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Canadian Surface Combatant RFQ

Stoker

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Build and repair war ships affordably? There is no such thing. Navies are expensive. Have always been that way and will always be that way. You'll see from Davie doing Docking Work Periods now that the price is pretty close between them and Irving. Now the "are we getting value for the money we are spending" argument.. well that's different.

We all know the issues left over when a ship comes back from Irving work periods. We'll have to see if Davie can do any better.
Agree all shipyards have issues. Irving is often a target as they get the lions share of government shipyard work. Davie has certainly had its issues over the years from the government having to a steal a ship back from them right up until issues with the Asterix build.
If we want to try and be relevant on the world stage then we need to spend the money and get the Navy that we deserve.
 

Halifax Tar

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Agree all shipyards have issues. Irving is often a target as they get the lions share of government shipyard work. Davie has certainly had its issues over the years from the government having to a steal a ship back from them right up until issues with the Asterix build.
If we want to try and be relevant on the world stage then we need to spend the money and get the Navy that we deserve.

What is your attachment that drives your unwavering support for Irving and criticism of Asterix and Davies ? You seem to run counter to every other person in the East Coast Navy.

I have taken multiple CPFs and 1 AOR out of Irving refits and well to be gentle as this is a public forum, if they were working on my car I wouldn't have gone back a second time.

I say again we are propping a black hole of an industry for the sake of votes. Let it die and build where the work can be done to a good standard and a fair price.
 

Halifax Tar

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I'll just leave this here

Canada isn't incapable of building military ships. We just don't put the building of quality equipment ahead of things like votes and ensuring friends get work to take their profits offshore.
 

Stoker

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What is your attachment that drives your unwavering support for Irving and criticism of Asterix and Davies ? You seem to run counter to every other person in the East Coast Navy.

I have taken multiple CPFs and 1 AOR out of Irving refits and well to be gentle as this is a public forum, if they were working on my car I wouldn't have gone back a second time.

I say again we are propping a black hole of an industry for the sake of votes. Let it die and build where the work can be done to a good standard and a fair price.
Perhaps if we had better QA in the yards the product would be better. I never said Irving is the best but I can't get some of hate and insistence that Irving is fleecing the government by driving truckloads of cash out the door late at night.

If you talk to the right person you would know about the issues with Asterix.

You are right it is propping up an industry, just as we regularly prop up the Auto, airline, farmers etc and every supplier, service provider that relies on these industries to put food on the table.
 

Navy_Pete

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What is your attachment that drives your unwavering support for Irving and criticism of Asterix and Davies ? You seem to run counter to every other person in the East Coast Navy.

I have taken multiple CPFs and 1 AOR out of Irving refits and well to be gentle as this is a public forum, if they were working on my car I wouldn't have gone back a second time.

I say again we are propping a black hole of an industry for the sake of votes. Let it die and build where the work can be done to a good standard and a fair price.
I think if you had seen ships come out of other yards you might have a bit of context for what is typical. It's not like ships come out of any yard in turn key condition unless that's what you pay for, and we don't. There is usually a lot of arisings that come up that get punted past the DWPs for various reasons (usually time but sometimes money). The same things that happen at Irving happen at the other yards for work quality, and also with the FMFs and the different ISSCs. That's why you do QC and require rework for quality issues.

Wrt Irving they had some change to upper management on the DWP side so the approach has changed a bit, but previously they would try and get away with as much as they could, and we would let them. If you do some crap work with a customer that doesn't enforce the contract and they keep coming back why change? That's improved a lot, but sometimes things come up in QC and we also take a refund instead of a repair, so it's complicated.
 

