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Submarines and their types

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Artist impression of the possible features of SSN(X) the next generation nuclear-powered attack submarine of the U.S. Navy. Image by H I Sutton / Covertshores.com [Click to enlarge]

U.S. Navy Outlines The Next-Generation Attack Submarine SSN(X) Program​

The U.S. Navy has received $1 million dollars from Congress to start research and development in FY2021 for a successor to the current Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN). This new submarine might be wider than the Virginia SSN (comparable to the diameter of the Seawolf-class SSN) and will be better optimized and designed to combat future surface and underwater threats, taking advantage of the latest silencing, propulsion, and combat submarine technologies.​

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) provided a document on May 10, 2021 with outline details on the U.S. Navy’s Next-Generation Attack Submarine, dubbed SSN(X). According to the CRS SSN(X) report:

“Under the Navy’s FY2020 30-year (FY2020-FY2049) shipbuilding plan, the first SSN(X) would be procured in FY2031, along with a single Virginia-class boat. In FY2032 and FY2033, the final four Virginia-class boats would be procured, at a rate of two per year. Procurement of follow-on SSN(X)s, at a rate of two per year, would then begin in FY2034. The 30-year plan’s sustained procurement rate of two SSNs per year would achieve a force of 66 SSNs—the Navy’s current SSN force-level goal—in FY2048. Navy Next-Generation Attack Submarine (SSN[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress CRS Reports

A subsequent 30-year Navy shipbuilding document that the Trump Administration released on December 9, 2020—a document that can be viewed as the Trump Administration’s final published vision for future Navy force structure and/or a draft version of the FY2022 30-year shipbuilding plan—proposed a new SSN force-level goal of 72 to 78 boats. To meet this goal by the latter 2040s, it projected an SSN procurement rate of three boats per year during the period FY2035-FY2041, and two and two-thirds boats per year (in annual quantities of 2-3-3) during the period FY2042-FY2050.”


The new SSN(X) design places (renewed) emphasis on Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) by increasing the SSN(X)’s transit speed and stealth features and characteristics over the current Virginia-class nuclear attack sub. Furthermore, the SSN(X) will also carry more weapons and a more diverse payload than the Virginia subs in order to deal with more advanced enemy submarines, unmanned underwater vessels (UUVs), and coordinate with allied warships and forces.


The CRS SSN(X) report stated that, “The Navy is examining three broad design options for the SSN(X)—a design based on the Virginia-class SSN design, a design based on the Columbia-class SSBN design, and a brand new design.

“An industry official stated that the SSN(X) might have a beam (i.e., hull diameter) greater than that of the Virginia-class design (34 feet), and closer to that of the Navy’s Seawolf-class SSN design and Columbia-class SSBN design (40 and 43 feet, respectively).

“An April 2021 CBO report on the December 9, 2020, 30-year Navy shipbuilding document states that in constant FY2021 dollars, the SSN(X)’s average unit procurement cost is estimated at $5.8 billion by the Navy and $6.2 billion by CBO.”


According to submarine expert H I Sutton, SSN(X) could feature new technologies such as:

  • Laser weapons,
  • Conformal bow sonar,
  • Quantum technology,
  • Larger weapons stowage compartment to accommodate more systems such as weapons and UUVs,
  • More torpedo tubes to deploy the systems mentioned above,
  • Very large flank arrays,
  • Quieter electric drive propulsion,
  • X-rudder for better maneuverability,
  • VLS for cruise missile and future hypersonic weapons
 

GRANNY001

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Here is an Opinion piece written today (23 July 2021) for the Globe and Mail by independent researcher Alexander Howlett on Canada's Arctic Sovereignty and replacing our Victoria class submarines. An interesting read.


