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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Why are submarines not included in Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy?

HMCS Windsor (SSK 877)Canada’s fleet of Victoria-class submarines has achieved operational status, with three of the four vessels fit to sail. But this development — 17 years in the making — is no cause for celebration.

The dive depth of two of the submarines is restricted because of rust damage to the hulls, and only one has actually fired a torpedo. Just as worrisome, the Victoria-class submarines are a quarter-century old and will soon need to be replaced, though no such plans have been made.

The British-built submarines were mothballed in a Scottish loch for four years before being purchased second-hand from the Royal Navy in 1998. The vessels spent another two-to-six years immersed in salt water, without any rust-preventing maintenance, before being transferred to Canada between 2000-2004.

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