Czech_pivo

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Canada isn't incapable of building military ships. We just don't put the building of quality equipment ahead of things like votes and ensuring friends get work to take their profits offshore.
They will continue to build ships on the East Coast and West Coast no matter what the cost. Ceasing to have this type of work would be another nail in the coffin to the economies of the East Coast. The population of Nova Scotia has barely moved over the last 40yrs and the overall age of the population there has only gotten older. Killing Irving and all that suckle on the Irving teat would kick off another great exodus of young people for the East for the Central or the West. Keeping the shipyards allows the provincial governments there to have a stable tax base from all those that rely on Irving. Removing/reducing the tax base would cause the social services provided by the provincial governments to suffer more and fall further behind. The Fed's know this and thus make a conscious decision to keep this flow of money open and moving.
This is not a knock on the East Coast at all. Please don't take it as such. Its just a plain review of how the lay of the land is currently. Being off on the periphery of North America, far from any large demographics, with limited natural resources (except for oil/gas) or large scale high tech facilities, this is the reality for alot of places in the world.
 

CBH99

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I’m not super familiar with the situation out on the east coast. Just snippets on the news, but I’ve never lived there or even visited for long.

This NSS may be a good way to also get Irving to shape up. While some have stated it is partially a contracting issue (we fail to specify things in the contract, and they do the minimum as per the contract) — Irving needs to shape up when it comes to refits, no doubt.

The bare minimum isn’t great customer service.

Anyways my question is - while we are propping up an industry, is this industry significant in terms of the regional economy?

If so, it’s not just a matter of the economic circulation of building local - its helping to stabilize a regional economy, which then produces more benefits?
 

CBH99

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They will continue to build ships on the East Coast and West Coast no matter what the cost. Ceasing to have this type of work would be another nail in the coffin to the economies of the East Coast. The population of Nova Scotia has barely moved over the last 40yrs and the overall age of the population there has only gotten older. Killing Irving and all that suckle on the Irving teat would kick off another great exodus of young people for the East for the Central or the West. Keeping the shipyards allows the provincial governments there to have a stable tax base from all those that rely on Irving. Removing/reducing the tax base would cause the social services provided by the provincial governments to suffer more and fall further behind. The Fed's know this and thus make a conscious decision to keep this flow of money open and moving.
This is not a knock on the East Coast at all. Please don't take it as such. Its just a plain review of how the lay of the land is currently. Being off on the periphery of North America, far from any large demographics, with limited natural resources (except for oil/gas) or large scale high tech facilities, this is the reality for alot of places in the world.
We posted our posts at the same time.

But yeah. What Czech said ☺️👍🏻
 

Halifax Tar

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Perhaps if we had better QA in the yards the product would be better. I never said Irving is the best but I can't get some of hate and insistence that Irving is fleecing the government by driving truckloads of cash out the door late at night.

I have seen the shape we get the ships back in. The garbage left all over. The poor quality of work, incomplete work and attention to detail. Irving is a for profit company, I cant really blame them if we're the ones who keep going back I suppose.

If you talk to the right person you would know about the issues with Asterix.

I have never heard anyone say anything bad about Asterix who has sailed her. Outside of the lack of baffles in her tanks, which I think is rectified now.

You are right it is propping up an industry, just as we regularly prop up the Auto, airline, farmers etc and every supplier, service provider that relies on these industries to put food on the table.

I don't understand why we prop those up either. I believe people should accept that they will have to move to where there is work and not expect public money to provide them a subsistence because of reason XYZ. I also believe in the free market, if your company cant my a descent product at a price point people will buy you shouldn't be be able to compete or exist.

Replies in yellow(ish)
 

Navy_Pete

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I’m not super familiar with the situation out on the east coast. Just snippets on the news, but I’ve never lived there or even visited for long.

This NSS may be a good way to also get Irving to shape up. While some have stated it is partially a contracting issue (we fail to specify things in the contract, and they do the minimum as per the contract) — Irving needs to shape up when it comes to refits, no doubt.

The bare minimum isn’t great customer service.

Anyways my question is - while we are propping up an industry, is this industry significant in terms of the regional economy?

If so, it’s not just a matter of the economic circulation of building local - its helping to stabilize a regional economy, which then produces more benefits?

NSS and ship repair are two different beasts all together. Generally there are good practical reasons for the ship repairs to be geographically co-located with the operating areas for our bases, and there are pretty significant additional costs to going outside the region. Some of it gets added into the bid eval, but it's only a fraction of the real costs we incur, so the local yards have a natural advantage.

