Royal Canadian Navy Discussions and updates

Albedo

Member
In slightly disappointing news, having delivered the MV Asterix conversion on time and on budget and having a quick turnaround on the CCGS Captain Molly Kool canadianization, Davie are now at least a year late delivering the next 2 interim icebreakers. It seems there is some back and forth with the CCG over the icebreaking requirements so not all of the delay may be their fault, but nonetheless they often portray themselves as superior to Seaspan and Irving and being able to jump-start the National Shipbuilding Strategy if only they'd be let in but you can never guarantee things will go smoothly.

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.
#RCNavy
In better news, the RCN is getting their first major new ship in more than 2 decades with the delivery of Harry DeWolf tomorrow. :D
 

Albedo

Member

In better news, the RCN is getting their first major new ship in more than 2 decades with the delivery of Harry DeWolf tomorrow. :D
EeRF_ihWkAg2RF_.jpg

So the HMCS Harry DeWolf has been delivered and will undergo RCN sea trials over the next year before commissioning in summer 2021. The press release notes the AOPS will continue to begin construction at a rate of about 1 a year with the 8th AOPS beginning 2023. That means there's about 3-4 years to finish the CSC design in order to make a 2024 keel laying and avoid any further production gaps.

The Defence Minister stated that the Defence Policy is fully funded and that the RCN will "receive all of the ships outlined in the National Shipbuilding Strategy". If we take him at his word, then there's no immediate impact from Covid-19 budget pressures which makes sense since the shipbuilding spending won't really ramp up for a few years until the CSC program is in full swing and is spread out past 2040. I'm sure things could change if the economy doesn't fully bounce back in 2021 though.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
The Defence Minister stated that the Defence Policy is fully funded and that the RCN will "receive all of the ships outlined in the National Shipbuilding Strategy". If we take him at his word, then there's no immediate impact from Covid-19 budget pressures which makes sense since the shipbuilding spending won't really ramp up for a few years until the CSC program is in full swing and is spread out past 2040. I'm sure things could change if the economy doesn't fully bounce back in 2021 though.
To slash Canada's plans as far as shipbuilding is concerned would be counter productive.

I think most governments will accept that their economies are going to be in a heavy deficit for the next decade or more regardless of what they do. You may see them attempt to spend their way out of trouble. That may sound foolish but the alternative is to let the economy stagnate and see industries shut down and unemployment queues grow. It is going to all about stimulating the economy.

The shipbuilding industry is a great way to do that. Not only are people directly employed by the shipbuilders but you have a range of subsidiary industries that will benefit as well.
 

Mattshel

Member
To slash Canada's plans as far as shipbuilding is concerned would be counter productive.

I think most governments will accept that their economies are going to be in a heavy deficit for the next decade or more regardless of what they do. You may see them attempt to spend their way out of trouble. That may sound foolish but the alternative is to let the economy stagnate and see industries shut down and unemployment queues grow. It is going to all about stimulating the economy.

The shipbuilding industry is a great way to do that. Not only are people directly employed by the shipbuilders but you have a range of subsidiary industries that will benefit as well.
My concern is not that this ships will not get built, my concern is that ships will be watered down when the costs become known.

It would be very bad politically for whomever decided to cut ship orders, but watering down the capabilities may very well happen.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The drip of junior corruption seems to be never ending. The promised investigation transfer (documents withheld in Norman case) from the RCMP to the OPP never happened according to the OPP. The RCMP is claiming an administrative error....duh.

 

Albedo

Member
Oh shoot here we go(again)

Hope all still stays the same,

PBO to examine $60 billion price tag of new warships and compare to other less expensive foreign programs

PBO to examine $60 billion price tag of new warships and compare to other less expensive foreign programs

Thought the Fremm design was kicked out,due to not following procedures(or am i wrong in thinking that?)
Well this is going to be interesting for all involved. The way this CSC review will make a comparison against the FREMM fixed-price big and against the Type 31 will no doubt make the Type 26 design look bad, certainly on a cost basis. The RCN wanted an ASW-optimized design and the Type 31 is not an ASW-optimized design. That the British haven't cancelled their Type 26 orders and replaced them with the Type 31 to save a ton of money even though they are the ones most familiar with the two designs should make it obvious they are not equivalent and that better ASW capabilities inevitably cost more.

