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Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship AOPS

Underway

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Chief Engineer said:
Nope the Kingstons will continue in the North doing hydro-graphic work.

Super important.  It's probably the biggest contribution to SAR that the RCN can do.  Prevent the SAR incident before it happens.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Agreed it's important work, but one that can also be done by CCG and PW/CHS. It was neat to do a old school hydrographic survey of a cove west of Coppermine and then a year later to see the Chart insert for that work.
 

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Colin P said:
Agreed it's important work, but one that can also be done by CCG and PW/CHS. It was neat to do a old school hydrographic survey of a cove west of Coppermine and then a year later to see the Chart insert for that work.

It can be done but it won't be at least not on a large scale, at least not until the CCG gets its act together and revitalizes its fleet. Even so its such a large task there's room for CCG and RCN participation. Now if we really cared we would build several purpose built hydrographic ships just for the Arctic and get the job done faster.
 

YZT580

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Chief Engineer said:
Now if we really cared we would build several purpose built hydrographic ships just for the Arctic and get the job done faster.
  Faster?  Not likely!  How many years do you think it would take to get the contract proposal out, bid on, selected, appealed, re-bid etd.  Seaspan would insist it was a civilian requirement hence theirs, Davies would say it needs an ice-strengthened hull so theirs, Irving would profer the AOP as being suitable  already designed and their purview and finally Heddle would claim it belonged in the new category and therefore open-bid.  Same old
 

lenaitch

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Is not arctic hydrographic surveying needed to support our UN claim for high arctic territory?  This, as well as the need to develop extensive charting which is sorely lacking in many areas.
 

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YZT580 said:
  Faster?  Not likely!  How many years do you think it would take to get the contract proposal out, bid on, selected, appealed, re-bid etd.  Seaspan would insist it was a civilian requirement hence theirs, Davies would say it needs an ice-strengthened hull so theirs, Irving would profer the AOP as being suitable  already designed and their purview and finally Heddle would claim it belonged in the new category and therefore open-bid.  Same old

Just get it built offshore lol
 

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lenaitch said:
Is not arctic hydrographic surveying needed to support our UN claim for high arctic territory?  This, as well as the need to develop extensive charting which is sorely lacking in many areas.

Obviously yes, worse case scenario is a cruise ship with a couple thousand passengers and crew hitting a shoal in the NW passage. A smaller pocket cruise ship did the same a few years ago, fortunately it didn't sink. A few years ago I was part of an exercise not too far from Iqaluit where we practiced something similar, lots of challenges.
 

Colin Parkinson

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lenaitch said:
Is not arctic hydrographic surveying needed to support our UN claim for high arctic territory?  This, as well as the need to develop extensive charting which is sorely lacking in many areas.

Years ago, when a Canadian and US icebreaker trying to reach the pole, the US icebreaker lost a prop blade. A Russian icebreaker filming a TV special at the pole assisted them in getting out of the ice. The Canadian Captain went aboard the Russian ship to discuss how the escort should work. He noticed that the Russian charts of the Canadian Arctic were far more detailed than the Canadian ones. I wonder how they got that information.....

It was interesting to work up there and see the chart mostly blank of depths, with the occasional line of soundings, one line ending at a Pingo called the "Admirals finger" apparently he broke one when they hit it. In the Pearkes with just the Mate and myself on the bridge at around 2am steaming along, we saw the depth changing fast, by the time we stopped the ship, we had 2m under the keel from a previous 60m on a likley uncharted Pingo.
 

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When it comes to building special or vital requirements, wouldn't it be just easier for the government to own its own construction slip?  Say Port Weller, Port Maitland, Port Colborne or Saint John?  Crew it with military and civilian engineers that wouldn't have to worry about losing jobs or being laid off due to lost contract bids because they were shifted from the construction yards to the FMFs whenever required?
 

