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Replacing the Subs

Maxman1

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Glad the process has finally started. This is really gonna be an uphill battle since multiple parties have kicked all the 'defence' cans down to where we are now.

Norway and Germany recently ordered 6 Type-212CDs for $8B CAD. Accounting methods and requirements aside, that's reasonable.

Or there's the Dolphin 2, based on the 212 but enlarged and with an additional four 26 inch torpedo tubes, and the Type 216, designed for Australia before they chose a non-nuclear version of a French nuclear submarine (celebrated for their excellence).
 

JMCanada

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On one side, I would keep an eye also on Navantia's S-80.
With 40+ berths, apparently designed for three 12-men guard shifts, 50 days endurance, US-based combat system and up-to-date sensors, 3x1.2 MW DGs for a fast charge of batteries and first unit already in the water (still being fitted but passing first tests), the timeline may fit quite well to the RCN: fourth and last unit is expected to be delivered by 2028 (2023-24-26-28 IIRC).
Cost: around 1.5 bCAD each (1 billion EUR each).

This being said , with "keep an eye" i also mean to closely follow the project to check the results once delivered to the Spanish Navy.


On the other side, i recommend a read on a recent ASPI's article about their history on the Attack submarine procurement.
 

Underway

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Interesting opinion on the Australian Colins Class.

In particular this argument (emphasis mine):

Most submarines in the Asian region were built in the country that operates them. In fact, very few countries buy their submarines from an overseas builder. This is because the industrial base needed to sustain submarines is close to that needed to build them and building provides better access to intellectual capital.

Submarine fleets are small and subject to such intense security that there is no commercial market that can be drawn upon for their maintenance, in the way that, for instance, Qantas Air Services can provide military aircraft maintenance. Commercial submarine maintainers, such as the British company Babcock, are few and so heavily integrated with their customer navy that they are effectively part of the naval function.

Furthermore, sustaining submarines throughout their service lives requires more than simple maintenance. The RAN's future submarines will operate beyond 2050, encountering significant changes in technology and strategic circumstances. To sustain them as effective weapons systems the RAN will need the capacity to upgrade, modify, test and trial changes to their design.

I may be re-evaluating my opinion of an overseas build regarding this. Question is who is going to build them I suppose. Iriving is fully engaged with CSC, Davie seems like a good spot but an odd one. VSY is the civilian yard. And Heddle is in Ontario, not sure if a freshwater build to start is a good idea, particularly if maintenance expertise needs to be somewhere on a coast (I would argue West Coast but that's me).
 

JMCanada

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There's a factor to consider: number of boats to build.
The capability for locally building the subs may be worth for 12 boats, but... what may be the minimum number of boats to make it worth? Note that the capability is going to cost tens of billions to Australia.
 

Underway

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Six boats. Three each coast. Everything needs to be in multiples of three to have availability, one at sea, one in training/transition, one in the yard for maintenance.

Any more than six you add the extras to the Pacific fleet. Atlantic fleet is better with more surface ships. The Pacific is a submariners paradise from what I'm told.

Dolphin 22
 

MilEME09

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What's the operating cost of a sub vs a surface ship? Should we have a more submarine heavy pacific fleet with less surface ships? Say 4 CSC and 8 -10 subs on the west coast and the rest on the Atlantic?
 

dimsum

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What's the operating cost of a sub vs a surface ship? Should we have a more submarine heavy pacific fleet with less surface ships? Say 4 CSC and 8 -10 subs on the west coast and the rest on the Atlantic?
Why do we need to have boats on both coasts?

It seems like a dumb question to ask, but the Australians only have their subs in the west coast fleet base, when most of their major cities are in the eastern side of the country. There must be a reason for that.

Similarly, they have all of their maritime helicopters at HMAS Nowra close to their east coast fleet base, and fly them out to the west coast fleet base to join a ship sailing from there. Actually the only fleet they don't have in one base is part of the fighter fleet - the Super Hornets and Growlers are in the same (single) base, while the F-35s will be in 2 other bases. The rest of their fleets are located in one spot (Adelaide for their P-8s, Sydney for their Hercs, Brisbane for their C-17s, etc).
 

LoboCanada

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Why do we need to have boats on both coasts?

A very interesting point.

I have a lot of questions, but the gov't of the day that makes a decision (and articulate to the public) on this will have to decide what these ships are specifically for. Are we responding to the bigger threat of the submarine weapons-race in the Pacific? Then why bother basing half the fleet away from the emerging threat? Is Russia not contained by the 20-odd NATO submarines already, and desperately needs another 3 subs from us on the Atlantic?

IF new subs are built and they aren't under-ice capable, then what is the immediate need for them on the East Coast? Does NATO not have enough subs (not even counting ASW aircraft and surface ships) between them to patrol the Atlantic for the Russian fleet?

Is the booming submarine-race maybe worth having 4-6 subs on the West Coast alone, so that 2 are always on patrol? Training with the Australians and US, and the few countries that we're friends with? What is the ratio of CAN-friendly subs to unfriendly in each ocean?
 

Underway

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Why do we need to have boats on both coasts?

It seems like a dumb question to ask, but the Australians only have their subs in the west coast fleet base, when most of their major cities are in the eastern side of the country. There must be a reason for that.

Similarly, they have all of their maritime helicopters at HMAS Nowra close to their east coast fleet base, and fly them out to the west coast fleet base to join a ship sailing from there. Actually the only fleet they don't have in one base is part of the fighter fleet - the Super Hornets and Growlers are in the same (single) base, while the F-35s will be in 2 other bases. The rest of their fleets are located in one spot (Adelaide for their P-8s, Sydney for their Hercs, Brisbane for their C-17s, etc).
It's not a dumb question. The answer is rooted in geography and geopolitics.

