RCN ships deploy to the Med

The Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Fredericton and its crew left Halifax January 22 on a six-month deployment to Operation Reassurance in the Mediterranean along with another frigate, HMCS Montreal, and the support ship HMCS Asterix. ““There absolutely is a heightened sense of urgency,” said Rear-Admiral Brian Santarpia, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic. “They will monitor Russian activity on a daily basis. [node:read-more:link]

Marine mammals impacted by noise

As the Canadian military plans to resume weapons testing in an area off the southern tip of Vancouver Island after a three-year hiatus, British research shows increased ambient noise levels are forcing dolphins to “shout” to hear each other. Also, the European Commission has found that underwater noise levels have doubled every decade in the last 60 years, mainly due to increased shipping. [node:read-more:link]

Navy veteran fined for assault

A 24-year Royal Canadian Navy veteran who retired in 2017 has been reprimanded and fined $7,000 for repeatedly assaulting a 20-year-old female cadet aboard HMCS Oriole, the navy tall ship, in 2006. James R. Levesque, 59, who had pled not guilty to all charges, was found guilty last May of assault, sexual assault and uttering threats during a summer training voyage to Alaska from Victoria. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. weapons training to resume

After a three-year hiatus to study the effects on marine mammals of weapons training at the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island, the Canadian Armed Forces plans to resume the program. It cites a Toronto-based engineering company’s study which concluded that current measures to mitigate harmful effects of surface and aerial gunnery in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are effective. [node:read-more:link]

Canada extends African deployment

Two Royal Canadian Navy coastal defence vessels left Halifax today on the RN’s sixth deployment to Operation Projection in West Africa. HMCS Glace Bay and HMCS Moncton will conduct exercises, engagements and port visits to promote stability in the Gulf of Guinea. The two-and-a-half-month deployment includes the 12th Exercise Obangame Express, which begins January 23, focusing on piracy, terrorism and smuggling in the Gulf. [node:read-more:link]

AOPS or A-oops?

The latest projected cost of having six Arctic offshore patrol ships for the Navy and two similar vessels built for the Canadian Coast Guard is upwards of $6.5 billion, according to the federal government and its procurement department. The cost of the naval ships has risen to $4.98 billion from an earlier estimate of $4.3 billion while the CCG estimate has risen by $100 million from $1.6 billion. [node:read-more:link]

Surface Combatant costs skyrocketing

With two years remaining before Irving Shipbuilding begins construction of the first of the navy’s new Canadian Surface Combatant fleet, designed to replace current destroyers and frigates, the federal government has spent $4.8 billion so far. This is according to figures presented to the House of Commons two months after the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated the total lifetime cost of the 15-ship program at $306 billion. [node:read-more:link]

Problems in the Navy’s AOPS fleet

The Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, HMCS Harry DeWolf, is expected to be out of service until April because of problems with its main diesel generators. Since Irving Shipbuilding’s warranty has expired, taxpayers are on the hook for repairs to the AOPS flagship, which was delivered to the Navy in July 2020. Meanwhile, the third in the fleet, HMCS Max Bernays, accepted from Irving in September 2022, is having bowthruster issues. The navy also plans to have a look at the second of a planned six AOPS, HMCS Margaret Brooke, which was delivered in July 2021. [node:read-more:link]

Frigates return to home port

HMCS Vancouver and Winnipeg have returned to their home port of CFB Esquimalt, after successfully completing their deployments. On hand for the return from the three-month multinational tour that included Operation Neon to enforce UN sanctions against North Korea, Minister Anand highlighted the government’s commitment to spending $493 million to strengthen Canada’s growing role in the Indo-Pacific region. [node:read-more:link]

Royal Navy shelves new ships over costs

Plans for new Type 32 frigates and Multirole Support Ships have been withdrawn by the Royal Navy because they are too expensive. The decision, made last July was disclosed November 30 in a National Audit Office report which says it will “result in a revised costing profile . . . likely to be significantly higher” than planned. However, a Navy spokesperson said today that both designs “remain a key part of the future fleet and we are working to ensure both projects are affordable.” [node:read-more:link]

First new British frigate set for launch

The first of eight Type 26 frigates ordered by the Royal Navy – a BAE Systems design also chosen by Canada for 15 “surface combatant” platforms to be built by Irving Shipyards at a cost of at least $60 billion – is set for launch in Scotland. Construction of HMS Glasgow began in 2017 and construction of the next two is under way. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian frigates in multinational exercise

The Royal Canadian Navy frigates HMCS Vancouver and Winnipeg are participating in a twos-week Keen Sword joint exercise with Australian, Japanese and U.S. warships in Japanese and international waters. The U.S. navy said their involvement in Operation Project includes extensive anti-submarine and other tactics designed to “enhance readiness and interoperability to support the security interests of allies and partners in the region.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s northern presence ineffectual

A report today from the Office of the Auditor General says that Canada lacks a complete picture of who is entering or traversing Arctic waters, partly due to the fact that a naval surveillance station can only operate four weeks a year. Overall, it says, the country cannot stay on top of threats to national security, illegal fishing or pollution posed by marine traffic which has tripled in recent years as sea ice diminishes. [node:read-more:link]

Navy’s CSC budget irrelevant

The cost of new Canadian Surface Combatants as a common replacement for the Royal Canadian Navy’s destroyer and frigate fleets continues to rise. The Parliamentary Budget Office, responding to a parliamentary committee request, reported today that the projected cost now is $84.5 billion or 9.2 percent above its $77.3 billion. The government has acknowledged that project delays and mean that its 2017 budget of $60 billion is no longer adequate. It originally was $26.2 billion in 2008 [node:read-more:link]

Surface Combatant preliminary design upcoming

Glenn Copeland, general manager of rotary and mission systems for Lockheed Martin Canada, said October 19 at a naval trade show in France that the preliminary design review for the Canadian Surface Combatant will be completed by the end of this year. The Royal Canadian Navy plans to procure 15 replacements for its Iroquois-class destroyers and Halifax-class frigates at a cost of at least $55 billion. [node:read-more:link]


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