• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Replacing the Subs

QV

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
726
Points
1,010
On another note -

Canadian navy aims to have 3 submarines at sea by end of 2021​

As the article, from June 2021 describes, the RCN had the intent to have 3 of 4 of the Vic's out of port and doing what they were built for by the end of this year. Anyone have any thoughts or insight if this is going to even happen?

I did find this one line interesting and pertinent to our current line of discussions - " A new Lockheed Martin sonar system is being installed fleet-wide and could open the door to undersea missions in the Far North."

Isn't it impossible to have 3 of 4 at sea for anything but a very temporary period?
 

KevinB

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,707
Points
1,140
Isn't it impossible to have 3 of 4 at sea for anything but a very temporary period?
They all had some pretty significant refits - in talking to a some of the USN SSN guys - most of the short time is for the crew - not necessarily the boat - and for some of them shore time isn't much different as they still need reactor watch etc.
The only time they really need to be inactive in in dry dock refit periods - that usually aren't very often (unless runs into something - like the Virginia that hit the underwater mountain near Taiwan last month -- and now the Capt is suffering career going career going career stops...)

I'll default to the Navy guys on what is actually needed from a general maintenance issue, but look at the WW2 Diesel boat sortie rates -- some of them where active a crazy percentage of their lives.
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,560
Points
1,140
Found this piece of information. Is valid for 2021 up to Feb 2021, so the 2021 numbers are under reported.

Its looks like our 'best value for money' (in terms of days at sea) was in the 2012-2018 time period.

Calendar Year - Sea Days

Submarine20082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021Footnote3Sub Total
HMCS VICTORIA0002815715572190000915455
HMCS WINDSOR0000121094917412212115000593
HMCS CHICOUTIMI0000004583715137000323
HMCS CORNER BROOK9311279750000000000359
Total931127910316926416627612916315209151730
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,560
Points
1,140
Isn't it impossible to have 3 of 4 at sea for anything but a very temporary period?
See my latest post on this below, turns out that in 2014 and 2015 we had 3 boats in the water.
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,795
Points
1,060
Found this piece of information. Is valid for 2021 up to Feb 2021, so the 2021 numbers are under reported.

Its looks like our 'best value for money' (in terms of days at sea) was in the 2012-2018 time period.

Calendar Year - Sea Days

Submarine20082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021Footnote3Sub Total
HMCS VICTORIA0002815715572190000915455
HMCS WINDSOR0000121094917412212115000593
HMCS CHICOUTIMI0000004583715137000323
HMCS CORNER BROOK9311279750000000000359
Total931127910316926416627612916315209151730

The CAF needs to consider more than just this, of course (best value for money , days at sea). "Effect" should be a factor that is heavily weighted.

I watched something similar during IMPACT; the HQ folks concentrated on 'green numbers'. "We intended to launch 30 missions and launched 29". They had little consideration for mission effect during those VUL times; I was sitting behind a couple of ATF-I HQ Maj's on the DFAC bus late one afternoon and listening to this "what an awesome % of mission success!!!" back-clapping discussion. I decided to join in briefly and ask them "so, how is a mission successful if it was undercast and there was no re-tasking. Or...if you are actually onto something, and you get re-tasked...to somewhere that is undercast...". I explained who I was and what I did and told them their analysis was "overly sterile" or something like that.

They didn't appreciate some old Sgt interrupting their conversation, I didn't like them over-pressurizing their egos...I don't remember seeing either of their faces on a PAX brief either so...

VUL time/sea time needs to also be measured with a large dose of mission effect considerations. In the case of our subs, I'm not convinced that would actually ADD much to the value of those sea days but...I'm a little cynical.

I also accept 101% that type of info is hard to, impossible even, discuss in this thread.
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,560
Points
1,140
The CAF needs to consider more than just this, of course (best value for money , days at sea). "Effect" should be a factor that is heavily weighted.

I watched something similar during IMPACT; the HQ folks concentrated on 'green numbers'. "We intended to launch 30 missions and launched 29". They had little consideration for mission effect during those VUL times; I was sitting behind a couple of ATF-I HQ Maj's on the DFAC bus late one afternoon and listening to this "what an awesome % of mission success!!!" back-clapping discussion. I decided to join in briefly and ask them "so, how is a mission successful if it was undercast and there was no re-tasking. Or...if you are actually onto something, and you get re-tasked...to somewhere that is undercast...". I explained who I was and what I did and told them their analysis was "overly sterile" or something like that.