There is definitely good cross polination to the ship repair though; ship building maximizes profits by doing the job efficiently as possible the first time without re-work, and that requires a tonne of planning and coordination. Ship repair is a lot more reactive planning, so that aspect is different but there are a lot of neat surveying and QC practices from the build that you can take advantage of to improve the ship repair process, so definitely possible.

In terms of local economy in Halifax, the base and ship repair activities are a significant part of the economy. Aside from the direct employees there are all the supporting industries (part supply, environmental, etc etc) that all have significant business interests. If either of those moved out permanently, there would like be a significant contraction in the direct work, as well as the companies that had those as a big portion of their work. The DWPs are part of that, but there is a big overlap between contractors and suppliers for those and in service repairs. Similarly a lot of the same suppliers are already in place to support the ongoing new build work, so it's all kind of tied together, and means there is a strong base there for any commercial ships that need repairs during port visits.

After DND and Irving, the next biggest employer is probably the local government, the universities and Olands. Not really great
 

NavyShooter

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The words I use when I describe the 'work' I've seen from ISI include:

"Wilful, Deliberate Sabotage"
"Thievery"
"Incompetence"

If you wish to discuss multiple examples I've seen with my own eyes in reactivating ships, I can provide them.

Grey-water lines deliberately blocked with materiel.
Fiber-optic cables cut
Cat-6 cables for AHWCS cut and tucked back into wireways
Fire-hose connectors cut off hoses and stolen for the scrap brass value

Many more examples available...then there's my friend who worked QA at the AOPS project and found them only welding 10% of the length that they were supposed to on portions of the double hull on ship #1 - basically, spot-welding instead of seam welding. After they found the first instance of that, they did a WHOLE lot more checking, and the delays started getting longer because ISI actually had to do the construction properly IAW the design plans.

Yeah, the months of work required to re-activate a ship out of ISI are partly to discover all the things that ISI either didn't fix or deliberately broke so that they'd get called in for an 'arising' so they could charge more to come back and fix it later.

Ask me about the C-5 Hull Outfit they didn't both wrapping and protecting against the cold...and how many SET's had to be replaced because of that (hint - over 10%)

Ask me about the PA system on the ship that they deliberately yanked cables out of speaker boxes and cut other cables....one day it was 93% functional ship-wide and tested. The next day, it was less than 40% functional.

I've got a pretty low opinion of ISI's capabilities, for reasons I've seen with my own eyes.

I'm glad that there's ships going elsewhere for work, even though the logistics of supporting a ship in Refit out of province during COVID times is a massive drain on resources...it's still worth it. Maybe it will cause ISI to up their game to compete.
 

GR66

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If there have been deliberate acts of sabotage of our warships found was there an investigation and were charges laid? If not, why?

And if this has happened on more that one refit or build then were measures put in place to monitor the work being done to ensure it doesn't happen again, or if it does it is detected and the appropriate actions taken?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
 

Czech_pivo

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The words I use when I describe the 'work' I've seen from ISI include:

"Wilful, Deliberate Sabotage"
"Thievery"
"Incompetence"

If you wish to discuss multiple examples I've seen with my own eyes in reactivating ships, I can provide them.

Grey-water lines deliberately blocked with materiel.
Fiber-optic cables cut
Cat-6 cables for AHWCS cut and tucked back into wireways
Fire-hose connectors cut off hoses and stolen for the scrap brass value

Many more examples available...then there's my friend who worked QA at the AOPS project and found them only welding 10% of the length that they were supposed to on portions of the double hull on ship #1 - basically, spot-welding instead of seam welding. After they found the first instance of that, they did a WHOLE lot more checking, and the delays started getting longer because ISI actually had to do the construction properly IAW the design plans.

Yeah, the months of work required to re-activate a ship out of ISI are partly to discover all the things that ISI either didn't fix or deliberately broke so that they'd get called in for an 'arising' so they could charge more to come back and fix it later.