Opinion: Canada cannot claim Arctic sovereignty unless we find the political will to replace our submarines

For decades, federal governments have passed the buck or taken the easy way out of hard decisions about naval infrastructure. Only Canadians can force them to change
www.theglobeandmail.com
www.theglobeandmail.com
 

GRANNY001

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Here is an Opinion piece written by the Canadian Naval Review webmaster on Canada's beleagered submarine replacement history. and replacing the Victoria class submarines. A very interesting and thought-provoking article by the CNR Webmaster on Canadian submarine acquisition and political bungling by Canadian governments over the last 70 years. We never seem to learn from our mistakes on Naval procurements. In my opinion (IMO), once the Canadian Patrol Submarine Project (CPSP) is stood up by the RCN, one of its first mandates would be to immediately create a public document for the Canadian people explaining why Canada desperately needs to quickly proceed with a modern AIP submarine acquisition program and give them specific options and numbers required. There have never been so many options in the past as there are now. They must enlighten Canadians with the different types of modern AIP Submarines and specifically discuss submarine requirements for the future RCN submarine fleet with pros and cons of building them in Canada. There are now several types of ocean-going AIP submarines being built by France, Germany, Spain and Japan that may “fit the bill” where once there were no options at all. These include the 12 French Barracuda Block 1A class (based on their Suffern class SSN) now being built in Australia for the RAN by the French DCNS Group; the Spanish S80 Plus class being built by Spanish company Navantia; the Soryu 29SS class with Lithium Ion Battery (LIB) technology from Japan being built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and the German type 216 now being developed by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). All have different AIP technologies, have displacements of over 4000 tons with pros and cons in all of these AIP designs. They all would however be game changers as future Canadian submarines. The Canadian Senate recommended to the government in 2017 to swiftly acquire 12 modern AIP replacements for the beleaguered Victoria class but the government quickly rejected that recommendation. Lets then have the Canadian people contribute to the RCNs recommendations to the government for its final decision and quickly push forward on this!

 

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This is an article I have written on Canadian Hybrid Submarine Designs, but has never been published. It is an opinion piece only and not for publication. Forum members are encouraged to read and give their own opinions-good or bad. Cheers!

A Canadian Hybrid Submarine Design

A Case For The “Small Modular/Micro Reactor (SM/MR)”

Nuclear propulsion is ideal for long distances and extended under-ice missions that are unique to Canada. Off-the-shelf AIP submarine designs that are direct replacements to the Victoria class, such as the French Barracuda Block 1A class being designed for Australia or the Japanese Soyru 29SS class AIP design with Lithium-Ion Battery (LIB) technologies or the German Type 216 submarine are interesting alternatives that extend the endurance of diesel submarines. But none of these options completely satisfactory Canadian submarine needs. The dominant paradigm for a modern nuclear-powered submarine is a steam generating reactor driving turbines that directly drive the propulsor or propeller. The French Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A being built for Australia offers a limited hybrid design that enables electric propulsion for low-speed cruising and turbo-mechanical drives at higher speeds, but is not competitive against nuclear-steam turbo-mechanical for blue water or arctic operations. Outrageous cost estimates for nuclear-powered submarines tend to cloud Canadian thinking for recapitalizing its submarine fleet. DND’s proposal for extending the lives of its four Victoria class conventional submarines for another 6-18 years appears a comparative bargain. But is there a better, more affordable and collaborative way?

The first challenge to costs is volume. Development, or non-recurring engineering costs make up a sizable percentage of the cost of any submarine fleet. If an existing, proven, hull can be slightly modified, it would be a major cost saver. That will require DND to end the habit of imposing onerous modifications that inevitably cause costs to explode. Another route to substantial cost savings is to share the development costs of major items like the propulsion and power plant with partners. Technologies like air independent propulsion (AIP) or LIBs that extend the endurance of diesel submarines but introduce major compromises in performance. But neither of these options are satisfactory for Canadian naval requirements. With or without AIP, diesel submarines are far too “short legged” – they are dependent on logistically complex supplies such as liquid oxygen that deplete quickly; and the engines are mechanically complex. These are distinct disadvantages given the long distances and extended under-ice missions that are unique to Canada.

