s mass transit projects or shipbuilding, pork barrel politics is killing this country (some would say that it has been since day one). The downward spiral shows no signs of letting up.

 

Edward Campbell

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Why not depoliticise procurement altogether? Start with a "Canadian Shipbuilding Commission", a Commission of public/private body of strategists/highly experienced strategists to dictate RCN, CCG key capabilities. Capabilities that must be studied, released, independantly strutinzed to X degree and worked until no longer feasable. Then funded proposals for the fleet compositions to accomplish these tasks, and appropriately release to public the costs.

Purpose: Takes away the perception that military contracts are fishy based on price/cost, and should redirect the scrutiny at...

Why: "Why is X worth this much?, and if so, how could it benefit Canada local/NATO friendly industry?"

How: Funds an independant military civilian commission of retired/seconded Canadian GOFOs/industry/academics to determine procurement risk thresolds and capability strengths/gaps to fill/maintain.
Career benefit: A new public/private partnership career path for strategists and articulators within gov't to secure funding in key industry sectors (Warships, Aircraft, Firearms. Munitions/Missiles?). This is all for the benefit of Canadians Defence, Security, and Piggy Bank/Billions$$$. This also removes the question of the gov't having to make the decision on specific capabilities that are expensive. This just makes it so the gov't can just say the budget stays at X% GDP, the experts do the rest.

The Brits started down this path circa 1990 when they formed a (short-lived) thing called the Procurement Executive. God managers were brought in from the private sector and from gov't, too, but the thing began to fail almost immediately because defence procurement is, almost always, a "big buck" issue and voters didn't want those high cost decisions being made by the "hired help." UK voters literally wanted 'political interference' which they, very correctly, understood to be gov't ministers doing their jobs. The whole thing collapsed about 18 months after the initial fanfare and the (proper, in my opinion) role of ministers was reintroduced and even strengthened: "Buy British," etc, etc. In my view the defence procurement issue played an outsized role in Brexit because the 'Leave' side "British ships made in British yards" etc.
 

MilEME09

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The Brits started down this path circa 1990 when they formed a (short-lived) thing called the Procurement Executive. God managers were brought in from the private sector and from gov't, too, but the thing began to fail almost immediately because defence procurement is, almost always, a "big buck" issue and voters didn't want those high cost decisions being made by the "hired help." UK voters literally wanted 'political interference' which they, very correctly, understood to be gov't ministers doing their jobs. The whole thing collapsed about 18 months after the initial fanfare and the (proper, in my opinion) role of ministers was reintroduced and even strengthened: "Buy British," etc, etc. In my view the defence procurement issue played an outsized role in Brexit because the 'Leave' side "British ships made in British yards" etc.
You are right we need someone elected to do their job, but under that minister I wonder if bringing in some business types would help. The massive input of public dollars, versus what the output is just screams inefficient.
 

Navy_Pete

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As a civilian you have no idea the plans to keep these ships sailing other than stating they're going to rust out based on the 280's, apples and oranges but if you want a good comparison we ran the steamers for almost 40 years.

I think if we're going to do a full comparison we should also consider that the steamers had full refits for most of their life span, and the 280s similarly had full refits for the first 20 odd years, which includes a much more extensive suite of repairs on the mechanical side. Even though the 280s went to condition based maintenance a lot of the piping was only 15-20 years when they were paid off.

We're now dealing with 25-30 years of condition based maintenance on the CPFs and all the items that couldn't really be surveyed so it's not really comparable. The CPFs were also built using different design methods that has a lot less beef built into them so the hulls and structure have less material to lose before things go wrong.

It's doable but there is a good reason the DWPs are running out to 18 months and still not getting everything fixed. For ref the CPF repair hours are currently about 3 times what we were putting into the 280s at end of life.
 

MTShaw

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I think if we're going to do a full comparison we should also consider that the steamers had full refits for most of their life span, and the 280s similarly had full refits for the first 20 odd years, which includes a much more extensive suite of repairs on the mechanical side. Even though the 280s went to condition based maintenance a lot of the piping was only 15-20 years when they were paid off.

We're now dealing with 25-30 years of condition based maintenance on the CPFs and all the items that couldn't really be surveyed so it's not really comparable. The CPFs were also built using different design methods that has a lot less beef built into them so the hulls and structure have less material to lose before things go wrong.

It's doable but there is a good reason the DWPs are running out to 18 months and still not getting everything fixed. For ref the CPF repair hours are currently about 3 times what we were putting into the 280s at end of life.
Hopefully the CSC will again at least ameliorate that problem.

One problem that puzzles me is having the CPFs change coasts where the environment calls for far less salt and has less salt in the air.
 

Colin Parkinson

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One problem that puzzles me is having the CPFs change coasts where the environment calls for far less salt and has less salt in the air.
That's what the CCG did, sent all there crapped out ships to the Westcoast in exchange for our well cared for ships.
 

Navy_Pete

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Hopefully the CSC will again at least ameliorate that problem.

One problem that puzzles me is having the CPFs change coasts where the environment calls for far less salt and has less salt in the air.
Not as such, but we're at least starting to recognize we can get better at condition based maintenance and what gear is required to meet SOLAS. All really depends if we'll actually pay to do the surveys/repairs early on, or actually complete PM. When we're hitting 25% or less PM completion not really rocket surgery why the equipment has significant failures. CSC gives us a chance to reset the clock but if we don't properly fund it, or schedule things to allow time for the maintenance won't sort out the underlying problems.

Really frustrating to have to hire a class society inspector to produce a report saying what we already know (and told them what to put in) before the RCN listens to the tech folks, but eventually they'll either listen or ignore them as well.
 

suffolkowner

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A lesson for Canada--Aussies signed contract for big Antarctic icebreaker with Dutch firm Damen in 2016--build mainly in Romania, now on first operational voyage (official website here, 25,500 tonnes About Nuyina ). PM Harper announced new Canadian polar breaker in 2018; we'll be lucky to get first of (now) two by 2030. GO FIGURE:



Mark
Ottawa
$529M cost and all in $1.9B over 30 years
 
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