“With respect to suggestions that significant savings could be realized through this alternative process, this is far from evident. It is important to note that a warship project budget must cover more than just delivering the ships,” the government announcement read.

“It must also include the costs associated with design and definition work, infrastructure, spare parts, training, ammunition, contingencies and project management. Typically, the acquisition of the ships themselves only represents about 50-60% of the project’s overall budget. As well, any prices cited without the context of applicable terms and conditions as indicated in the RFP (such as scope of work, divisions of responsibilities, intellectual property rights, warranties, limitations of liability, indemnities, etc.) are effectively meaningless.”
The FREMM bid was kicked out because it was unsolicited and outside the process. That much quoted fixed $30 billion price for 15 ships seems to basically be for just direct build cost of a vendor supplied design. That only represents 50-60% of project costs, since things like Canadian-customization to the design, infrastructure, spare parts, training need to be added, so total price could end up around $60 billion anyways. And if IP and technology transfer didn't meet requirements, that could also increase long-term support costs if it limits the sovereign ability to maintain the ships independent of Naval Group and Fincantieri.

It'll be very interesting to see if the Liberal government has the fortitude to stick to the $60 billion budget and the Type 26 design. Certainly concern over the CSC project's high spending and tilting the scales in allowing the Type 26 design, fit right in with the issues the Conservative opposition have highlighted with how the government is running other programs. In this case though, as the Ottawa Citizen article points out, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who the Conservatives themselves promote as a truth-teller, as well as the PBO have indicated that the lower CSC budgets the previous Conservative government set aside were misleading the public and hiding the true costs of the program. And if allowing the Type 26 design to compete with other designs in the CSC process was questionable the alternative should not be to go with the unsolicited FREMM-bid which sought to circumvent the entire process.

In my opinion (albeit based on my limited knowledge), the Liberal government changes to the CSC project to increase the budget to $60 billion, allow the Type 26 design, and explicitly state that 15 ships will be procured provides the RCN with a very high-end capability that they wouldn't have if these changes were not made. This thread has previously detailed how the CSC will incorporate a custom Ultra sonar solution as well as a custom SPY-7/Aegis/CMS-330 radar solution not seen on other Type 26 frigates which undoubtedly adds cost compared to even other Type 26 builds. Limiting Canadian customizations to the Type 26 design would be one way to control program costs though likely with some capability loss. Otherwise, the best way to control program cost is to avoid further delays giving the high inflation rate in shipbuilding and the need to avoid Irving Shipyard idling after AOPS construction winds down.
 
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walter

Member
true,the main reason of the rising costs is the dilly dallying of the whole project,in other words it took forever to make a decission.

It's a bit like here in The Netherlands with the Walrus replacement programme,waiting,waiting,and then be shocked that the price has risen(although we're not yet at the time spend for the replacement of the Canadian frigates,but hey it will still be some time,so can be close to that):(
 

Toptob

Active Member
I was thinking, wow that's a lot of money! But they're talking about Canadian dollars... I guess it's still a lot of money. But you don't get those bespoke US toys for free!

I'm not impressed however. Neither with the Type 26 nor with the Canadians plans to buy 15 of them. I'm sure the RN will be very happy with them, but they'd be happy with a rowboat after how much they've had to give up for those useless carriers. And I don't really get why the Aussies are buying them, because they are also using their own systems instead of what the Brits are designing it for. Because those Brits just need to be special and pretend they still have a relevant defense industry.

Anyway, the Type 26 just seems very expensive for what it brings to the table. But even so, the Type 31 is by no means comparable as it is in a completely different class of performance. And while I like the FREMM and what the Italians have done with it. I wouldn't trust those French [Mod edit: Bigoted statement deleted] to run a bath let alone a shipbuilding program. So a bullet dodged there I say!