Whenever a diesel “snorts”, it leaves a very visible plume of smoke and heat that is readily detectable. Then there is the deafening noise of diesels, even when equipped with the latest quieting technologies. Thus, nuclear propulsion in some form is still ideal for Canadian requirements. Due to their endurance, nuclear submarines tend to be blue water, ocean-going vessels. Los-Angeles and Virginia class fast attack submarines displace around 8,000 tons. French Barracuda SSNs are about 5,300 tons, UK’s Astutes are over 7,000 tons, while the Shortfin Barracuda (conventional version) is about 4-5,000 tons. Compared to the Victoria class SSKs at about 2,500 tons, they are large vessels. A fleet nuclear submarine (8,000+ ton range) is neither necessary nor ideal for Canadian waters. A smaller nuclear-powered attack submarine that is large enough to support a good-sized crew and carry unmanned systems would be ideal for Canada, but presently, none is available. Canadian submarines are most likely to operate in Canadian waters especially in the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic coasts up to the relatively shallow continental shelf. A Hybrid submarine would offer a novel solution. A fleet of hybrid nuclear submarines (5,000+ ton range) would be ideal for Canada. But building such a submarine with this kind of displacement with a 60 day endurance, transit speeds of 20 knots, burst speeds above 30 knots, and state of the art signature management technologies and support for unmanned platforms would be cost prohibitive for all but the largest Navies. Canada, does however, have an excellent emerging technology that can contribute to a joint venture from say the USA, France Germany or Japan for a new hybrid nuclear/AIP submarine design such as the Canadian Small Modular Reactor (SMR) or Small Micro-Modular Reactors (SMMRs) now being developed right here in Canada by Canadian companies. These SMR/SMMR reactors would be just about ideal for a smaller nuclear-powered/AIP submarine. A nuclear, battery-electric (LIB) hybrid is a potentially attractive alternative to the dominant nuclear turbo mechanical drive. One or more of these SMRs of say 20-30 MW of power each could be used to generate power to drive generators to constantly top-up LIBs. The ability to completely shut down a reactor module, and tightly match energy demand with supply, reduces the amount of excess waste (heat dumped). Machinery noise from the nuclear turbo-mechanical generator can be more readily controlled if the system is operated at (and optimized for a relatively narrow power band) with no requirements for rapid throttling as with a turbo-mechanical drive. Electricity generated can be stored in state-of-the-art LIBs. Electric power from batteries driving propulsors offer the prospect of extremely low radiated noise and yet maintain a high degree of “throttle-ability” with only limited compromises in sustained high speed cruising that would be a function of the nuclear plant’s power ramp and maximum output. Making the propulsor jets steerable and eliminating control fins is an additional benefit in minimizing the active signature. One of the biggest advantages of SMRs/SMMRs in a modern Hybrid AIP submarine design is that “snorting” of the submarine would be a thing of the past as energy would be continually stored in much improved LIBs for much better under ice endurance. This would also open up potential lucrative markets for this Canadian SMR nuclear technology. The Canadian developed SMR/SMMR reactor systems could be made small enough and inexpensive enough to make it accessible and cost-effective for smaller nuclear submarines.

Canada is uniquely positioned to quickly develop the SMR/SMMR technology through National/International companies such as: The Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL); Global First Power -an Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC)/Ontario Power Generation collaboration; Chalk River Nuclear Labratories (CRL) and UK based Moltex Energy. So, who might partner with Canada? The US, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia are all great potential partners. Each nation’s existing or planned submarine designs are potentially good candidates. In fact, the French are already working on a new hybrid Barracuda variant for Australia. A collaboration with Japan, which has begun work on its next generation of electric Soryu class submarines, can contribute certain technologies, like LIBs in which they excel. SMRs/SMMRs would also be an excellent and clean source of power for future surface vessels as well.

