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Replacing the Subs

JMCanada

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Eye In The Sky said:
Additionally;  when deciding on what 'caps and lims' you're willing to accept, it's often prudent to look at your potential/likely adversaries in the near/middle/distant future...

Thanks a lot for the interesting links. Don't want to dissapoint you, but it's also good to look at what our allies do. Astute, Barracuda (Suffren) or Type 212 don't have VLS fitted, even though they have been launched in the last 20 years, meaning VLS were already fitted in Los Angeles class batch II. Surprisingly, Barracuda is supossed to have only four torpedo tubes (I'd rather ask for 6 at least!).

I agree VLS are nice-to-have, but there are other assets mentioned in your pdf that IMHO are rated fist in my wish-list, I mean, a kind of compromise between wishes and affordability :
- design to allow under-ice operation
- up-to-date combat system
- anechoic coating
- habitability (something that LA class had to sacrifice)

Of course, we may have different perceptions and surely yours is better based, mine is only an amateur's one.
 

Eye In The Sky

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JMCanada said:
Thanks a lot for the interesting links. Don't want to dissapoint you, but it's also good to look at what our allies do. Astute, Barracuda (Suffren) or Type 212 don't have VLS fitted, even though they have been launched in the last 20 years, meaning VLS were already fitted in Los Angeles class batch Flight II. Surprisingly, Barracuda is supossed to have only four torpedo tubes (I'd rather ask for 6 at least!).

WHY they don't is a good question (I don't know the answer).

Budget restraints?  Doctrine-driven decision to not include?  The RFN and PLANSF are considered to be 'stand alone naval forces' their political masters don't view as ever being part of a coalition? 

I agree VLS are nice-to-have, but there are other assets mentioned in your pdf that IMHO are rated fist in my wish-list, I mean, a kind of compromise between wishes and affordability :
- design to allow under-ice operation
- up-to-date combat system
- anechoic coating
- habitability (something that LA class had to sacrifice)

Of course, we may have different perceptions and surely yours is better based, mine is only an amateur's one.

True.  In my initial reply to your post, I was replying specifically to the "anti-surface and land attack weapons can be launched from torp tubes vs VLS with no real capability change" piece.

Personally, and regrettably, I don't think we will ever see those types of capabilities/weapons in the RCN arsenal.  We (Canada) just don't take our military seriously enough.

**  Habitability;  I've been inside our SSKs...I bet our submariners would love the luxuries that LA crews have/had.  ;D

 

Karel Doorman

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JMCanada said:
Buying just 4-6 Astutes or Suffrens, would be nice especially to patrol the Arctic. The time for such deal is now, for UK/ France to put them in their production line. In one decade they both will end their SSN building program and start with their next generation of SSBNs.
Purchase should be "off- the-shelf" as much as possible, otherwise the cost would double and delivery would be delayed.

As for the dutch program... my opinion is that they will finally buy german, not to forget Germany has recently signed a contract with Damen for the MKS 180 frigates.
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/06/damen-leading-role-for-german-frigate-project-mks-180/

Finally, ... VLS look attractive, but in the end cruise missiles (as well as anti-ship ones) can also be fired from torpedo tubes. I don't see that as a great capability increase.

Hmm,could be the case(i don't think so personally), don't forget Damen is the Lead contractor in that build,but the majority/allmost all  of that budget(money)will stay in Germany.

I doubt that Germany will agree to do the same if chosen. :tsktsk:

My thoughts are that Damen/Saab are the frontrunners in this competition,also because the procurement is done the same way in Sweden as it's done in The Netherlands.(will be a big factor,IMO.)

What does that mean?

Here(and in Sweden)Defence,Technological Institutes and Businesses all work,and listen,to each other to get the best possible result(and price)it's called "De Gouden Driehoek"

Roughly translated as "the Golden Triangle" ;)

That's the reason that we allmost allways get very capable ships a lot cheaper of the cost of other classes(countries),offcourse compare class to class.

And no way Canada is going nuclear,IMO.
 

JMCanada

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Everybody is now focused on CSC and PBO's report,
... meanwhile in Australia, another mega-project (aus$ 80 Billion for 12 submarines) is also under scrutiny:


"And that’s where the discussion needs to focus—on the capability. Are we getting the capability we need when we need it, and is it value for money? Many minds are already made up, such as those who believe we should be getting nuclear-powered submarines, or those who believe other approaches offer more capability for less money and/or risk—whether they involve smaller submarines, autonomous systems, long-range strike missiles and aircraft, or combinations of them all."

Someone suggests to opt for the already developed nuclear version of Barracuda.