Australia one navy and one threat vector. Is there a threat to them from the East Coast? The All Blacks are scary but I don't think they can swim that far. Should a ship be needed on the either coast its a simple matter of sailing it around the island.

We have for all intents and purposes two smaller navies and no real threat vectors. To reinforce we have to sail around a much further distance and rely upon a Canal not owned by us to move our ships. Our subs are expeditionary. The last time submarines were used in anything like a conflict was the Turbot War. And that was just a threat of subs so the Spanish fleet didn't sail. (though I think that this was just supposition to make the submariners feel good, diplomacy and that a war over fish is stupid was the real reason they didn't sail). Hence we need subs on both coasts. And helicopters and MPA's and ... and...

Should the NWP become ice free for much longer (though models show the Arctic Ocean will be ice free before the NWP will be) then perhaps we will be able to base on one side or the other.
 

dimsum

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I think it would make good sense to move all the sub capability to the west coast and maybe run with fewer frigates/CSC/AOPs to balance things out. It is worth modelling the effect, I think.
We're basing all the AOPS in Halifax, no?
 

JMCanada

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Six boats. Three each coast. Everything needs to be in multiples of three to have availability, one at sea, one in training/transition, one in the yard for maintenance.
That may be fine as for the RCN sub capability. However i feel i didn't adressed my point. I referred to the "building subs capability" itself, since IMO it's a different capability to building surface vessels.

Let's take (grossly) ten years to deliver the first boat. Then one more every two years... by year 20 the 6th boat is delivered. The boost-and-burst problem again. The "submarine building" capability may be in jeopardy. If the following submarine program started by year 30 to start delivery of 2nd generation boats by year 40 (when the first unit would be 30-years old), the yard would be for ten years working on various types of maintenance only. Therefore IMO 8-10 boats (stretching deliveries) would be necessary to keep the capability.

Otherwise the boats may be built overseas with as much canadian content as possible, for instance regarding sensors and combat systems.

All this said only from a common sense point of view... already know about politicians short-term thinking.
 

Swampbuggy

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We're basing all the AOPS in Halifax, no?
If/when the RCN gets a modern OPV (outside of the AOPS, I mean) to replace the MCDV'S, I think it would be best to do just that. IMHO, if there were 6-7 vessels (something like RIVER or OTAGO class for example) in a new OPV class, they should all be based with the Pacific fleet and the AOPS should be all ported in Halifax. From what I've read in these threads, its clear that transit time to arctic patrol areas is much easier to bear from the east coast, rather than sailing all the way around Alaska etc. As for the potential new OPV, is it any worse to send a ship from Esquimalt to the Caribbean than it is from Halifax? I'm genuinely not certain about that, I'm sure someone else here could clarify.

With subs, we have sent them to the Mediterranean fairly recently. If that's an area where there is a demand for a Canadian subsurface asset, it would almost certainly have to come from the east coast fleet. It does seem likely that there will be some sort of pivot to the Pacific in terms of activity/interest. I wonder though, that if it were 6 boats only, could there not be a plan through rotation of units (for example) to only have one down at any given time for drydock/refit? Then your bias could remain 3 boats west, 2 boats east and 1 out of the water. If I'm not mistaken, I think that's largely what we're doing with the Vic's?
 

Colin Parkinson

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You still need a couple of AOP's to do the Western Arctic, for the same reasons that CCG bases the Western Arctic ships on the West Coast as well.

For subs if the Aussie/French deal unravels, there would be an opportunity for Canada to join in on the new deal. The Japanese have an impressive new sub program, the big challenge on that is to incorporate US weapons and sonars as they use their own domestic stuff. I agree with Underway that we need 6 and I don't think having them built here is a good idea. To sell it, you need to show the number of long term jobs that the maintenance of the subs will provide, which will be higher than for each surface ship and provide long term stable jobs.
 

Swampbuggy

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You still need a couple of AOP's to do the Western Arctic, for the same reasons that CCG bases the Western Arctic ships on the West Coast as well.

For subs if the Aussie/French deal unravels, there would be an opportunity for Canada to join in on the new deal. The Japanese have an impressive new sub program, the big challenge on that is to incorporate US weapons and sonars as they use their own domestic stuff. I agree with Underway that we need 6 and I don't think having them built here is a good idea. To sell it, you need to show the number of long term jobs that the maintenance of the subs will provide, which will be higher than for each surface ship and provide long term stable jobs.
Just looking at a map and getting reaquainted with the North. It would seem to me, and I'm certainly not an expert, that it looks about the same distance from Esquimalt to Nanisivik as it does from Halifax to there. So, if I understand what you're saying Colin, a CCG ship leaves BC, refuels in Dutch Harbor (I'm guessing) then patrols it's Western Arctic area of interest. I'm just wondering, if the AOPS were all based from Halifax, if it wouldn't be much the same to have 3 leave Halifax, head up to Nanisivik, top off and have one continue on through to the western Arctic, have one stay centralized and one trend eastwards? As someone who is more familiar with the area and operation of vessels therein, I'm interested to hear your thoughts.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I don't recall the 1100's refuelling in Dutch harbour, not saying they don't though. I think they may refuel from one of the barges if needed.
 

YZT580

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I would think that 6 subs is a minimum and probably at least 3 too few. Having just a single unit operational on each coast is simply wasting money. Each coast is more than 1200 nm which is 4 days sailing at economical cruise. So having a single hull available simply means that 9/10 of your patrol area is for all intents and purposes, uncovered. A minimum of two on each coast would be needed to effectively patrol and that doesn't even begin to touch the Arctic. 9 hulls would give you one in the Arctic, two operational on each coast, three on work-up to deploy and one each area for deep maintenance. Go big or stay home
 
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