Conclusion:

If the Canadian government contributed a major portion of the development costs of Small Modular Reactors or Small Micro Modular Reactor power plants for hybrid submarines, it can be used to negotiate a better price on the subs, perhaps less than 1B CAD per sub (substantially lower than any standard nuclear sub being built today world-wide). It will also be the only small naval reactor power plant available that can potentially be used on surface vessels like the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) or even civilian vessels, reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from shipping and potentially opening up lucrative markets for Canadian nuclear technology. The question is, can such a unique hybrid sub design be built in quantity (more than 20) for less than 1B CAD a copy? The technology of the SMR/SMMR reactors is here now, and has been constantly up-graded and miniaturized over the past several decades and is on the brink of success. An up-dated NSS Plan with this innovative hybrid submarine design would be a game-changer for Canada. Faith in this program by Canadians and the government will forever banish the ghosts of the DeHavilland Arrow fiasco. It will be challenging, but Canadian ingenuity is up to it.

Canada’s Small Modular Reactor Action Plan

Small Modular Reactors

Small modular reactors - Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:)
 

Khafee

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This is an article I have written on Canadian Hybrid Submarine Designs, but has never been published. It is an opinion piece only and not for publication. Forum members are encouraged to read and give their own opinions-good or bad. Cheers!

A Canadian Hybrid Submarine Design

A Case For The “Small Modular/Micro Reactor (SM/MR)”

Nuclear propulsion is ideal for long distances and extended under-ice missions that are unique to Canada. Off-the-shelf AIP submarine designs that are direct replacements to the Victoria class, such as the French Barracuda Block 1A class being designed for Australia or the Japanese Soyru 29SS class AIP design with Lithium-Ion Battery (LIB) technologies or the German Type 216 submarine are interesting alternatives that extend the endurance of diesel submarines. But none of these options completely satisfactory Canadian submarine needs. The dominant paradigm for a modern nuclear-powered submarine is a steam generating reactor driving turbines that directly drive the propulsor or propeller. The French Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A being built for Australia offers a limited hybrid design that enables electric propulsion for low-speed cruising and turbo-mechanical drives at higher speeds, but is not competitive against nuclear-steam turbo-mechanical for blue water or arctic operations. Outrageous cost estimates for nuclear-powered submarines tend to cloud Canadian thinking for recapitalizing its submarine fleet. DND’s proposal for extending the lives of its four Victoria class conventional submarines for another 6-18 years appears a comparative bargain. But is there a better, more affordable and collaborative way?

The first challenge to costs is volume. Development, or non-recurring engineering costs make up a sizable percentage of the cost of any submarine fleet. If an existing, proven, hull can be slightly modified, it would be a major cost saver. That will require DND to end the habit of imposing onerous modifications that inevitably cause costs to explode. Another route to substantial cost savings is to share the development costs of major items like the propulsion and power plant with partners. Technologies like air independent propulsion (AIP) or LIBs that extend the endurance of diesel submarines but introduce major compromises in performance. But neither of these options are satisfactory for Canadian naval requirements. With or without AIP, diesel submarines are far too “short legged” – they are dependent on logistically complex supplies such as liquid oxygen that deplete quickly; and the engines are mechanically complex. These are distinct disadvantages given the long distances and extended under-ice missions that are unique to Canada.