Then i wonder, ... i'd rather say I dream of a tripartite deal (FRA-AUS-CAN) where submarines could be build in Australia (might some modules be produced in Canada?), maybe six for Oz and six for CAN, Canada being involved in combat and sonar systems (for instance) and refueling the australian units during their life-time.
 

Colin Parkinson

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If we had balls and not pretty socks, we could buy French nuclear attack subs as part of their production and make the deal to have them refueled in French facilities. (I feel better exposing my deep fantasises)
 

Czech_pivo

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We’d have to jump through all the same hoops that we tried to jump through in the 90’s under Mulroney in convincing the Americans to allow the French to sell to us. At least this time we’d have the Australians to hold hands with
 

Colin Parkinson

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I don't think the French are under the same restraints as UK would. I also don't think the US now would put up such a resistance to Canada stepping up it's game. Nuke subs, new AORs and a bunch of Type 26's would make for a potent force
 

SeaKingTacco

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We’d have to jump through all the same hoops that we tried to jump through in the 90’s under Mulroney in convincing the Americans to allow the French to sell to us. At least this time we’d have the Australians to hold hands with
No- the French do not use US technology in their reactors. The US might object to us obtaining SSNs, but not on grounds of CTAT.
 

Czech_pivo

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No- the French do not use US technology in their reactors. The US might object to us obtaining SSNs, but not on grounds of CTAT.
Thanks for clarifying!
SSN makes the most sense for us to patrol the Arctic.... sadly I doubt we’d ever go that route, we’d rather abdicate our sovereignty to the US and the UK on this issue.
 

JMCanada

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If we had balls and not pretty socks, we could buy French nuclear attack subs as part of their production and make the deal to have them refueled in French facilities. (I feel better exposing my deep fantasises)
Why having them refueled in French facilities?
Australia needs that because they don't have inland nuclear plants, but Canada has a significant nuclear industry and expertise. Just need a bit of technology transfer and training to put hands on a submarine (at least I think so).
 

Swampbuggy

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I don't think the French are under the same restraints as UK would. I also don't think the US now would put up such a resistance to Canada stepping up it's game. Nuke subs, new AORs and a bunch of Type 26's would make for a potent force
I think we missed an opportunity when Trump was calling us out on defence expenditures. That would've been an ideal time to make a play for SSN's built in the US. It would have been winners all around...We get something capable of under ice patrol, impress NATO/US with a funding and capability boost and he gets to tell the world he made a major sale.
 

stoker dave

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Canada has a significant nuclear industry and expertise. Just need a bit of technology transfer and training to put hands on a submarine (at least I think so).
Yes, you are correct on the nuclear industry and experience.

As I have said before, what is lacking is the necessary 'culture' to safely operate nuclear reactors at sea. It requires a fundamental change in philosophy - by everyone and all ranks. For example, strict compliance with written procedures is required at all times. I don't think the Navy currently operates that way. Without that extreme culture of compliance, accidents are possible and indeed foreseen. There are no shortcuts. The CO cannot order someone to violate procedures (indeed, no one can direct someone else to violate a documented procedure except in case of extreme emergency). It is by the book all the time every time. And the documented procedures are EXTREMELY prescriptive. They cover every single step of every operation. Orders of magnitude more procedures than currently exist.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Yes, you are correct on the nuclear industry and experience.

As I have said before, what is lacking is the necessary 'culture' to safely operate nuclear reactors at sea. It requires a fundamental change in philosophy - by everyone and all ranks. For example, strict compliance with written procedures is required at all times. I don't think the Navy currently operates that way. Without that extreme culture of compliance, accidents are possible and indeed foreseen. There are no shortcuts. The CO cannot order someone to violate procedures (indeed, no one can direct someone else to violate a documented procedure except in case of extreme emergency). It is by the book all the time every time. And the documented procedures are EXTREMELY prescriptive. They cover every single step of every operation. Orders of magnitude more procedures than currently exist.
True, but in my experience with the RCN, the submariners are actually closer to that culture than the surface fleet is. This pretty hypothetical, since the political class and punditariat in Canada would never in a million years go for SSNs.

The surface fleet, is in a word, shambolic, at putting ships to sea that are in no engineering state ready to be at sea. I have personally lived very bad things happening because nobody wanted to give the stokers either time or money to do PM. I have seen rules ignored, because they are inconvenient, even though those rules were written in blood (and then shock, anger and pouting when the RCN Chain of Command gets called on it).

It is sad, because when I first started sailing, I thought the Navy actually had pretty high standards of Engineering readiness. It has definitely slipped over the decades.
 