Ask me about the C-5 Hull Outfit they didn't both wrapping and protecting against the cold...and how many SET's had to be replaced because of that (hint - over 10%)

Ask me about the PA system on the ship that they deliberately yanked cables out of speaker boxes and cut other cables....one day it was 93% functional ship-wide and tested. The next day, it was less than 40% functional.

I've got a pretty low opinion of ISI's capabilities, for reasons I've seen with my own eyes.

I'm glad that there's ships going elsewhere for work, even though the logistics of supporting a ship in Refit out of province during COVID times is a massive drain on resources...it's still worth it. Maybe it will cause ISI to up their game to compete.
Kind of reminds me back to my university days at the end of the 80's into '90 when I worked Friday nights, Saturday's and the occasional Monday night at Chrysler's in Windsor making the mini-van.
I would break down the plant into 2 groups, those over the age of say 40-45+ who were 'old school' and had a solid work ethic and cared about their work and those FTE in the 25-35 age group who barely made it through high-school (and in some cases didn't) and had a huge sense of entitlement and a chip on their shoulder. They knew, THEY KNEW, that the Union would back they to the hilt and thus they didn't really care about quality or having a sense of proud. I saw first hand on a number of cases direct sabotage to the 'line' in order to stop production, I saw first hand deliberate mis-installing of parts into vehicles or breaking parts and installing. I saw first hand guys smoking pot during their 5-6min break every 2hrs and they go back and start making mini-vans. I saw a guy punch-out, laid him out flat, his Line Manager because he was doing shitty work and the Line Manager called him out for it. All he got for assaulting his boss was the rest of the day off with pay and moved over to another area because the union backed him and the company didn't pursue the issue as they didn't want any work stoppages.
I've got no idea on what goes on within the Irving workspace but I'm sure that it must share some similarities to what I've described above - in fact most manufacturing facilities that are unionized must as well.
 

Uzlu

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Response to latest PBO report on CSC

Statement by the Department of National Defence on the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s Report on the Canadian Surface Combatant

February 24, 2021 – Ottawa (Ontario) – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Department of National Defence (DND) thanks the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) for its work, and welcomes its report on the Canadian Surface Combatant. Reports such as this one serve a critical role in validating our project costs, while supporting our shared objective of ensuring that the best value is provided to Canadians.

After reviewing the report, we find that the key differences in our cost estimates can be primarily attributed to the PBO including provincial sales tax and the additional emphasis PBO puts on weight-related costing.

We conducted extensive research to ensure that the selected Type 26 design will provide the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) with the modern and capable warships it needs to support operations. The design was selected following an open, fair, and transparent competitive procurement process, in which performance against the RCN’s requirements was a key selection criteria. As the PBO noted the other design options that they examined would have “more limited” and “modest” capabilities than our selected design. These reductions would impede the RCN’s ability to execute its assigned roles and missions to keep Canadians safe both at home and abroad.

While we recognize the differences in our calculations, we are confident in our current estimate of $56 billion to $60 billion (before taxes). This accurately reflects the value of this project, and is based on our detailed costing model and ongoing work with industry. As we adapt the design to meet the needs of the RCN and confirm more details related to the ship’s combat and support systems, we gain greater confidence in our costing.

Delivery timelines continue to be reviewed and are not final. We are actively working with industry to accelerate the project in order to deliver these important ships to the RCN as soon as possible. One way this will be done is by starting construction of the simpler zones of the ship while the design work on the more complex sections continues, similar to what we have done for the Joint Support Ship.

The report also calculated the costs of selecting a new design for the CSC project. This is not an option we will be pursuing. As the PBO accurately states throughout the report, there are important differences in capabilities when comparing the cost of these three designs.

Selecting a new design at this stage in the project would lead to significant economic loss for Canada’s marine industry and those employed in it. It would have major operational impacts for the RCN, due to associated project delays and life-extension requirements, as well as increasing the costs to operate and maintain more than one class of ships in the future.

Additionally, launching a new competitive process would not guarantee that a new design would result in a lower cost, and would certainly incur additional project management costs related to launching a new procurement process and restarting the required design work.