Whenever a diesel “snorts”, it leaves a very visible plume of smoke and heat that is readily detectable. Then there is the deafening noise of diesels, even when equipped with the latest quieting technologies. Thus, nuclear propulsion in some form is still ideal for Canadian requirements. Due to their endurance, nuclear submarines tend to be blue water, ocean-going vessels. Los-Angeles and Virginia class fast attack submarines displace around 8,000 tons. French Barracuda SSNs are about 5,300 tons, UK’s Astutes are over 7,000 tons, while the Shortfin Barracuda (conventional version) is about 4-5,000 tons. Compared to the Victoria class SSKs at about 2,500 tons, they are large vessels. A fleet nuclear submarine (8,000+ ton range) is neither necessary nor ideal for Canadian waters. A smaller nuclear-powered attack submarine that is large enough to support a good-sized crew and carry unmanned systems would be ideal for Canada, but presently, none is available. Canadian submarines are most likely to operate in Canadian waters especially in the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic coasts up to the relatively shallow continental shelf. A Hybrid submarine would offer a novel solution. A fleet of hybrid nuclear submarines (5,000+ ton range) would be ideal for Canada. But building such a submarine with this kind of displacement with a 60 day endurance, transit speeds of 20 knots, burst speeds above 30 knots, and state of the art signature management technologies and support for unmanned platforms would be cost prohibitive for all but the largest Navies. Canada, does however, have an excellent emerging technology that can contribute to a joint venture from say the USA, France Germany or Japan for a new hybrid nuclear/AIP submarine design such as the Canadian Small Modular Reactor (SMR) or Small Micro-Modular Reactors (SMMRs) now being developed right here in Canada by Canadian companies. These SMR/SMMR reactors would be just about ideal for a smaller nuclear-powered/AIP submarine. A nuclear, battery-electric (LIB) hybrid is a potentially attractive alternative to the dominant nuclear turbo mechanical drive. One or more of these SMRs of say 20-30 MW of power each could be used to generate power to drive generators to constantly top-up LIBs. The ability to completely shut down a reactor module, and tightly match energy demand with supply, reduces the amount of excess waste (heat dumped). Machinery noise from the nuclear turbo-mechanical generator can be more readily controlled if the system is operated at (and optimized for a relatively narrow power band) with no requirements for rapid throttling as with a turbo-mechanical drive. Electricity generated can be stored in state-of-the-art LIBs. Electric power from batteries driving propulsors offer the prospect of extremely low radiated noise and yet maintain a high degree of “throttle-ability” with only limited compromises in sustained high speed cruising that would be a function of the nuclear plant’s power ramp and maximum output. Making the propulsor jets steerable and eliminating control fins is an additional benefit in minimizing the active signature. One of the biggest advantages of SMRs/SMMRs in a modern Hybrid AIP submarine design is that “snorting” of the submarine would be a thing of the past as energy would be continually stored in much improved LIBs for much better under ice endurance. This would also open up potential lucrative markets for this Canadian SMR nuclear technology. The Canadian developed SMR/SMMR reactor systems could be made small enough and inexpensive enough to make it accessible and cost-effective for smaller nuclear submarines.

Canada is uniquely positioned to quickly develop the SMR/SMMR technology through National/International companies such as: The Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL); Global First Power -an Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC)/Ontario Power Generation collaboration; Chalk River Nuclear Labratories (CRL) and UK based Moltex Energy. So, who might partner with Canada? The US, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia are all great potential partners. Each nation’s existing or planned submarine designs are potentially good candidates. In fact, the French are already working on a new hybrid Barracuda variant for Australia. A collaboration with Japan, which has begun work on its next generation of electric Soryu class submarines, can contribute certain technologies, like LIBs in which they excel. SMRs/SMMRs would also be an excellent and clean source of power for future surface vessels as well.

Conclusion:

If the Canadian government contributed a major portion of the development costs of Small Modular Reactors or Small Micro Modular Reactor power plants for hybrid submarines, it can be used to negotiate a better price on the subs, perhaps less than 1B CAD per sub (substantially lower than any standard nuclear sub being built today world-wide). It will also be the only small naval reactor power plant available that can potentially be used on surface vessels like the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) or even civilian vessels, reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from shipping and potentially opening up lucrative markets for Canadian nuclear technology. The question is, can such a unique hybrid sub design be built in quantity (more than 20) for less than 1B CAD a copy? The technology of the SMR/SMMR reactors is here now, and has been constantly up-graded and miniaturized over the past several decades and is on the brink of success. An up-dated NSS Plan with this innovative hybrid submarine design would be a game-changer for Canada. Faith in this program by Canadians and the government will forever banish the ghosts of the DeHavilland Arrow fiasco. It will be challenging, but Canadian ingenuity is up to it.