However BAE isn't exactly know for it's problem free designs and on time, on budget deliveries...
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
By the time the PBO decides the CSC program deserves a reset, said reset will take years, litigation will come into play and when all is said and done, the RCN will end up with an inferior design that will cost just as much as sticking with the T26. Been there before, just look at the original JSS design that was rejected years ago as being too expensive and look at what happened, years of delay, a questionable design choice, and a budget that exceeds what was proposed years ago.
Three navies selected the T26 for good reasons. Get on with it FFS!
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I was thinking, wow that's a lot of money! But they're talking about Canadian dollars... I guess it's still a lot of money. But you don't get those bespoke US toys for free!

I'm not impressed however. Neither with the Type 26 nor with the Canadians plans to buy 15 of them. I'm sure the RN will be very happy with them, but they'd be happy with a rowboat after how much they've had to give up for those useless carriers. And I don't really get why the Aussies are buying them, because they are also using their own systems instead of what the Brits are designing it for. Because those Brits just need to be special and pretend they still have a relevant defense industry.

Anyway, the Type 26 just seems very expensive for what it brings to the table. But even so, the Type 31 is by no means comparable as it is in a completely different class of performance. And while I like the FREMM and what the Italians have done with it. I wouldn't trust those French bastards to run a bath let alone a shipbuilding program. So a bullet dodged there I say!

However BAE isn't exactly know for it's problem free designs and on time, on budget deliveries...
My italics to draw attention to the subject.

Perhaps the Aussies chose the T26 at the end of a long exhaustive evaluation on the basis of requirements they didn't deign to divulge to you? The T26 design was always intended to be flexible so that buyers could modify it to suit their own requirements, the "Global Combat Ship" name is a clue for those who took care to read the brochures.

The alternatives were also going to need modification to meet the RAN requirements, and no-one else made a serious attempt to win the business, including the Dutch despite the apparent inferiority of French morals and the poor business practices of the British.

oldsig
 

JohnJT

Member
Oh shoot here we go(again)

Hope all still stays the same,

PBO to examine $60 billion price tag of new warships and compare to other less expensive foreign programs

PBO to examine $60 billion price tag of new warships and compare to other less expensive foreign programs

Thought the Fremm design was kicked out,due to not following procedures(or am i wrong in thinking that?)
Oh dear. The saying, never change horses mid-stream leaps to mind.

The only way I can see for Canada to have a cheaper CSC program is to build an inferior design or an off the shelf design with minimal customization (or both). And even then there's no guarantee that it'll end up much cheaper anyway (with the inevitable contract breaking penalties and possible lawsuits from LM).

The only alternative cheaper design that seems remotely viable to me would be something like the FFG(X) FREMM. But I don't know if Fincantieri Marinette Marine is even able to market that design, and even then you'd be giving up capability, like the T26's large flexible mission bay.

How much is it going to cost tax payers to have the Parliamentary Budget Officer investigate the program? Perhaps the best way to save money would be to cancel the investigation, get on with the program and reduce the politician's salaries by 10% due to poor performance.
 
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Black Jack Shellac

Active Member
Oh dear. The saying, never change horses mid-stream leaps to mind.

The only way I can see for Canada to have a cheaper CSC program is to build an inferior design or an off the shelf design with minimal customization (or both). And even then there's no guarantee that it'll end up much cheaper anyway (with the inevitable contract breaking penalties and possible lawsuits from LM).

The only alternative cheaper design that seems remotely viable to me would be something like the FFG(X) FREMM. But I don't know if Fincantieri Marinette Marine is even able to market that design, and even then you'd be giving up capability, like the T26's large flexible mission bay.

How much is it going to cost tax payers to have the Parliamentary Budget Officer investigate the program? Perhaps the best way to save money would be to cancel the investigation, get on with the program and reduce the politician's salaries by 10% due to poor performance.
The PBO is an independent government watch dog. The government does not have to act on the finding of the PBO (and rarely does). I also doubt that they will find any other option "cheaper" for what you get. There were many problems with the FREMM option, not just that it was a non-conforming bid. There was also no transfer of intellectual property, which is a non-starter. And fewer Canadian jobs with several of the ships built in Europe.

