Royal Canadian Navy Discussions and updates

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I read this article as an announcement by OSI that it has received an order from another navy’s build program for a submarine navigation system similar to what several other navies including the RCN have already purchased. This, IMHO, does not indicate any imminent decision by Canada to replace the Victoria class. Would be delighted to be proven wrong!
 

Calculus

Well-Known Member
I read this article as an announcement by OSI that it has received an order from another navy’s build program for a submarine navigation system similar to what several other navies including the RCN have already purchased. This, IMHO, does not indicate any imminent decision by Canada to replace the Victoria class. Would be delighted to be proven wrong!
I agree it is certainly open to interpretation, but the title "OSI to Provide its Submarine Navigation System to the RCN", and the first sentence "OSI Maritime Systems (OSI) has signed a contract to provide the Company’s advanced submarine solution, Tactical Dived Navigation System (TDNS), for a new build submarine program" certainly leads one to think it is a new-build RCN sub...
 

Barnold

New Member
The title definitely says 'RCN', but nothing in the body of that article supports the title. All it says is that OSI is providing it's "Tactical Dived Navigation System (TDNS), for a new build submarine program", and that "The contracted system is based on OSI’s design being delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as part of a recent fleet-wide upgrade program." (An OSI TDNS system based on the one being installed in the current RCN submarine fleet has been contracted for provision to an unnamed new build submarine program)

It looks to me like someone at Canadian Defence Review misinterpreted the original announcement by OSI.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The title definitely says 'RCN', but nothing in the body of that article supports the title. All it says is that OSI is providing it's "Tactical Dived Navigation System (TDNS), for a new build submarine program", and that "The contracted system is based on OSI’s design being delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as part of a recent fleet-wide upgrade program." (An OSI TDNS system based on the one being installed in the current RCN submarine fleet has been contracted for provision to an unnamed new build submarine program)

It looks to me like someone at Canadian Defence Review misinterpreted the original announcement by OSI.
I think your explanation makes sense.
 

Calculus

Well-Known Member
I think your explanation makes sense.
Yes, agreed. Probably wishful thinking on my part. Further to this, on page 90 of the current edition of CDR (available here: Home page | Canadian Defence Review, click on View Current Issue), the Commander of the RCN makes some statements re. the replacement of these subs that certainly seem to suggest the current government is supportive of maintaining this capability, but have not actually launched a program yet. It's worth a read. He indicates the RCN is actively following several current sub projects (not named, but we can guess), so that when a decision to procure is made, they will be able to make an informed decision as to which program the RCN would get involved with.
 
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Barnold

New Member
Yes, agreed. Probably wishful thinking on my part. Further to this, on page 90 of the current edition of CDR (available here: Home page | Canadian Defence Review, click on View Current Issue), the Commander of the RCN makes some statements re. the replacement of these subs that certainly seem to suggest the current government is supportive of maintaining this capability, but have not actually launched a program yet. It's worth a read. He indicates the RCN is actively following several current sub projects (not named, but we can guess), so that when a decision to procure is made, they will be able to make an informed decision as to which program the RCN would get involved with.
When it comes to a Victoria Class submarine replacement, it sounds like VAdm McDonald is anticipating Canadian partnership in a foreign construction program. "Given that we usually leverage pre-investments and progress/build by other nations in our submarine acquisitions which can help manage clear time sensitivities ..."

The use of the terms 'build' for allied programs and 'acquisitions' for Canada, along with the phrases "leverage pre-investments" and "manage clear time sensitivities" suggest that there's an awareness of practical savings in both time and money if new Canadian submarines are foreign-built, outside of the domestic National Shipbuilding Strategy.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Interesting news bit. This is the first time I have seen reference to a new build submarine program for the RCN: OSI to Provide its Submarine Navigation System to the RCN - Canadian Defence Review | Canadian Defence Review

It's encouraging and timely, given a decision would have to be made contractually around 2025 in order to have a replacement available in the 2035 timeframe.
The next question is whether they will go SSN or SSK?

If the intention is going SSN then there are four choices:
  1. Canadian designed hull with:
    1. US reactor technology,
    2. UK reactor technology,
    3. French reactor technology.
  2. US / UK / French designed hull with their respective reactor technology.
  3. A combination of #2 hulls and reactor technologies.
  4. A Canadian designed hull and reactor.
If the intention is going SSK then there are three choices:
  1. An indigenous Canadian design.
  2. A variant of the Australian Attack Class.
  3. Another foreign design.
These are the choices as I see them. Each one has its pros and cons and I see the riskiest being the Canadian designed choices, especially the SSN option where the reactor technology would have to be designed and built from scratch. My suggestion for a first build program would be an existing design with minimal Canadianisation. Build in Canada and I would also look at it continual build program with batch building, say in batches of 2 or 3 and each new batch is a small increment on the previous one.

