Navy navigates dire straits

Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, says understaffing and stretched resources have left the RCN in “a critical state” which could compromise operations. “The situation is serious,” he says in a social media message to personnel. “But our problems are not unique and I know that the air force and army are facing similar challenges.” [node:read-more:link]

AOPS tour cut short

A coronavirus outbreak aboard HMCS Harry DeWolf has forced the Navy to cut short its publicity tour of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway and return it to its Halifax homeport. [node:read-more:link]

RCAF helicopter threatened by China

A Chinese fighter pilot’s decision to dispense missile-deterring flares close to an RCAF CH-148 Cyclone helicopter recently was a risky move which could have disabled the aircraft. The incident in international airspace, which occurred October 29 over the South China Sea when the helicopter was deployed from HMCS Ottawa, was the second that day. [node:read-more:link]

Accident aboard Canadian sub

One of Canada’s four submarines, HMCS Windsor, is back in Halifax for repairs after a “flooding” at sea in which three sailors suffered minor injuries. The navy says the September 10 accident involved “sea water stored in a tank inside the sub while at safe depth” 40 nautical miles from Halifax and that it took about 10 hours to return to base. [node:read-more:link]

CSC Shipbuilding Strategy a taxpayer fiasco

Former ADM (materiel), Alan Williams, takes a critical look at the Canadian Surface Combatant procurement from the taxpayer's perspective. Comparing costs and quotes on similar projects from other countries, he finds that Canadian taxpayers are paying 2-3 times more for the CSC ships under the project management of Irving Shipbuilding. [node:read-more:link]

HMCS Ottawa transits Taiwan Strait

The Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Ottawa accompanied a U.S. destroyer through the Taiwan Strait September 9 in a “freedom of navigation” exercise. Shadowed by Chinese ships, the transit took place in international waters. [node:read-more:link]

Fleet Week 2023 ends

The Royal Canadian Navy’s commander, Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, is hopeful that this year’s Fleet Week in Halifax, which wound up September 10 after five days, will benefit overall military recruitment. “We’ve seen a recovery in terms of the number of applicants that are coming forward, but we need over 6,000 people to join the Canadian Armed Forces this year and so we’re watching the numbers quite closely and hope that we get to that target.” [node:read-more:link]

CSC costs keep rising

Irving Shipbuilding has received $463 million in additional federal funding to modernize its Halifax yard to build 15 Canadian Surface Combatant replacements for the current destroyer and frigate fleets, starting next year. Irving was selected in 2011 to build the new ships, subject to having the capability to handle the project, the cost of which has ballooned to $84.5 billion from $26 billion with a concomitant increase in life-cycle costs. [node:read-more:link]

RCN frigate requires work

Propeller damage, structural cracks and corrosion are limiting operations of the nearly 30-year-old RCN frigate HMCS Winnipeg, based at Esquimalt, B.C. A DND spokesman says the issues would be dealt with next year, when the ship, built by Saint John Shipbuilding and commissioned in December 1994, is scheduled for repairs. [node:read-more:link]

Cyclone crash prompts lawsuits

More than three years after an RCAF Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter plunged into the sea during an exercise off Greece, families of the six Canadian Armed Forces personnel who died in the crash are suing the manufacturer. Filed July 10 in U.S. Federal Court on July 10 in Pennsylvania, where the helicopter was made, the suit states that a flight controls design flaw was the fundamental cause of the April 2020 crash. [node:read-more:link]

Esquimalt expecting two Japanese ships

The Department of National Defence announced today that two Japanese naval vessels are scheduled to arrive at CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island June 15 for a three-day visit. It will be their second stop on an eight-country tour which runs until October. [node:read-more:link]

USN remaining “in the way”

After video shot from a Canadian frigate in the Taiwan Strait showed a Chinese warship manoeuvering close to a U.S. destroyer recently, the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations says his ships must stay “in the way” to enforce the right to safe passage in international waters. “We can’t just be milling about,” Admiral Mike Gilday said June 7. “We are operating in accordance with international law, under, on, and above the sea so that others can too.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran-Saudi maritime plan questioned

Iran’s assertion that will establish a naval alliance with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations “defies reason,” says a U.S. Navy officer with the 34-nation Combined Maritime Forces fleet, which includes rotations of Canadian warships and aircraft. “The number one cause of regional instability claims it wants […] to protect the very waters it threatens,” says Commander Tim Hawkins, pointing out that Iran has attacked or seize 15 internationally-flagged merchant ships in the past two years. [node:read-more:link]

Close encounter on Canadian video

Video shot from aboard HMCS Montreal during a recent transit of the Taiwan Strait with a U.S. destroyer shows a Chinese warship cutting close across the destroyer’s bow. Defending the tactic, China’s defence minister Li Shangfu says other countries should “mind your own business.” [node:read-more:link]


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