With the Liberals deep in Irvings pocket, this entire review will go no where. To the government, this project is all about putting money in Irvings pocket and making jobs in New Brunswick. The Irvings want BAE, so they will get BAE. And if as a consequence the RCN gets a decent ship, so be it.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Although the Irving roots are in NB, most of the CSC jobs will be in NS I believe. In any event, the ships, regardless of design, will be built in Halifax. Sticking with the T26 design and schedule is the best combination of capability and cost at this point. I can’t believe the Conservative opposition are stupid enough to try turning this into a political wedge issue. It won’t benefit them or the RCN. The 15 CSCs are necessary even if it means a reduction in the initial weapons purchase which can be made up in better economic times.
 

Toptob

Active Member
My italics to draw attention to the subject.

Perhaps the Aussies chose the T26 at the end of a long exhaustive evaluation on the basis of requirements they didn't deign to divulge to you? The T26 design was always intended to be flexible so that buyers could modify it to suit their own requirements, the "Global Combat Ship" name is a clue for those who took care to read the brochures.

The alternatives were also going to need modification to meet the RAN requirements, and no-one else made a serious attempt to win the business, including the Dutch despite the apparent inferiority of French morals and the poor business practices of the British.

oldsig
Well thank god you are here to correct my ignorance! Now I know that those Aussies actually made the best procurement decision ever choosing the ultimate war machine for the 21st century. I mean we should totally just accept that the fate of billion dollar defense programs is determined by the ephemeral knowledge of the wise ones that rule over plebs like me! By no means should we go on the interwebs and discuss these matters with others that are interested. NO we should know our place and trust that our betters will make the right decision!

But even after you made me aware of this, I dragged my insolent ass onto the web and took another look at that brochure you mention. And, to me at least, it looks very much that the term "Global Combat Ship" has to do with the ship's reach and ability to operate in any environment. But, BAE does mention in the second paragraph that the design will be "adaptable" to "accommodate different sub-systems".

Global Combat Ship

I mean WOW I wish I'd taken more "care" to read the "brochure". I thought NO WAY!!! would a navy ship be designed to allow the customer to fit the systems they want! You're right! No government could choose anything but this groundbreaking technology! Why would they want a ship that has 75% commonality with ships they've already built and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on, finally working out the kinks. Nor would they want a design that is already in the water and proven to be an excellent ship.

The Australians never ASKED for Dutch industry to participate in the Sea 5000 bid, nor did they ask the French... Guess they did make a good choice in the progress. And God only knows why they chose the T26, well God and maybe @oldsig127.



Sig, sorry if I'm to salty. But aren't we here to question things?

For the Canadians I don't see how the T26 makes sense either. Even if I factor in life time costs and the fact that they are Canadian Dollars, 60Bn still sounds like a hell of a lot of money. That's 4Bn per ship which is about 3Bn real dollars, and in one of the articles posted above they allocate 50 to 60% of this to the design, build and purchase costs and the rest for through life support. But that means they are still buying the ships for 1.5Bn or more. And I have some questions about doing the accounting in this way;

1. What does through life support mean? Is it the running costs or maintenance or both? What about upgrades are those included?

2. And how can you determine now what for instance a mid life update in 25 years is going to cost when there are so many variables in place?

3. Does it even make sense to calculate through life costs into a procurement budget? I mean doesn't that just increase the number you are putting out in the media, and wouldn't that influence support for the project? Or is it because the Canadians have had bad experiences with cost overruns that the politicians want to pretend that there won't be any surprises later?

@Toptob

The tone is unnecessary and unhelpful. The reasons the T26 was selected have been discussed at length in this forum so many of your questions have been addressed in parts of this.

You are most welcome to question decisions but please do this on the basis of a reason argument not sarcasm. Your approach does not help you to make your argument which essentially appears to be that there were cheaper options.

This is true but the decision was based on a specific need. I assumed the Navantia offering would be vert likely to win on the basis of commonality with the DDG and cost. However, it would have been a compromise compared to the ASW capacity of the other two vessels which were designed specifically for this task.