I suggest that Canada seriously looks at the Australian shipbuilding and submarine building programs to see how a continual build program could work and what the advantages are.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
If the intention is going SSK then there are three choices:
  1. An indigenous Canadian design.
  2. A variant of the Australian Attack Class.
  3. Another foreign design.
These are the choices as I see them. Each one has its pros and cons...

I suggest that Canada seriously looks at the Australian shipbuilding and submarine building programs to see how a continual build program could work and what the advantages are.
1. Too much ambition is not a good thing — they just need 4 replacement submarines. IMO, the Canadians will be watching:
(i) the Swedish Blekinge-class submarine build program;​
(ii) the Dutch program for the replacement of the Royal Netherlands Navy’s current SSK capability which is now planned to commence in 2028. Involving a budget of some €3.5Bn, the project was issued in accordance with the Dutch MoD’s Defence Materiel Process (DMP) in June 2016; and formal selection that is expected to be finalised in 2022; and​
(iii) the program that lead to Germany’s and Norway’s selection of 6 new Type 212 CD (Common Design) variant — which will have extended range, speed and endurance.​

2. The above 3 programs in particular seem to have attractive features worthy of emulation by the Canadian Navy as trouble free SSK acquisitions.

3. With the exception of Japanese (who are a dark horse), it is likely that those 3 companies that remain in the competition and given the B-Letter for the Walrus-class submarine replacement are the same companies that have a good chance of winning any Canadian tender. The groups given the Dutch B-letter are:

(i) the Naval Group from France along with Royal IHC — little is known about the plans other than a recapitalisation exercise that was concluded with the support of Royal IHC’s existing syndicate of banks, the ministries of Economic Affairs & Climate and Finance, and the credit insurer Atradius Dutch State Business;​
(ii) the Swedish-Dutch combination Saab-Damen — the concept submarine has a displacement of 2900 tons and a length of 73 metres, with room for 34 to 42 crew members; and​

(iii) TKMS from Germany teamed up with the maintenance site of the Royal Netherlands Navy in the Den Helder naval base — I suspect the concept submarine is evolved from the Type 212CD and has a displacement of at least 2400 tons. But in like the Type 212As with earlier generation FCM 34 fuel cells and 1 MTU engine, this batch is likely to use two FC4G PEM fuel cells and have at least 2 MTU 12V4000U83 engines (athough the Dolphin 2 has three older model MTU engines). TKMS says it is prepared to enlarge the design, so there is more room for fuel and crew members.​
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
1. Too much ambition is not a good thing — they just need 4 replacement submarines. IMO, the Canadians will be watching:
(i) the Swedish Blekinge-class submarine build program;​
(ii) the Dutch program for the replacement of the Royal Netherlands Navy’s current SSK capability which is now planned to commence in 2028. Involving a budget of some €3.5Bn, the project was issued in accordance with the Dutch MoD’s Defence Materiel Process (DMP) in June 2016; and formal selection that is expected to be finalised in 2022; and​
(iii) the program that lead to Germany’s and Norway’s selection of 6 new Type 212 CD (Common Design) variant — which will have extended range, speed and endurance.​

2. The above 3 programs in particular seem to have attractive features worthy of emulation by the Canadian Navy as trouble free SSK acquisitions.

3. With the exception of Japanese (who are a dark horse), it is likely that those 3 companies that remain in the competition and given the B-Letter for the Walrus-class submarine replacement are the same companies that have a good chance of winning any Canadian tender. The groups given the Dutch B-letter are:

(i) the Naval Group from France along with Royal IHC — little is known about the plans other than a recapitalisation exercise that was concluded with the support of Royal IHC’s existing syndicate of banks, the ministries of Economic Affairs & Climate and Finance, and the credit insurer Atradius Dutch State Business;​

(ii) the Swedish-Dutch combination Saab-Damen — the concept submarine has a displacement of 2900 tons and a length of 73 metres, with room for 34 to 42 crew members; and​

(iii) TKMS from Germany teamed up with the maintenance site of the Royal Netherlands Navy in the Den Helder naval base — I suspect the concept submarine is evolved from the Type 212CD and has a displacement of at least 2400 tons. But in like the Type 212As with earlier generation FCM 34 fuel cells and 1 MTU engine, this batch is likely to use two FC4G PEM fuel cells and have at least 2 MTU 12V4000U83 engines (athough the Dolphin 2 has three older model MTU engines). TKMS says it is prepared to enlarge the design, so there is more room for fuel and crew members.​
I stand corrected - ah yes Canadians and ambition. :D

