Domestic subs for Taiwan

Taiwan has high hopes for a planned fleet of at least eight submarines, the first of which is being readied for seat trials in October. “If we can build up this combat capacity, I don’t think we will lose a war,” says Admiral Huang Shu-kuang, the program coordinator and national security advisor to President Tsai Ing-wen. [node:read-more:link]

China drills in Western Pacific

China’s lone domestic-built aircraft is among other warships participating in large-scale drills in the Western Pacific around Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines this week in a major response to a series of exercises by the U.S. and its allies, including Canada. Dozens of aircraft also were deployed today near Taiwanese airspace. [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]

How not to build warships

Fifteen years after the U.S. commissioned its first of a planned 19 Littoral Combat Ship with expectations that the smaller vessels, similar in size to other navies’ corvettes, would be more effective, the program evidently has devolved into a huge boondoggle. The fleet ultimately cost more than budgeted and has had had an array of equipment failures. [node:read-more:link]

Mounting concern about Arctic

The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces, Admiral Daryl Caudle, says Russia’s “militarization” of the Arctic has “heightened awareness” of its strategic importance and unfounded claims to sea lanes and natural resources. “That’s increased our need to actually go pay attention to what they’re doing, to make sure we’re not ceding that territory, to make sure they’re not […] first to market in an area that has normally not been heavily transited.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. extends warships’ service lives

The U.S. Navy plans to keep some guided-missile destroyers in service for four to five years past the standard 35 years. It’s part of a “hull-by-hull) effort by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations’ Surface Warfare Division to maintain fleet size and capability in an era of stiff competition for funding. [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]

Military guards for Hormuz shipping?

The U.S. is considering putting armed military personnel on commercial ships under constant threat by Iran as they transit the Strait of Hormuz. Officials are offering few details but the planning coincides with the impending arrival of thousands of Marines and Navy personnel in the region. [node:read-more:link]

Russian live-fire in Baltic

Ratcheting up tension in Europe in general and the Baltic states in particular, Russian has begun live-fire exercises in the Baltic Sea, overseen by the navy’s commander, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov. Ocean Shield 2030 involves some 6,000 personnel, 30 warships and smaller vessels, and aircraft. [node:read-more:link]

Four federal ministers quitting

Two days ahead of an expected federal cabinet shuffle, four ministers confirmed July 24 that they would be stepping down. They include Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Public Services & Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek and Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, all from Toronto ridings, and Fisheries & Oceans Minister Joyce Murray of Vancouver, who also is responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard. [node:read-more:link]

USCG targets assault and harassment

The U.S. Coast Guard’s commander, Admiral Linda Fagan, has announced a review of the agency’s policies, culture and practices in response to reports of sexual assault and harassment at its Connecticut training academy. “As we don't paint over rust on a ship, we will not paint over the rust stain of assault, harassment, bullying, hazing and retaliation,” she said in a statement with Master Chief Petty Officer Heath Jones, the USCG’s senior enlisted member. [node:read-more:link]

Kiyv and Moscow threaten shipping

In response to Russian threats to consider civilian shipping calling at Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea as military targets, Ukraine said late July 19 that it is prepared to reciprocate. It said ships calling at Russian-controlled ports “may be considered by Ukraine as carrying military cargo with all the relevant risks.” [node:read-more:link]

Titanic submersible loss confirmed

Five civilians aboard a U.S. submersible visiting the Titanic wreck 700 kilometres south of Newfoundland were confirmed dead today after debris from “a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber” was found at a depth of 3,800 metres. The day before in Ottawa, the federal government, responding to complaints on social media, defended the use of Canadian military and Coast Guard resources in the multinational search effort [node:read-more:link]

Missing submersible search ongoing

Sonobuoys deployed by the crew of an RCAF CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft detected “underwater noises” believed to be from a submersible missing with five persons aboard in the Atlantic southeast of Newfoundland. Communication with the mothership was lost shortly after the submersible began a dive to the wreck of the Titanic. [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]


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