Canada’s Small Modular Reactor Action Plan

Small Modular Reactors

Small modular reactors - Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:)
Such well written articles, should be widely publicized!!
 

Khafee

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Thanks Khafee for that compliment. I intend on publishing it but just haven't decided what military publication I am willing to "hitch" my reins to yet.
One that law makers, and senior defence personnel pay attention to.
 

Khafee

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Most Law Makers and Senior Defence officials have "one-track" minds (if any at all). ;)
Another way of getting what you want is to lobby arms amnufacturers that "this" is needed, THEY will get it done.
 

GRANNY001

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Favouring a Renewed Canadian Submarine Capability

“This is an opinion piece by the author for forum members discussion only and not to be reproduced in any way on any other media.”


Acquiring new equipment for the Canadian Armed Forces is a drawn-out and complicated process that typically can take up to 15 years or longer. When it comes to Canada’s four boat Victoria-class diesel-electric submarines, a decision on new replacements must occur over the next few years to ensure the capability survives. The recent standup of the Submarine Replacement Program by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is the first step towards a decision process by the government. Currently, neither the government’s official defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged or the RCNs own strategic guidance, Leadmark 2050 Strategy, earmarks any replacements for the Victoria-class.

In my opinion (IMO) the case for retention of an RCN submarine capability is not only desirable, but necessary. Beneath the negative headlines is the story of a force multiplier that can shape the strategic behaviour of an adversary, gather critical intelligence information, insert special operations units, and strengthen Canada’s alliances. Submarines require a “disproportionate response from an adversary.” Unlike its destroyers, frigates and supply ships, none of the submarines used by the RCN were built in Canada.

The price tag associated with a modern submarine fleet along with the fleets’ checkered history raises the question of whether replacing the Victoria class is a viable option. Modern submarines, whether powered by nuclear, air independent propulsion (AIP) or diesel-electric systems, are some of the most complex machines to build. Only a handful of allied countries have the where-with-all to construct them including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, Sweden and Japan. The Australian experience with their Collins-class has demonstrated that creating a domestic submarine manufacturing industry from scratch is fraught with challenges, from securing local sources of steel, recruiting management and building expertise, and sorting out intellectual property negotiations. Even buying new submarines from a foreign supplier is not necessarily a cheap option. A 2003 DND audit noted that if Canada had bought four new submarines in 1998, as opposed to buying the second-hand British-made Victoria class for $897 million, the price tag would have ranged from $3 billion to $5 billion CAD.

In 1958, senior naval officials made the push for nuclear subs but costs and opposition from the USN, particularly over nuclear technology transfers, in conjunction with a contentious domestic nuclear debate, killed the idea; even though the government identified a two to three nuclear sub buy in the 1964 Defence White Paper.

Efforts at identifying a replacement for the Oberons began in the 1980s. Maritime Command initially proposed a new fleet of diesel-electric submarines but the government of the day, sensing domestic concern over US and Soviet submarine movements through Canadian-claimed Arctic waters, pushed for 10-12 nuclear-attack submarines. Announced in the 1987 White Paper, the nuclear plan met opposition from Canada’s allies. The US was still opposed to sharing nuclear technology. The French were willing to share their Rubis-class design but only if the first four or five subs were built in France. The lost promise of Canadian offsets coupled with the project’s price tag of $10 billion CAD in 1989 dollars, a deficit crisis, unfavourable public opinion, and a changed global security environment, put an end to the nuclear submarine project in 1989. Canada then faced the possibility of losing its submarine capability altogether. It was under these unique circumstances that the Victoria class was acquired. In 1994, the UK decided to turn to a nuclear-only submarine force thereby freeing up their four recently built Upholder diesel-electric submarines for sale.