Dale Denton

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Fred Herriot said:
When it comes to building special or vital requirements, wouldn't it be just easier for the government to own its own construction slip?  Say Port Weller, Port Maitland, Port Colborne or Saint John?  Crew it with military and civilian engineers that wouldn't have to worry about losing jobs or being laid off due to lost contract bids because they were shifted from the construction yards to the FMFs whenever required?

This is what NSPS should've been. Own a portion of 1 or 2 yards (each with different specializations, or just generalize) by way the french and DCNS' partnership. Then contract out to any other Canadian yard for work the other two are too busy to take or for one-off classes. The purpose of the strategy is that long-term orders end the boom/bust cycle. At least if we owned 25% of Seaspan or whoever, we'd be partially paying ourselves, and show our commitment to the industry by 'buying (some of) the farm'.
 

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At the risk of seeming flippant, how is a mix if civilian and military engineers working at ADM(Mat)?  I guess the answer to that is dependent on how you think ADN(Mat) is doing?
 

Underway

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Baz said:
At the risk of seeming flippant, how is a mix if civilian and military engineers working at ADM(Mat)?  I guess the answer to that is dependent on how you think ADN(Mat) is doing?

It depends heavily on where the project is in its lifecycle.  AOPS vs JSS vs CSC.  Where I work we're the customer so our main job is to ensure that requirements
(after contract being signed) are being met as best we can from an engineering perspective.  Internally it works great as the civilians rely upon the military folks to explain why things are done in certain ways and the civilians provide PM expertise and continuity. The issues come when the budget meets the contractor's abilities which then meets the requirements.  The main friction point is when you leave ADM(Mat) to the vendor, it's not internal for the most part IMHO.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Sounds promising for the type of stuff the AOP's may do:

In the sensor vanguard
Essentially a laser-based navigational aid, LADAR (Laser Detection and Ranging) combines long-distance object detection with high-accuracy measurement, giving users a full 2D/3D/4D (3D plus time) perspective for optimal maritime awareness. The laser pulse scans a specific area or target with over 100 readings per second. Its water-penetrating capabilities enable very high-resolution detection of objects in the surface layer up to approximately one nautical mile distant and up to 10 meters deep in ideal conditions. “Objects” can be anything from a person, floating container, icebergs, whales, or small craft to environmental factors such as waves or pollution.

https://www.marinelink.com/news/ladar-laser-sensor-technology-maritime-478858?utm_source=MR-ENews-Weekdays-2020-05-28&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MR-ENews
 

Privateer

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Colin P said:
Sounds promising for the type of stuff the AOP's may do:

In the sensor vanguard
Essentially a laser-based navigational aid, LADAR (Laser Detection and Ranging) combines long-distance object detection with high-accuracy measurement, giving users a full 2D/3D/4D (3D plus time) perspective for optimal maritime awareness. The laser pulse scans a specific area or target with over 100 readings per second. Its water-penetrating capabilities enable very high-resolution detection of objects in the surface layer up to approximately one nautical mile distant and up to 10 meters deep in ideal conditions. “Objects” can be anything from a person, floating container, icebergs, whales, or small craft to environmental factors such as waves or pollution.

https://www.marinelink.com/news/ladar-laser-sensor-technology-maritime-478858?utm_source=MR-ENews-Weekdays-2020-05-28&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MR-ENews

I wonder whether a version of this does or could exist to allow a submarine to "see" its immediate surroundings if operating close to objects such as the ocean floor or ice, etc.
 

Uzlu

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Nice New Patrol Ship You’ve Got There, Canada—It’d Be A Shame If Somebody Sank It

The Canadian navy is about to get its first new large warship in two decades. But HMCS Harry DeWolf, the first of up to eight Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels, is all but unarmed. Her only organic weapon is a 25-millimeter cannon on her forward deck.

Harry DeWolf’s lack of heavy armament could be a problem in wartime. Imagine sailing into battle against, say, the Russian navy—with only a small-caliber cannon.

“During wartime, their capabilites are very limited,” naval historian Norman Polmar said of the Canadian OPVs. “I don’t know what more to say.”