I do not think that the Dutch or Swedes have subs that would meet the Canadian specs for range. They have a far great are to cover than either of those two countries because basically they RCN is a 3 ocean navy: Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific. That's why was hinting at the RAN Attack class, purely because of the range requirements. By the time they get around to deciding on a replacement program the Attack class will already be a design well in progress and it's a French boat with Aussie modifications, so that should appeal to the francophiles and anglophiles of the Canadian political and defence establishment. Best of all most of the risk will have been removed from it.

Personally I also think that 4 boats is 6 - 8 boats not enough, but then that's a Canadian govt decision and not mine. The Arctic north of Canada and Russia is going to become a VMF / PLAN SSN / SSBN and SSK highway through out the year, within 10 years and they'll have no ice to hide their noise. The USN will operate SSNs up there, but SSKs can do things that SSNs can't and are quieter.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The one benefit of global warming from a Canadian government POV is it eliminates the need to consider SSNs for under ice operations. The range issue will still be important so the Australian and Japanese SSK solutions will be closely watched. The Swedish and German options lack the desired range but their price points will be attractive to a future Canadian government that will be severely cash constrained because of COVID and our current government’s incompetence.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
1). The RAN uses OSI systems in a number of its surface ships

2). Australia is in the process of letting contracts for its new class of submarines

Could there be a connection?
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
1). The RAN uses OSI systems in a number of its surface ships

2). Australia is in the process of letting contracts for its new class of submarines

Could there be a connection?
Maybe, but if so it, seems like a very long lead time IMO for this type of kit. When is the first Attack boat expected to be launched?
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The one benefit of global warming from a Canadian government POV is it eliminates the need to consider SSNs for under ice operations. The range issue will still be important so the Australian and Japanese SSK solutions will be closely watched. The Swedish and German options lack the desired range but their price points will be attractive to a future Canadian government that will be severely cash constrained because of COVID and our current government’s incompetence.
The main issue the RAN had with Soryu was its lack of endurance even when compared with Collins’ 70 odd days.
Soryu, even with Li batteries is too space limited to engage in RAN type CONOPS as the JMSDF requirements were significantly different.
The next generation Japanese Sub, the Soryu follow on 29SS, will still be a 3,000 tonne boat, only 100 tons heavier than Soryu so her operational profile will be similar.
It could only be considered for the RCN if a similar boat to the Victoria class is acceptable.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Probably just about anything new would be acceptable to the RCN but I am certain our navy likes the design concept the RAN is pursuing. It would seem to best fit our requirements as the nuclear option won’t happen.
 

walter

Active Member
I stand corrected - ah yes Canadians and ambition. :D

I do not think that the Dutch or Swedes have subs that would meet the Canadian specs for range. They have a far great are to cover than either of those two countries because basically they RCN is a 3 ocean navy: Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific. That's why was hinting at the RAN Attack class, purely because of the range requirements. By the time they get around to deciding on a replacement program the Attack class will already be a design well in progress and it's a French boat with Aussie modifications, so that should appeal to the francophiles and anglophiles of the Canadian political and defence establishment. Best of all most of the risk will have been removed from it.

Personally I also think that 4 boats is 6 - 8 boats not enough, but then that's a Canadian govt decision and not mine. The Arctic north of Canada and Russia is going to become a VMF / PLAN SSN / SSBN and SSK highway through out the year, within 10 years and they'll have no ice to hide their noise. The USN will operate SSNs up there, but SSKs can do things that SSNs can't and are quieter.

Hmm to be fair the Walrus has a greater range then the Vics and only about a 1000 miles less then a Collins,so i don't know where you get that idea from.

We need subs with a good range because of interests(Caribbean),so the A-26/Bleke(if choosen,and IMO the frontrunner)will be the extended range version,so a sub with a decent range.

The Dutch are also in the long range(worldwide use pool,thought you knew that)
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Hmm to be fair the Walrus has a greater range then the Vics and only about a 1000 miles less then a Collins,so i don't know where you get that idea from.

We need subs with a good range because of interests(Caribbean),so the A-26/Bleke(if choosen,and IMO the frontrunner)will be the extended range version,so a sub with a decent range.

