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Royal Canadian Navy Discussions and updates

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by stephen weist, Sep 30, 2005.

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  1. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    The Upholder-class was designed to meet a late 1970's RN requirement for a diesel-electric replacement for the Oberon-class subs, with the lead boat being laid down in late 1983 following the selection of the design the month before.

    An impression I have formed is that either the subs were wired/built with some obsolescent components, had some build defects, or were "used hard and put away wet," or perhaps even a combination thereof. This impression comes from comments made by GF in the past about an Australian/RAN inspection of the Upholder-class subs when Australia was looking at replacing their O-boats, prior to settling on a (mostly) domestic build of a new sub class.
     
  2. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I do recall GF’s comments about RAN officers giving the Upholders a look-see and they wanted nothing to do with them. I have said before that I believe the RCN were probably aware their condition was suspect. However, rejecting these boats would have absolutely ended the RCN’s abilities to continue on with this capability. The O-boats were done and the crew skills would have vanished by waiting for 3-6 billion in funding for new boats. The solution was $750 million for used boats knowing full well another 1-2 billion dollars would be needed to get them seaworthy. Canadian smoke and mirrors military procurement at its finest.
     
  3. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    The Collins class was laid down from 1990-1995, the Upholder was Commissioned into the RN in 1991. I do remember reading something on here about the RAN taking a look at them some time after they had been mothballed(incorrectly was the claim) and supposedly took one look and couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Remembering that is not long after the RANs experience with the 2 Newports.
    The original plan did call for up to 8 Subs so the RAN may have been looking at them as possible extra Subs not as alternatives to the 6 Collins that had been ordered and laid down.
    Just how serious was the RAN in getting the Upholders? I would have real doubts, the RAN would have been probably better off getting 2 more Collins than buying the 4 Upholders and probably cheaper in the long term.
     
  4. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    The Upholders had their fair share of problems, while in the UK.
    The first 3 couldn't fire torpedos until they were refitted. (The Case for More Collins Class Subs – Quadrant Online)
    Also during trials upholder lost power surfacing (https://www.forecastinternational.com/archive/disp_old_pdf.cfm?ARC_ID=1831). It was really in the process of bringing these submarines to FOC that the decision was made to shelve them. So they may not have completely solved all design/operational issues.

    That paper also specifies how the maintenance cost of the submarines during negotiations also broke down between the UK and Canada and may partly explain why maintenance became a very low priority for the UK after 1995 as they felt that Canada was not close to closing, possibly (IMO) as a bargaining tactic. Canada went cold. Other nations then became front runners (Pakistan,Portugal, then later a combined South Africa, Chile), until 5 years later Canada regained its interest.

    Regarding maintenance at this time:
    https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National Office/2013/06/ThatSinkingFeeling.pdf

    There were issues that popped up when pressed back in to service often a combination of design and maintence.
    Four submarines and a funeral* – Canadian Naval Review

    Australia actually assessed a Vickers bid (2400A) for the Collins class, but Vickers UK didn't seem particular hungry for the project and the 2400A was a significant modification (over 20% larger). They would have been built locally, Vickers had an Australian Subsidiary at Garden Island that had done tremendous work maintain the Oberons. The 2400A proposal was more modules built in the UK for Australian assembly rather than a completely sovereign build. Australia had submariners seconded to the RN and on the Upholders that later came back to the RAN. (How Kockums was Selected for the Collins Class Submarine – Parliament of Australia)

    Later when Australia was after more submarines, the Upholders were reassessed and rejected. They were in poor material state, as from 95 onwards they received bare minimum maintenance to keep them afloat at moorings not to keep them operational. Obviously by the late 1990's the technology fitted to them was older than even Collins and different. It was assessed, even if free, they weren't good value for the RAN and would take money away from other things including the six subs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    John Fedup likes this.
  5. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    THREAD LOCKED PENDING MODERATORS DICUSSION.
     
  6. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    THE THREAD IS REOPENED. ANY DISCUSSION OF FUTURISTIC / FANTASY SUBMARINES FOR THE RCN IS STRICTLY OFF LIMITS. ANY POSTER WHO WANTS TO TRY THE MODERATORS PATIENCE WILL HAVE A VERY QUICK COME UPPANCE AND THE THREAD WILL BE LOCKED AGAIN, FOR A SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER PERIOD, WITHOUT ANY WARNING.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020