The four Victoria-class submarines had an unenviable start – a fatal fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi in 2004, flooding on HMCS Corner Brook in 2002, six years in dry-dock for HMCS Victoria due to electrical problems, a five-year refit for HMCS Windsor in 2007-12, and the running aground of HMCS Corner Brook in 2011 not to mention the HMCS Corner Brook ballast tank testing fiasco in April 2021. Canada’s submarine fleet only achieved full operational status in 2015, 17 years after the government approved the purchase. The long time spent on ‘Canadianizing’ the subs and dealing with problems associated from their prolonged docking in saltwater in the UK have been well documented. Canada is now the only user of the Victoria class, effectively making the British-made subs an “orphan” class and generating difficulties in sourcing spare parts. It is tempting to view these challenges as vindication of criticism that submarines are not worth the expenditure of scarce resources. Missing from this narrative however, is a discussion of the capabilities and value that submarines bring to Canadian decision-makers.

First, at a strategic level, submarines are the ‘ultimate warfighting’ tool in a navy’s arsenal. Submarines give decision-makers the ability to both control an area of water and deter others from using it. This uniqueness derives from submarines’ physical and technological characteristics, chiefly the ability to remain underwater for long periods and to do so without detection. The Victoria class, for example, can operate in any weather conditions for periods of up to 45 days. The offensive power of a torpedo in combination with such endurance and stealth abilities often means that the mere presence of a submarine, whether “actual or inferred,” can change an adversary’s strategic calculus.

Second, a modern submarine gives a government unique intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The ISR component is arguably a more significant capability than sinking ships. The advantages of using submarines in this role is that they are extremely difficult to detect when submerged, and can go where planes and surface ships cannot. One modern diesel-electric submarine, with good sonar/towed array capabilities can cover more surveillance areas than five to six ships would be needed to cover the same areas. In the post-Cold War era, navies have increasingly found themselves operating in the world’s littoral zones. Here the dual effect of shallower waters and close proximity to shoreline makes surface naval vessels more vulnerable to anti-access/area denial (A2AD) weapons like cruise missiles and attack aircraft; factors recognized in Leadmark 2050. Maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters are likely to encounter air defences in such environments. Today, countries big and small, from China and Russia to Iran and North Korea, have turned to A2AD weapons to counter the advanced and numerical capabilities of not only the US Navy, and specifically its aircraft carrier battlegroups, but also US allies. Even non-state actors have relied on A2AD weapons to devastating effect. In this international security environment, the submarine remains a proven and invaluable tool in collecting ISR data. Modern submarines can detect high frequency, very high frequency and ultra -high frequency signals and cellphone transmissions. Because they are difficult to locate, they can remain in position for extended periods to gather both signal intercepts and monitor military and commercial maritime activity. Canada’s Oberon and Victoria class submarines have performed ISR activities in the past. The former monitored Soviet nuclear ballistic-missile submarines during the latter years of the Cold War and gathered intelligence on numerous fishing and drug enforcement missions in the early 1990s. In recent years, the Victoria class has participated in anti-drug smuggling missions in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, the secretive nature of ISR missions prohibits the sharing of much operational information; however, it is noteworthy that in May 2019 DND announced that the Victoria class might be deployed to help enforce UN sanctions against North Korea.

Third, owning a credible submarine capability brings prestige and intelligence access. As a member of the “sub club”, Canada is a participant in a global Water Space Management (WSM) regime that grants decision-makers access to information on allied submarine operations necessary to avoid mutual interference. When not on missions, Canada’s submarines have proven a valuable tool in strengthening alliances. The US Navy, which lacks the diesel-electric submarines commonly used by its adversaries, has regularly sought opportunities to train against Canadian submarines, including in 2017-18 in the western Pacific.