The Canadian navy isn’t very big. It operates a dozen 1990s-vintage frigates, four quarter-century-old diesel-electric attack submarines that Ottawa bought second-hand from the United Kingdom, plus 12 small coastal patrol boats, also of ‘90s-vintage.

After a long break in major naval procurement, in the 2010s the Canadian government announced a maritime rearmament program. The 20-year, $70-billion National Shipbuilding Strategy includes 15 new frigates based on the U.K. Type 26 plus a pair of fleet oilers and several other auxiliary vessels.

The first new ships under NSS are the Arctic OPVs, six of which will sail for the navy and two for the coast guard. Lead vessel Harry DeWolf could join the fleet as early as this summer.

At $400 million apiece, the Arctic patrol vessels are 339 feet long and displace more 6,600 tons of water, and have the closely spaced structural ribs and thick skin that you’d also find on an icebreaker. They have accommodations for 65 crew, space for small boats, a vehicle bay for trucks and snowmobiles and a flight deck big enough to handle the navy’s CH-148 helicopter.

But they don’t have large-caliber guns, missiles or major self-defense systems. After all, they’re patrol vessels. The navy plans for the OPVs to spend their time chasing smugglers and unlicensed fishing boats, rescuing people and responding to natural disasters in ice-choked waters. “They’re very useful,” Polmar said.

They’re especially useful as the world warms, summer ice gets thinner in northern waters and sea passages open up across the Arctic region. To support the new OPVs, Canada is building a new naval base on Baffin Island in the country’s far north.

The OPVs aren’t designed to do battle with missile-armed warships and submarines or defend against air attack. Of course, they shouldn’t have to, normally. After all, no other country routinely deploys armed surface vessels in the Arctic. Submarines, however, have patrolled the region since the 1950s.

Russia in 2019 launched its first new missile-armed icebreaker and also is building a new class of ice-capable corvettes. The U.S. Coast Guard meanwhile has mulled adding weapons to its own new icebreakers.

But those ships mostly still are under construction. When Harry DeWolf deploys, perhaps this year, she actually will be one of the only armed surface ships in Arctic waters, according to Jerry Hendrix, an analyst with the Telemus Group in Virginia.

A single 25-millimeter cannon isn’t exactly a war-winning weapon. In a pinch, however, the Canadian navy could bolt additional weapons onto the Arctic OPVs’ decks. The latest anti-ship missiles carry their own guidance radars and come in containers that workers can install on almost any reasonable-size warship.

Eric Wertheim, a naval expert and author of Combat Fleets of the World, highlighted the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile, a stealthy, subsonic anti-ship weapon with a 100-mile range. The U.S. Navy is adding NSMs to its Littoral Combat Ships in the hope of giving those lightly armed frigates a fighting chance during wartime.

Arctic weather can be rough on missiles. Ships and weapons need special seals and high-grade metals in order to function in extreme temperatures. Owing to its Nordic origin, the NSM probably is one of the better weapons for Arctic warfare, Hendrix said.

Coincidentally, Canada based its OPV design on a Norwegian vessel.

So yes, if the new cold war boils over and NATO and Russia go to war in the far north, the Canadian navy could, in theory, quickly add anti-ship missiles to its Arctic OPVs.

Adding surface-to-air missiles is a bit trickier, Wertheim explained, as they usually require integrated fire-control sensors that you can’t easily add to an existing ship without cutting open the vessel’s hull.

And bolting-on missiles won’t make the OPVs harder to sink. “They’re not necessarily built to take hits,” Wertheim said.

Still, Hendrix for one thinks Canada’s approach to patrolling the Arctic is the right one. Buy an inexpensive, lightly-armed, ice-capable patrol ship—and worry about arming it only in the event of a major conflict. “There is this escalating competition in the Arctic and it sound like the Canadians are taking the right step.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2020/06/25/nice-new-patrol-ship-youve-got-there-canada-itd-be-a-shame-if-somebody-sank-it/#1a47eb571ff0
 

Swampbuggy

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I guess if they really wanted to, they could acquire and bolt on a SeaRAM unit to partially address that SAM issue, for at least short range threats. So, long as there's power and a structurally reinforced area where you'd want to put it, that is.
 