In addition to providing an invaluable investment into the future operational capability of the RCN, the CSC is also at the core of our Government’s commitment to revitalize Canada’s marine industry through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which supports over 15,000 jobs per year. This project will provide significant and long-standing investments into the Canadian economy from coast to coast during construction and over decades throughout the CSC’s operational life.

The CSC is the right ship for the RCN, and will provide the best value for the military, Canada, and the Canadian economy. We remain confident that the capability and versatility of the selected CSC design will equip the RCN with the modern, capable, and effective fleet of 15 surface combatants that it will need to support operations for decades to come. We will continue ongoing work to support the start of construction in 2023/2024.

Associated Link:
The Cost of Canada’s Surface Combatants: 2021 Update and Options Analysis

 

Underway

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After reviewing the report, we find that the key differences in our cost estimates can be primarily attributed to the PBO including provincial sales tax and the additional emphasis PBO puts on weight-related costing.

This. Taxes don't actually count as a cost because they are collected and returned to the taxpayer. Its basically moving a fiver from one pocket to the next.

Weight-related costing is the dumbest thing ever invented. Basically what it is you go back and look at what a ship costs per ton to build. It doesn't matter what the ship is, what its equipment is, or what role it has. This means the PBO had to go back to the Halifax build (the last time we built warships) to get the cost per ton of that build. Then apply inflationary calculations to make this a today's dollar amount and then project forward inflationary costs.

Then you multiply by the expected tons of CSC you're getting and this is your answer. So for the math geeks:

(cost of Halifax Class) / (Halifax class tons) * inflation calculations * number of tones of CSC being built = program cost

This is the equivalent of buying a Ford Truck today on the basis of what it cost per pound in 1992.

This doesn't account for what's going in the ship, the changes in electronics weight and cost over the last 30 years, the changes in missile technology, reserve space, manufacturing, supply management, fuel prices, maintenance budgets, crew salary etc...

If they were more modern then they looked at other national warship programs to get a better indication of cost per ton (say the Australian AAW destroyer program) but I'm not sure that's what they did and that, of course, comes with its own risks..
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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This is the equivalent of buying a Ford Truck today on the basis of what it cost per pound in 1992.

At least, today's Ford truck would come out great: There was a lot more steel in the 1992 models, so today's "light" version would be quite "cheap" calculated that way.

Not so unfortunately for warships: High tensile strenght steel is still high tensile strength steel.
 

Underway

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At least, today's Ford truck would come out great: There was a lot more steel in the 1992 models, so today's "light" version would be quite "cheap" calculated that way.

Not so unfortunately for warships: High tensile strenght steel is still high tensile strength steel.
Electronics cost is one example where weight is a completely weird way to calculate. Not only are electronics lighter and cheaper (with COTS servers in mil-spec racks) how do you account for software costs which weigh nothing? What about changes in radars where we have solid-state panels and massive cooling systems vs motors/hydraulics/dishes and feedhorns? It's mind-boggling that this is method still in use.
 

JMCanada

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The Parliamentary Budget Officer says that the Type 26 development and acquisitions costs for the first three ships is 17.2 billion dollars. (...) So, that means more than 5.133 billion dollars for each Canadian Surface Combatant.

I agree with your points. Myself was surprised about no cancellation costs were included, not to mention that in long building runs the latest ships are cheaper than the first ones. However take my points just as gross simplifications, based on PBO's report. They work in gross terms.

My point leads to the hybrid fleet which is not in discussion yet, probably not within next couple of years. But alongwith the economy cycles, there will come times of budget cuts and search for savings. That's when the type 31 frigate may come in to fill the gaps and keep the numbers of frigates (while with much less capability, I know).

Sorry this post comes after so many replies in between. So it may be off-topic in the present discussion.
 
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childs56

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FYI

This seems to be heading a similar direction the replacement helicopters went. increased costs, election year...... huge cancellation costs. Still need the ship. But extremely expensive. One can say this is restarting the Canadian ship building industry but at what cost and at what sacrifice who is profiting from this. If one does a bit of research a few big names pop up on the radar.
 
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