Finally, the submarine remains the most effective means to counter the threat of another submarine. IMO Canada needs a new fleet of between 10 to 12 modern, effective submarines with a sustained propulsion system, infrastructure and manpower required to deal with any future missions assigned to the RCN.
 

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Australia has now done an about-face and scrapped the 12 boat French DNCS Barracuda Block 1A submarine deal. The French naturally are livid but the deal between the US, UK and Australia has just been announced to transfer Nuclear Technology to Australia. Up to 8 Nuclear attack Submarines are to be built. Whether it be Astute class or Virginia class boats is not clear as yet. Will this give Canada new momentum to make a deal with the US to also transfer their Nuclear Technology to Canada. Australia's deal with the US & UK does not involve any nuclear weapons. More to follow.

www.scmp.com

Nuclear submarines for Australia a boost to region’s hard power, analysts say

The agreement is seen as giving teeth to existing accords that critics previously said did not reflect the changing balance of power in the region.
www.scmp.com
www.scmp.com
 

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In my opinion, this decision by Australia had been simmering in the background for if not months, then ever since the contract was signed in 2016 between the Australian government and DNCS France for 12 French Barracuda Block 1A diesel submarines. Little by little DNCS seemed to be pulling back on the agreement WRT technology transfers, enormous cost increases and other demands by DNCS and the French government. The Australian government had enough and made the decision to cancel the project altogether. To be fair though, Australia obviously had been in secret negotiations with both the United States and United Kingdom for this nuclear technology transfer many months ago and the Pact was then finally solidified and published. 8 nuclear attack submarines are to be built for Australia in Australia. Whether it be Astute-class or Virginia-class boats is not yet clear. The French are naturally very upset by this seemingly surprising decision and caught other non-allied states “off-guard”. Will this give Canada new momentum to make a deal with the US to also transfer its nuclear technology to Canada? Remember 1987 when Canada tried to buy Trafalgar class SSNs from the UK? If the US and UK were willing to share their nuclear technology with Australia to create a triad pact of three nuclear powers, then perhaps it is time for Canada to re-visit the nuclear submarine option as well, and barter a deal for this technology for a 5 eyes pact. If this could be done, perhaps a better deal could be reached between the United States and/or the United Kingdom for an 8-10 Virginia/Astute class Canadian submarine fleet. These subs would be SSN only attack boats with no nuclear weapons capabilities and would give Canada a great option for Arctic surveillance and ISR capabilities well into the 21st century. Something to consider for the RCN Submarine Project just announced.
 

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Australia has now done an about-face and scrapped the 12 boat French DNCS Barracuda Block 1A submarine deal. The French naturally are livid but the deal between the US, UK and Australia has just been announced to transfer Nuclear Technology to Australia. Up to 8 Nuclear attack Submarines are to be built. Whether it be Astute class or Virginia class boats is not clear as yet. Will this give Canada new momentum to make a deal with the US to also transfer their Nuclear Technology to Canada. Australia's deal with the US & UK does not involve any nuclear weapons. More to follow.

www.scmp.com

Nuclear submarines for Australia a boost to region’s hard power, analysts say

The agreement is seen as giving teeth to existing accords that critics previously said did not reflect the changing balance of power in the region.
www.scmp.com
www.scmp.com
I think if Canada commits to the Indo-Pac theater somehow, it can get the same deal?
 

GRANNY001

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I think if Canada commits to the Indo-Pac theater somehow, it can get the same deal?
Maybe. But we tried this once before in 1987 when Canada wanted to buy British Trafalgar class SSNs but the US would not release any of their nuclear technology then. Could it happen now? Who knows????≈ç∂ß
 

Gripen9

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Maybe. But we tried this once before in 1987 when Canada wanted to buy British Trafalgar class SSNs but the US would not release any of their nuclear technology then. Could it happen now? Who knows????≈ç∂ß
As we say — InshaAllah (God Willing) 😁
 
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