Dale Denton

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I'm with all/most of you on the armament side, however I have an assumption there was more than a 10 min discussion over the armament, so i'm sure the following was considered:

- Cost, if we rolled in a partial re-design to accommodate a 57MM or any deck-penetrating deck gun, the cost and testing period would shoot up - which has been an issue for AOPS already.

- AO, it'll be operating mostly (assumed) friendly waters, or at most the Caribbean/African coasts. Does its role and perceived threat require it to need something bigger from Day 1? No, have the Kingstons been in danger of attack recently...no.

- Use, its an OPV, which are generally lightly-armed anyways

- Ice, build-up would make something bigger or more complex a maintenance hog (assumed) and more spare-parts usage.

In short, i'm sure there were plenty of discussions as to what and how to arm this Class, and I don't think cost was the only obstacle. I can assume if you spend billions designing an building a ship for a Navy you have contingency or emergency re-arming plans drawn up like CIWS for the DDGs in the Gulf War.

I'm sure someone's drawn up plans to quickly beef these up in wartime. Cool to see if RCN adopted the newer 40MM like on the RN Type 31s, some form of CIWS and a containerized ASW package aft.
 

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Tune in to the Canadian Armed Forces Facebook page on Friday, July 31 at 12:00 pm EDT, to watch the live stream of the delivery of the 1st Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel, Harry DeWolf to #HMCDockyard Halifax.


https://www.facebook.com/CanadianForces/photos/a.1524483394445524/2946730305554152/
 

Colin Parkinson

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LoboCanada said:
I'm with all/most of you on the armament side, however I have an assumption there was more than a 10 min discussion over the armament, so i'm sure the following was considered:

- Cost, if we rolled in a partial re-design to accommodate a 57MM or any deck-penetrating deck gun, the cost and testing period would shoot up - which has been an issue for AOPS already.

- AO, it'll be operating mostly (assumed) friendly waters, or at most the Caribbean/African coasts. Does its role and perceived threat require it to need something bigger from Day 1? No, have the Kingstons been in danger of attack recently...no.

- Use, its an OPV, which are generally lightly-armed anyways

- Ice, build-up would make something bigger or more complex a maintenance hog (assumed) and more spare-parts usage.

In short, i'm sure there were plenty of discussions as to what and how to arm this Class, and I don't think cost was the only obstacle. I can assume if you spend billions designing an building a ship for a Navy you have contingency or emergency re-arming plans drawn up like CIWS for the DDGs in the Gulf War.

I'm sure someone's drawn up plans to quickly beef these up in wartime. Cool to see if RCN adopted the newer 40MM like on the RN Type 31s, some form of CIWS and a containerized ASW package aft.

The discussion likely went; "While it add costs?"

"Yes"

"While it provide extra employment outside of Irving in X riding, that we can make multiple announcements on?"

"No"

"Then no you can't have that"
 

Underway

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Colin P said:
The discussion likely went; "While it add costs?"

"Yes"

"While it provide extra employment outside of Irving in X riding, that we can make multiple announcements on?"

"No"

"Then no you can't have that"

More likely this (all correspondence in letters):

Canada:  Irving can you look at adding a 57mm to this ship
Irving:  Yes, that is a Canada driven change.  As it is extra work for us not in the original contract it will cost $200,000 for engineering and research to investigate whether this is possible, potential impacts and what it would take to do this task.  This does not include the cost to design a solution or purchase the equipment.Risks include increased final cost to the ship and there will be expected delay in delivery. 
Canada:  *looks at budget, considers so many other things on the ship need fixing and cost money, decides to spend that extra cost on the wonky --insert random but critical problem here--* OK thanks Irving.  We'll pass.

 
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