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Replacing the Subs

Eye In The Sky

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Maybe a fly shyte out of pepper point; but to me a 'semi-submersible' doesn't actually ever completely dive. Thinking OP CARIBBE and the 'drug subs', called SPSSs (self propelled semi-submersibles), they aren't true sub-marine. They are a reasonably challenging ctc, though.

It's a small but important distinction. A shallow-diver might have some use in littoral/brown-water ops, but these would have limited on-station times and sitting here, I can't quite work out a tender solution that seems reasonable to support something that does more than SOF or close-ELINT or something.

Thermocline's aren't the only camouflage a submerged boat can use....in deep or shallow waters. Just something to keep in mind...

 

SeaKingTacco

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Maybe a fly shyte out of pepper point; but to me a 'semi-submersible' doesn't actually ever completely dive. Thinking OP CARIBBE and the 'drug subs', called SPSSs (self propelled semi-submersibles), they aren't true sub-marine. They are a reasonably challenging ctc, though.

It's a small but important distinction. A shallow-diver might have some use in littoral/brown-water ops, but these would have limited on-station times and sitting here, I can't quite work out a tender solution that seems reasonable to support something that does more than SOF or close-ELINT or something.

Thermocline's aren't the only camouflage a submerged boat can use....in deep or shallow waters. Just something to keep in mind...

Oh, I know. I was just working off the first thing that came to mind.
 

Eye In The Sky

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My post was more to the "a semi than can dive briefly" concept....and to those who don't think about 'the layer' and...sea mounts, eddies, wrecks, dirty water, etc in the browner water spaces. Sorry if I worded it as a poke at your post, it was meant as an "in addition to"...because, realistically, I don't think Canada will ever be a true blue-water operator in the sub-surface battlespace.
 

Czech_pivo

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Little concern or opposition to this, built just east of the largest metropolitan area in Canada (and one of the top 5 in NA) but adding nuclear powered subs to the RCN and all hell breaks loose.

"New high-tech nuclear reactors will soon be built near Toronto"

 

dimsum

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Little concern or opposition to this, built just east of the largest metropolitan area in Canada (and one of the top 5 in NA) but adding nuclear powered subs to the RCN and all hell breaks loose.

"New high-tech nuclear reactors will soon be built near Toronto"

The difference is that there has been a nuclear reactor there for decades - the article is to build another reactor close to it. So, the infrastructure is there.

The big issue for SSNs for the RCN is that we don't have the infrastructure, which is very expensive. Also, maintenance/standards for an SSN fleet is very different than for a civilian energy reactor.
 

Underway

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There are lots of politics involved with this. As much as some Ontarians (but not most) want to ignore it nuclear power keeps the lights on. Ontario power gen is very low carbon emissions (~50% nuclear, less than 7% fossil fuel). We know where the power comes from.

The general public pushback happens when
1) Nuclear power is mobile
2) Nuclear power is in a new place than where it wasn't before
3) Nuclear power on a submarine ties it to nuclear weapon proliferation in many peoples minds
4) There are no votes in spending money on the military and nuclear subs are expensive as hell.

Before anyone rages about point three I would like to point to the large group of people who think vaccines don't help and Covid is a conspiracy People ignore reality if it fits into their confirmation bias or political stance.

All of those points are valid concerns and arguments against nuclear submarines. Most don't understand arguments for nuclear submarines, because in Canada's case they just really consist of "The Arctic" in the public discourse and little else. That's not a strong pro for people who huddle along the US border. Nuance is not something that sells defence projects.
 

KevinB

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3) Nuclear power on a submarine ties it to nuclear weapon proliferation in many peoples minds
4) There are no votes in spending money on the military and nuclear subs are expensive as hell.

Before anyone rages about point three I would like to point to the large group of people who think vaccines don't help and Covid is a conspiracy People ignore reality if it fits into their confirmation bias or political stance.

All of those points are valid concerns and arguments against nuclear submarines. Most don't understand arguments for nuclear submarines, because in Canada's case they just really consist of "The Arctic" in the public discourse and little else. That's not a strong pro for people who huddle along the US border. Nuance is not something that sells defence projects.
If I was King, well I would just tell, not ask for opinions.

But it seems IF the RCN wanted to go down the Nuke boat route - they would need to get a very detailed and effective IO campaign going to educate the Canadian public on the advantages.
 

Colin Parkinson

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If I was King, well I would just tell, not ask for opinions.

But it seems IF the RCN wanted to go down the Nuke boat route - they would need to get a very detailed and effective IO campaign going to educate the Canadian public on the advantages.
I see the failure point in your plan right there, because we do a terrible job of convincing people we need the military we have, much less what we need.
 