CBH99

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I think we missed an opportunity when Trump was calling us out on defence expenditures. That would've been an ideal time to make a play for SSN's built in the US. It would have been winners all around...We get something capable of under ice patrol, impress NATO/US with a funding and capability boost and he gets to tell the world he made a major sale.
I think you are probably right, and it could have applied to more than just subs.
 

Halifax Tar

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True, but in my experience with the RCN, the submariners are actually closer to that culture than the surface fleet is. This pretty hypothetical, since the political class and punditariat in Canada would never in a million years go for SSNs.

The surface fleet, is in a word, shambolic, at putting ships to sea that are in no engineering state ready to be at sea. I have personally lived very bad things happening because nobody wanted to give the stokers either time or money to do PM. I have seen rules ignored, because they are inconvenient, even though those rules were written in blood (and then shock, anger and pouting when the RCN Chain of Command gets called on it).

It is sad, because when I first started sailing, I thought the Navy actually had pretty high standards of Engineering readiness. It has definitely slipped over the decades.

That is the most accurate post about RCN operational culture I have ever seen.
 

SeaKingTacco

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That is the most accurate post about RCN operational culture I have ever seen.
And to be clear- handing absolute control to when/if a ship sails to the Engineers is no solution either, as risk adversion would demand “perfect” (there is no such thing as perfect in complex machines).

There has to be a realistic balance between the operators and the maintainers. Right now, the balance is skewed heavily to the operators having the hammer and it shows. An aviation anology would be that aircrew are allowed to go onto the hangar floor, pick an airframe and go flying regardless of the state of maintenance.

None of this much has to do with submarines specifically, except the leadership of the RCN, if they expect to be entrusted with expensive machines and the lives of sailors, had better start knowing and enforcing rules around engineering readiness and had better doing actual risk assessments before sailing a ship with known defects. If they need to learn how, they can ask the RCAF. The Air Force is not without faults, but deliberately and knowing flying a non-airworthy airframe is not one of those faults.
 

Halifax Tar

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And to be clear- handing absolute control to when/if a ship sails to the Engineers is no solution either, as risk adversion would demand “perfect” (there is no such thing as perfect in complex machines).

There has to be a realistic balance between the operators and the maintainers. Right now, the balance is skewed heavily to the operators having the hammer and it shows. An aviation anology would be that aircrew are allowed to go onto the hangar floor, pick an airframe and go flying regardless of the state of maintenance.

None of this much has to do with submarines specifically, except the leadership of the RCN, if they expect to be entrusted with expensive machines and the lives of sailors, had better start knowing and enforcing rules around engineering readiness and had better doing actual risk assessments before sailing a ship with known defects. If they need to learn how, they can ask the RCAF. The Air Force is not without faults, but deliberately and knowing flying a non-airworthy airframe is not one of those faults.
Agreed. Operations, Engineering and Logistics all need to be equal players at the table.
 

stoker dave

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And to be clear- handing absolute control to when/if a ship sails to the Engineers is no solution either, as risk adversion would demand “perfect” (there is no such thing as perfect in complex machines).
Thanks, Mr Tacco, you make some valid points.

However, I would point out that with a nuclear powered vessel, the engineering staff does not get to choose when the ship sails. If the documented and approved procedures say the ship can sail, it can sail. If the procedures say it can't, it can't.

These procedures will have been EXTENSIVELY developed and reviewed. Operators will be extensively trained on them in classrooms, simulators and shore facilities. If something in those procedures stops the process for getting ready for sea, the process stops. End of story. Again - no one can 'over ride' the procedure.

The US Navy has an incredibly good history of operating nuclear reactors - much better than the civilian power reactors. That record is based on a very strict culture. I have worked with quite a number of former US Navy nuke guys and they are all 'cut from the same cloth'.

Here is an example: the startup procedure for the reactor instructs the operator to press the RED button. During a recent refit, the supply department was out of RED buttons so they installed a PURPLE button. The buttons are exactly alike in every way except the colour. Guess what? That ship is NOT sailing until either the button is replaced or someone at an admiral level approves the change in the procedure. And that is how operations, engineering, supply, support, etc. all have to work together.
 

stoker dave

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That is precisely how airworthiness works. If it ain’t exactly the same part, a deviation must be put in place. No exceptions.
Thanks. I think we agree on this.

So here is the test: when an air force general orders planes to fly and is told they can't due to air worthiness issues, what is his/her response?

If an admiral orders a ship to sea and is told they can't because of seaworthiness (something like the red/purple button above), what is his/her response?

A. Procedural compliance is the mechanism by which we assure the safety of our sailors / airmen (air women?) and please expedite remediation of this situation as quickly as possible.

B. In order to meet operational commitments, get operational and deploy NOW.
 
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