The Dutch are also in the long range(worldwide use pool,thought you knew that)
I’m unaware of which option of the A26 your Navy is pursuing but it appears that only the largest variant has the endurance/range to match the type of operations comparable, although not equal to, SSNs.
The largest variant would also be an orphan class and I suspect it was designed to woo the RAN before they chose the Attacks.
Also note that the endurance of all 3 versions is significantly less the Collins (Oceanic VL 50days v Collins 70days)
The linked article is from 2017
Saab Expands its A26 Submarine Offer with now Three Variants to Choose From
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Hmm to be fair the Walrus has a greater range then the Vics and only about a 1000 miles less then a Collins,so i don't know where you get that idea from.

We need subs with a good range because of interests(Caribbean),so the A-26/Bleke(if choosen,and IMO the frontrunner)will be the extended range version,so a sub with a decent range.

The Dutch are also in the long range(worldwide use pool,thought you knew that)
1,000 statute miles or 1,000 nautical miles? Big difference. In Australian terms 1,000 nautical miles is nothing and considering the Attack class endurance will be somewhat longer than the Collins, then the A-26 is of no use at all if it doesn't meet the requirements is it. Transiting from one side of the Atlantic to the other with a port stop at the end, is nothing compared to a long Pacific patrol with no stops in between. RAN subs have to transit 3,000 nm just to get to their patrol area, and RCN subs could similarly have long distance transits before they reach their patrol areas in the Arctic. No need for the snarky attitude either.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Not sure if you guys agree, let me share some incoherent thoughts for correction by others in DT.
...the A-26 is of no use at all if it doesn't meet the requirements is it. Transiting from one side of the Atlantic to the other with a port stop at the end, is nothing compared to a long Pacific patrol with no stops in between...
1. I believe that the Swedish Blekinge-class submarine is too tiny for Canada — what Saab is promising is the insertion of a hull plug to extend range (as a form of de-risking).

2. I do admire Swedish efforts at de-risking but our threat matrix is so different from that of Sweden. Singapore needed a different design, to keep pace with regional underwater developments in the Indo-Pacific for the duration of the service life of the Invincible class.
The largest variant would also be an orphan class and I suspect it was designed to woo the RAN before they chose the Attacks.
Also note that the endurance of all 3 versions is significantly less the Collins (Oceanic VL 50days v Collins 70days)
3. IMO, French and German designs offered to Canada, in future, will also result in a orphan class — but have certain equipment commonalities with other submarines in service.

4. Besides TKMS interference in Swedish submarine sale efforts, the Singapore Navy and its procurement agent, DSTA, also did not buy into the Swedish hull plug approach. Instead the Singapore Navy opted for a custom, 70 m long, German Type 218SG design (with an order for 4 boats), that has more endurance than the Victoria Class; which design I also believe is not suitable for Canadian navy future needs (eg. a very different combat management system and weapons fit).

5. The 2,200 ton Type 218SG is fitted with two PEM fuel cells and two MTU 12V4000U83 engines, which allows the Invincible-class to stay submerged for about 50% longer than the Archer-class submarines. It has eight torpedo tubes and manned by a crew of 28 (which crew is too small for the Canadian or Dutch Navies, who operate further from home). The Singapore Navy has a big focus on automation, with the downside risk of task saturation and lesser crew for damage control, if it happens.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@OPSSG If I may add. Many northern hemisphere posters don't have a concept of the distances and / or conditions involved in operating in the Asia - Pacific region. They can't grasp the concept of the size of Australia for one, nor of the vastness of the Pacific ocean. Nor can they grasp the fact that the westerly wind blows around the Great Southern Ocean with out touching land apart from some small rocky islands of insignificant size (about < 10 nm in diameter).

Nor can they grasp the size of Canada and the fact that it is bounded by the Pacific to the west, the Arctic to the North and the Atlantic, to the East; that it probably takes 4 - 5 days to drive from the east coast to the west coast of Canada on modern highways and probably (I'm guessing) at least a week or so to drive to the northern coast of Canada from the US border, depending upon the time of year and weather and road conditions. I've got a couple of Kiwi mates who live in Alberta; one I went to school with the other I served in the RNZAF with. Anyway my school mate was telling me about his journies over there once, over a few (many) beers and think he said it was a week or so from top to bottom. Maybe one of the Canadian posters can verify.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Nova Scotia to the BC coast is 6-7 days by car, might be able to knock day off by crossing the border at Detroit and driving across the US and then crossing back on the BC-Washington State border. Adding in a cross NL/ ferry to Nova Scotia would add at least 1-2 days. The drive to the Arctic from the US border depends on which part of the border. Big difference between the 49th parallel and starting from Southern Ontario or Nova Scotia. Explains why I miss planes.
 
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