KevinB

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I see the failure point in your plan right there, because we do a terrible job of convincing people we need the military we have, much less what we need.
Oh don't get me wrong, I think the CAF needs to hire a Strategic Comms company to complete rebrand itself -- I'd also recommend hiring Strategic Planners - because I have not seen any real planning going on for decades.

I do think the RCN is probably the best suited to lead, as unlike the CA or RCAF, the Navy seems to understand there is a need for long term planning.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Canada did build subs at one time
 

Underway

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I do think the RCN is probably the best suited to lead, as unlike the CA or RCAF, the Navy seems to understand there is a need for long term planning.
Navies are a series of 20-30 year plans. That's just the reality. China's current naval situation is a result of planning in the 1990s. It's also why the US is pivoting only now because their 20-year plan changed on 911. And is now changing again.
 

KevinB

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Navies are a series of 20-30 year plans. That's just the reality. China's current naval situation is a result of planning in the 1990s. It's also why the US is pivoting only now because their 20-year plan changed on 911. And is now changing again.
I'd argue that realistically most Elements should be 20-30 year plans too.
I mean the RCAF could have a 40 year plan for fighters :ROFLMAO:, and the CA have a 40 year plan on most of its equipment - and it would better off than it would today...

Short of an immediate revolution in warfare - a 20 year plan should work -- even if needs to be refreshed every five years (eg) to see if some of the longer items will still be relevant.
 

Kirkhill

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Of all the plans discussed here I think the one with the most realistic potential is based on a small littoral AIP vessel. The Arctic Archipelago is our primary concern and all we have to do is be able to work under the surface at the ice-edge to control access. That would mean being able to go as high as Alert/Hans Island in season as well as being able to operate in Hudson Strait and the NWP. 4 "Pelagic" subs on patrol in conjunction with 8 XLUUVs and 4 AOPS would effectively control the NWP.

Pelagics, or littoral subs would also work for inshore control of shipping lanes into the Saint Lawrence and the Inside Passage on the West Coast.

If you went with the Kockums/Saab solution then you could buy a fleet of 8 to 12 Pelagics and 4 Extended Range units needing something like 500 submariners, at a guess?

If you focused on preserving a pristine, green arctic using non-nuclear technology you might have a better chance of making the sale to the Canadian public.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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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.
Submarines are absolutely scary war machines. Lets just say that without adequate aircraft coverage, Surface Forces are basically dead meat in short order against submarines.
 

Underway

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Submarines are absolutely scary war machines. Lets just say that without adequate aircraft coverage, Surface Forces are basically dead meat in short order against submarines.
I think the game-changer here would be a reliable hard kill torp defense and detection system. If one could stop a torpedo with the same Pkill as one can a missile then suddenly submarines are significantly less threatening. They become just as dangerous as a few aircraft, which is to say much less dangerous.

When that comes out watch the strategic balance between submarines and surface ships change immediately in favour of the surface ships. That wouldn't change a submarine's stealth, or intelligence gathering abilities, and certainly not its merchant killing potential. But it would make surface fleets relatively resistant to a submarine attack.
 

Kirkhill

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I think the game-changer here would be a reliable hard kill torp defense and detection system. If one could stop a torpedo with the same Pkill as one can a missile then suddenly submarines are significantly less threatening. They become just as dangerous as a few aircraft, which is to say much less dangerous.

When that comes out watch the strategic balance between submarines and surface ships change immediately in favour of the surface ships. That wouldn't change a submarine's stealth, or intelligence gathering abilities, and certainly not its merchant killing potential. But it would make surface fleets relatively resistant to a submarine attack.

Do you mean something like this Atlas Sea Spider System?


I'm assuming that the key word in your post is "reliable".

 

Underway

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Do you mean something like this Atlas Sea Spider System?


I'm assuming that the key word in your post is "reliable".

Reliable is the keyword. You are correct.

There are more than a few challenges. Getting accurate tracking/fixing on an underwater contact is really really difficult. If a submarine shoots a torp at you AND you detect it (not always the case) you generally only get a bearing of the torpedo. Because the speed of sound changes underwater depending on salinity, pressure, temperature you never really know how far away it is.

A good hard kill system would shoot a Anti Torp Torp down that bearing and use active sonar to home in on the enemy torp. Then it would have to hit it or explode close enough to damage it. That's not easy either.
 

Kirkhill

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Reliable is the keyword. You are correct.

There are more than a few challenges. Getting accurate tracking/fixing on an underwater contact is really really difficult. If a submarine shoots a torp at you AND you detect it (not always the case) you generally only get a bearing of the torpedo. Because the speed of sound changes underwater depending on salinity, pressure, temperature you never really know how far away it is.

A good hard kill system would shoot a Anti Torp Torp down that bearing and use active sonar to home in on the enemy torp. Then it would have to hit it or explode close enough to damage it. That's not easy either.

So you need something like an underwater proximity fuze?
 
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