As background (noting this has been discussed at length on this forum and the comments below are based on this discussion);

  • The changes to T26 are mainly related to the air defence arrangements and these would have applied to all vessels that were short listed. The prime focus of the T26 is ASW and it was selected on that basis. If we look at the utterances of the three final contenders all promoted the low noise signature in the ASW context.
  • In so far as making submissions to provide a vessel design for SEA 5000, this was an open tender to start with and was eventually shortlisted to three options. Any ship builder could have applied as is the case in any such processes.
  • Through life support is just that ... the costing looks at the cost of the vessel, its spares, manning and maintenance over its life. It is hard to compare alternate project costs unless figures are presented in the same manner for all contenders. When costed for through life support some of the cheaper options may be less competitive.
  • These vessels are not planned for a MLU, rather the batch manufacture will keep them current and the continuous build process is planned to replace the vessel rather than a MLU (noting MLU are generally very expensive for the capability delivered)
Suggest you adopt a less combative approach.

Alexsa
 
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Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Interesting position there. Not going to get into discussion of the RAN Type 26/Hunter-class selection here, as this is the RCN thread and not the RAN thread.

I do note with interest that apart from apparently objecting to two navies other than the RN selecting the Type 26 as the base design for a new class of surface combatant, there seems to be little in the way of suggestion as to what the poster believes would have been a better alternative and why. Or how alternate design selections would/could/should be fitout, given the desire for the selecting navies to use specific pieces of kit.

Lastly, I would suggest looking into how various nations calculate and list their respective national defence procurement and other related budgets. One thing a number of nations have been doing, for a number of years now, is moving away from 'just' listing the cost of a procurement programme and/or piece of kit as the standalone purchase or flyaway price. As those who have been paying attention to budgeting and costing of defence should be aware of, the actual costs to get a useful capability out of a piece of kit are more than 'just' the cost to purchase it. Failing to plan and budget for these extra costs will at best, result in the delivery of a new piece of kit which can for a short period of time provide a useful capability before either degrading or becoming non-viable.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I would add that the choice that has been made needs to serve for 35-40 years (only because of the ignorance of the Canadian electorate and the pollies they support) that expect Defense kit to last forever, the T26 was the most capable and upgradeable design on the table. It was larger than competitive offers thus making the addition of future kit easier. Canada had the easier path to a decision, two navies had already opted for it. ASM warfare was a critical requirement for which the T26 has been optimized for. The larger design is more accommodating to the Cyclone helicopter( perhaps indirect compensation for it being so late!). The multi-mission layout is another big plus. Best decision, period, nuff said!
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I would add that the choice that has been made needs to serve for 35-40 years (only because of the ignorance of the Canadian electorate and the pollies they support) that expect Defense kit to last forever, the T26 was the most capable and upgradeable design on the table. It was larger than competitive offers thus making the addition of future kit easier. Canada had the easier path to a decision, two navies had already opted for it. ASM warfare was a critical requirement for which the T26 has been optimized for. The larger design is more accommodating to the Cyclone helicopter( perhaps indirect compensation for it being so late!). The multi-mission layout is another big plus. Best decision, period, nuff said!
I would disagree about the design needing to be serviceable for 35-40 years due to an ignorant electorate (not that I am necessarily disagreeing about the condition of the electorate, mind you...)

There are 15 vessels to be built for the CSC as a replacement and improvement upon the current fleet of RCN surface escorts. The current Canadian plan calls for the lead ship to enter service some time in the mid-2020's, with the programme running into the 2040's (late 2040's IIRC). Assuming a drumbeat of ~one ship every two years or so on average, then the RCN build is likely to take about 30 years to complete. By the time the construction portion of the programme is finished, the lead ship is going to be nearly 30 if not past that, while the newest vessel should have a generation of service ahead of it. If (big IF) Canada plans things correctly, then just about the time the last vessel is finished, the replacement programme should be getting underway. With that in mind, having a vessel with the potential flexibility to still be relevant towards the end of a 35 or 40 year service life is important. As it is, I would sort of expect that the class itself would still be in RCN service up until around 2070, before the last vessel is paid off.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Well thank god you are here to correct my ignorance! Now I know that those Aussies actually made the best procurement decision ever choosing the ultimate war machine for the 21st century. I mean we should totally just accept that the fate of billion dollar defense programs is determined by the ephemeral knowledge of the wise ones that rule over plebs like me! By no means should we go on the interwebs and discuss these matters with others that are interested. NO we should know our place and trust that our betters will make the right decision!