They didn't appreciate some old Sgt interrupting their conversation, I didn't like them over-pressurizing their egos...I don't remember seeing either of their faces on a PAX brief either so...

VUL time/sea time needs to also be measured with a large dose of mission effect considerations. In the case of our subs, I'm not convinced that would actually ADD much to the value of those sea days but...I'm a little cynical.

I also accept 101% that type of info is hard to, impossible even, discuss in this thread.
For certain the chart that I posted provides a simple, non-disputable, factual piece of data, but its only 1 piece of data.

Its useful up to the end of 2018 and then it becomes useless since in 2019 and 2020 in essence all 4 subs were not at sea (yes, Vic was for 9 days, but that doesn't matter). I imagine that it must be extremely difficult to maintain any sense of operational tempo, improve/enhance skills and pass along lessons learned when none of the crews were out executing their trade during these 2 years. It must impact morale, retention and recruitment in a negative manner.

The chart only contains information starting in 2008. It would be of interest to see what the data shows in the years prior to 2008.

One thing that the charts clearly displays to me is the need to have greater than 4 subs in our fleet. The replacements for the Victoria's should in the neighbourhood of 8-10 boats so that we don't go 2 full years with never having a boat out on patrol, earning its keep, so to speak.
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,795
Points
1,060
For certain the chart that I posted provides a simple, non-disputable, factual piece of data, but its only 1 piece of data.

For sure...I hesitated to post my reply at first as I thought it was "just being cranky/obstinate".

Its useful up to the end of 2018 and then it becomes useless since in 2019 and 2020 in essence all 4 subs were not at sea (yes, Vic was for 9 days, but that doesn't matter). I imagine that it must be extremely difficult to maintain any sense of operational tempo, improve/enhance skills and pass along lessons learned when none of the crews were out executing their trade during these 2 years. It must impact morale, retention and recruitment in a negative manner.

The chart only contains information starting in 2008. It would be of interest to see what the data shows in the years prior to 2008.

One thing that the charts clearly displays to me is the need to have greater than 4 subs in our fleet. The replacements for the Victoria's should in the neighbourhood of 8-10 boats so that we don't go 2 full years with never having a boat out on patrol, earning its keep, so to speak.

Assuming submariners are similar to aircrew here...

To me, there is a huge different between being "qualified", "current" and "proficient". Qualified is pretty straight forward, pass the trg, awardded the qual. Current...aircrew have many Currencies we maintain; monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual. Example would be wet ditch (annual for my fleet), bombbay arm/de-arm (semi-annual), etc. I can be qual'd, and current but also at the peak of proficient. Coming off a deployment, flying lots and lots of hours monthly...ya, you're pretty proficient (usually).

Sims help but...nothing is the same as the real thing. So...I imagine the subs at sea ratio plays havoc on getting/maintaining quals, currencies and proficiency. You have limited assets to do all your FG, FE and FD activities...it must get frustrating.
 

KevinB

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,707
Points
1,140
For certain the chart that I posted provides a simple, non-disputable, factual piece of data, but its only 1 piece of data.

Its useful up to the end of 2018 and then it becomes useless since in 2019 and 2020 in essence all 4 subs were not at sea (yes, Vic was for 9 days, but that doesn't matter). I imagine that it must be extremely difficult to maintain any sense of operational tempo, improve/enhance skills and pass along lessons learned when none of the crews were out executing their trade during these 2 years. It must impact morale, retention and recruitment in a negative manner.

The chart only contains information starting in 2008. It would be of interest to see what the data shows in the years prior to 2008.

One thing that the charts clearly displays to me is the need to have greater than 4 subs in our fleet. The replacements for the Victoria's should in the neighbourhood of 8-10 boats so that we don't go 2 full years with never having a boat out on patrol, earning its keep, so to speak.
I fully agree with you on 8-10 boats (or 9-12) but how much of 19-21 have been due to COVID, (both not getting maintenance done on time, or crew not able to crew due to restrictions?
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
4,420
Points
1,040
So this thread and the one about robots got me wondering.

Just how deep does a boat have to go before gaining some of the advantages that a submarine has. Can one have two classes of subs - the deeper diving traditional types and a shallow diving weapons platform that effectively replaces surface vessels with a stealthier system that can unleash antiship or cruise missiles from maybe a dozen metres below water? Cheaper to build and easier to crew.

🍻 :unsure:
 

suffolkowner

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
676
Points
1,060
So this thread and the one about robots got me wondering.

Just how deep does a boat have to go before gaining some of the advantages that a submarine has. Can one have two classes of subs - the deeper diving traditional types and a shallow diving weapons platform that effectively replaces surface vessels with a stealthier system that can unleash antiship or cruise missiles from maybe a dozen metres below water? Cheaper to build and easier to crew.

🍻 :unsure:
There was a concept a few years back of a hybrid surface/submarine ship.


I think the UUWV will expand to fill a bunch of these niches. Interesting question though.

How deep does the vessel have to be to avoid easy detection compared to a surface ship?
How deep does it have to be to avoid surface turbulence?
What bearing does the thermocline(thermohaline?) have?
 
Last edited:

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
4,056
Points
1,010
There was a concept a few years back of a hybrid surface/submarine ship.


I think the UUWV will expand to fill a bunch of these niches. Interesting question though.

How deep does the vessel have to be to avoid easy detection compared to a surface ship?
How deep does it have to be to avoid surface turbulence?
What bearing does the thermocline(thermohaline?) have?
If you cannot get deep enough to get below the layer, you are pretty much screwed. You will be seen from the air and/or your noise will travel forever and/or you cannot evade active sonar.

Speaking of noise, submarines are designed from the ground up to be extremely quiet. I doubt a hybrid surface ship/submarine could be that quiet.

As a further point about noise, the deeper you can get, the faster you can go before your propellers begin to cavitate.
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,189
Points
1,060
If you cannot get deep enough to get below the layer, you are pretty much screwed. You will be seen from the air and/or your noise will travel forever and/or you cannot evade active sonar.

Speaking of noise, submarines are designed from the ground up to be extremely quiet. I doubt a hybrid surface ship/submarine could be that quiet.

As a further point about noise, the deeper you can get, the faster you can go before your propellers begin to cavitate.

On the other hand are you more, or less, hard to find than a surface vessel? And are you more or less susceptible to wave action? A submersible may make a poor submarine while still making a fair frigate.
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
4,056
Points
1,010
On the other hand are you more, or less, hard to find than a surface vessel? And are you more or less susceptible to wave action? A submersible may make a poor submarine while still making a fair frigate.
You have get pretty deep (below 100’) to avoid wave action. That is three atmospheres of pressure to withstand.

In short, you get all of the construction penalties (and expense) of a submarine build, with not many of the advantages.
 

GR66

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
878
Points
1,040
To my mind the real advantage of a semi-submersible wouldn't be to try and be both a surface ship and a submarine (and not as good as either), but rather to be a surface ship that can (briefly) dive just under the surface in order to avoid missile attack.

Once a large (and expensive) surface warship is detected it is vulnerable to a attack from a swarm of much cheaper missiles and only has a limited number of its own missiles to defend itself. If instead, when it detects an incoming attack it were able to dive just below the surface in order to avoid the incoming missiles it would be able to perhaps devote more of its VLS cells to offensive missiles to take out enemy targets instead of self-defence missiles.

If the ship is only designed to shallow dive just below the surface rather than act as a true submarine, then it wouldn't require a pressure hull and all the machinery required for sustained sub-surface operations which would make it cheaper to build.
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,560
Points
1,140
I fully agree with you on 8-10 boats (or 9-12) but how much of 19-21 have been due to COVID, (both not getting maintenance done on time, or crew not able to crew due to restrictions?
I’ll answer this question with 2 question. How much was C19 affected the US/UK/French subs operational tempo over the same time period? How much has C19 affected the operational tempo of the Halifax’s?
 

KevinB

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,707
Points
1,140
I’ll answer this question with 2 question. How much was C19 affected the US/UK/French subs operational tempo over the same time period? How much has C19 affected the operational tempo of the Halifax’s?
The US Mil isolated strategic crews - keeping them in a 14-21 day quarantine before letting them embark from the start.
Longer patrol durations in the nuke boats as well allow for zero contact during patrols.

Not sure on other nations SSK's or Surface Combatants.
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
3,897
Points
1,110
If you cannot get deep enough to get below the layer, you are pretty much screwed. You will be seen from the air and/or your noise will travel forever and/or you cannot evade active sonar.

Speaking of noise, submarines are designed from the ground up to be extremely quiet. I doubt a hybrid surface ship/submarine could be that quiet.

As a further point about noise, the deeper you can get, the faster you can go before your propellers begin to cavitate.
Just like a Tom Clancy novel,

Sorry to sidetrack but if you have not read The Hunt For Red October it really is a good basic teacher of how subs operate.
 
Top