But even after you made me aware of this, I dragged my insolent ass onto the web and took another look at that brochure you mention. And, to me at least, it looks very much that the term "Global Combat Ship" has to do with the ship's reach and ability to operate in any environment. But, BAE does mention in the second paragraph that the design will be "adaptable" to "accommodate different sub-systems".

Global Combat Ship

I mean WOW I wish I'd taken more "care" to read the "brochure". I thought NO WAY!!! would a navy ship be designed to allow the customer to fit the systems they want! You're right! No government could choose anything but this groundbreaking technology! Why would they want a ship that has 75% commonality with ships they've already built and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on, finally working out the kinks. Nor would they want a design that is already in the water and proven to be an excellent ship.

The Australians never ASKED for Dutch industry to participate in the Sea 5000 bid, nor did they ask the French... Guess they did make a good choice in the progress. And God only knows why they chose the T26, well God and maybe @oldsig127.

Sig, sorry if I'm to salty. But aren't we here to question things?
You are being somewhat adventurous trying to out sarcastic an old Aussie veteran Old Sig. Sarcasm is a way of life for the ADF & NZDF.

When the Australians started the SEA5000 ANZAC Frigate Replacement Program, they issued a RFI (Request For Information) and subsequently a RFP (Request For Proposals) to industry. So the Dutch could've replied if they were interested. After the RFP, the responses would have been analysed and a RFT (Request For Tender) was issued. After the tenders were received and analysed the successful tenderer was invited to negotiate prices etc.
For the Canadians I don't see how the T26 makes sense either. Even if I factor in life time costs and the fact that they are Canadian Dollars, 60Bn still sounds like a hell of a lot of money. That's 4Bn per ship which is about 3Bn real dollars, and in one of the articles posted above they allocate 50 to 60% of this to the design, build and purchase costs and the rest for through life support. But that means they are still buying the ships for 1.5Bn or more. And I have some questions about doing the accounting in this way;

1. What does through life support mean? Is it the running costs or maintenance or both? What about upgrades are those included?
Through life support is the maintenance of the platform including major compulsory checks etc. It does not include upgrades.
2. And how can you determine now what for instance a mid life update in 25 years is going to cost when there are so many variables in place?
You can't put a precise amount on it. However as a general rule of thumb a MLU may cost up to half the cost of a new platform, depending upon the level and complexity of the MLU.
3. Does it even make sense to calculate through life costs into a procurement budget? I mean doesn't that just increase the number you are putting out in the media, and wouldn't that influence support for the project? Or is it because the Canadians have had bad experiences with cost overruns that the politicians want to pretend that there won't be any surprises later?
It does make good sense to cost and budget the term of life costs of a capability because it helps determine whether or not you are getting value for money. It's not much point having a real top of the line gee whiz capability with the bells, whistles and flashing lights, if you can't afford to operate, fuel, arm it. So ends up sitting tied up alongsidem parked in a shed or becoming a hangar queen; a complete waste of treasure resources. Finally such calculations inform the service and defence budgets each year.

The big problem when governments, defence forces, and defence companies cite costs for a defence procurement, is that they don't tell you what the breakdown is. So when the media, pollies etc., talk about it, generally they will be talking about the total cost, not just the platform cost. It's a miscommunication that most if not all countries make, which leads to misunderstandings of individual platform costs, what we call flyaway / sailaway / driveway costs. These are the costs excluding maintenance, sustainment, manuals etc.

So when you see prices in an article, just remember are they the full term of life cost or theflyaway cost.
 
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