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Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship AOPS

GR66

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Following up here on a point raised in the CSC thread...

The Batch 2 River Class OPV are nice ships, but your pushing into the territory of the AOP`s , not the CSC. The Kingston's fulfill roles that neither the AOPs or the CSC/Halifax can do properly like mine hunting....

My (extremely limited) understanding of mine counter-measures is that most the work nowadays is taken care of by USVs, UUVs and even UAVs rather than traditional fibreglass hulled mine-hunting ships. Is this a role that the AOPs actually could take over/support the Kingston-class with?
 

Stoker

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Following up here on a point raised in the CSC thread...



My (extremely limited) understanding of mine counter-measures is that most the work nowadays is taken care of by USVs, UUVs and even UAVs rather than traditional fibreglass hulled mine-hunting ships. Is this a role that the AOPs actually could take over/support the Kingston-class with?
That's true however AOPS do not have degausing gear and less economical to operate than a Kingston Class. Would you want to risk a high costing asset like a AOPS or a low costing asset like the Kingston Class.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I believe you are correct, but the Kingston is smaller which allows it to go places the bigger ships can't and as mentioned costs and crewing are a factor.
 

NavyShooter

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Ah good, we've finally realized that the KIN class are expendable ;-)

In all seriousness, it's nice to see a 3rd AOPS so far along, but it's right to say that they are not a replacement for the Kingston class - they have a different role and different capability set.
 

Navy_Pete

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That's true however AOPS do not have degausing gear and less economical to operate than a Kingston Class. Would you want to risk a high costing asset like a AOPS or a low costing asset like the Kingston Class.
I think as the Kingston class are nearing the end of life with no extension project planned, that question will be academic sooner rather than later.

Good little ships though, and would be nice to have something between the AOPS and the ORCAs, but I think trying to replace them after taking on all the AOPs, rolling out JSS would be too much for what bodies are available, and am glad we're starting to transition to more reservists operating on the heavies now.
 

Stoker

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I think as the Kingston class are nearing the end of life with no extension project planned, that question will be academic sooner rather than later.

Good little ships though, and would be nice to have something between the AOPS and the ORCAs, but I think trying to replace them after taking on all the AOPs, rolling out JSS would be too much for what bodies are available, and am glad we're starting to transition to more reservists operating on the heavies now.
Kingston Class Chief Engineer here, in fact Chief Engineer of the lead ship of the class HMCS Kingston and we just came out of our docking. The ships are in very good shape and have been upgraded in their 60M dockings. Not a life extension but new OPS room, degaussing, gyro's, steering control system, machinery control system, PLC's etc. The ships are well maintained by outside contractor and have not had any issues structurally. The plan is to update as required and keep them around for another decade. Still incredibly useful and economical to run.
West Coast MCDV just came out of refit.
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Oldgateboatdriver

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Fully agree with Stoker here: Lots of life left in the MCDVs and still useful little ships ... with more potential than most people give them credit for.

Orcas are not HMCS.

Not sure what you mean by that Dapaterson ???

Neither are the RHibs or other boats we use for harbour defence, nor were the PBL's when we had some in the reserve. But in both cases they are part of the "uniformed" forces of the DND and both have been used at times for security purposes (Montreal olympics, Oka crisis, Vancouver olympics, post 9-11 naval base security, so forth). Just because a vessel is not commissioned (hence not an HMCS) doesn't mean it's not a military vessel/boat.

This is the next generation of mine hunting ships, likley to specialised for the RCN, who wants Unicorns, ummm I mean multi-purpose vessels. https://euro-sd.com/2020/09/headline/18841/belgian-and-dutch-naval-replacement-programmes/

he RN is looking at similar type of vessels and concept of mine warfare for their Hunt class replacements, and Sandown class down the road. Something about 85-90 meters, and coming in at about 2,000 tons. That makes them in the same size class as our old steamers.
 

GR66

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Sorry to contribute to the MCM derail of this thread, but as noted in the Belgian/Dutch article they are not going with a degaussed hull for their new MCM vessels and instead use USVs/UUV's with over-the-horizon deployability to conduct MCM operations, so potentially I guess the AOPS and any future Kingston-class replacement with the ability to deploy USVs/UUVs could conduct MCM operations if required.

Could such an over-the-horizon MCM role with the stone frigates replacing mother ships not become a role for the Naval Reserve in terms of protecting our major ports? Having this as an assigned role could build up a core of trained MCM personnel in the Reserves that could then be available for deployment on a ship for when expeditionary MCM operations are required.
 

Navy_Pete

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Kingston Class Chief Engineer here, in fact Chief Engineer of the lead ship of the class HMCS Kingston and we just came out of our docking. The ships are in very good shape and have been upgraded in their 60M dockings. Not a life extension but new OPS room, degaussing, gyro's, steering control system, machinery control system, PLC's etc. The ships are well maintained by outside contractor and have not had any issues structurally. The plan is to update as required and keep them around for another decade. Still incredibly useful and economical to run.
West Coast MCDV just came out of refit.
Fully agree with you there; I was thinking of longer term. A decade takes us out until 2031, but as more AOPS and JSS come online we'll probably be forced to make cuts to pay for that ISSC at the cost of MWAV, and a phased retirement of the MCDVs is going to happen anyway. We should have four or so AOPS in service by then, with a few more ramping up, and one or both JSS in full service.The frigates will be hitting 40 with maybe another full ships cycle or two before CSC, so the maintenance/sustainment costs on those are only going up as well.

I think we needed an MCDV replacement more than we needed an AOPS for the military functions, but that's what the goverment wants so that's what we're stuck with. They're good little ships and I have nothing but respect for the crew (after being beaten up on a day sail for a simple power trial) but things move slowly enough that we probably need to start planning now for when they are gone, and working on things to do with the NSS normally talk in 20+ year timelines.

I was involved in all the decisions to support the 280s and tankers after the budgets got slashed (and MCDVs were tied up for a bit) and it was pretty ugly. Expect we'll have a similar round for the MCDVs and then the CPFs (which I'll probably be long retired/dead by then).
 

dapaterson

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When push comes to shove, and cost becomes a driving force, MCDVs will still sail and frigates will be turned into razor blades. More life left in MCDV hulls than frigates.
 

Navy_Pete

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When push comes to shove, and cost becomes a driving force, MCDVs will still sail and frigates will be turned into razor blades. More life left in MCDV hulls than frigates.
I think both are in pretty rough shape, but the frigates should have fairly easy to support combat systems, and can carry a helo, so they bring a lot to the party.

Logically, might make sense to sacrifice a few frigates to keep some MCDVs, but can't see that happening politically. I also can't see the frigates making it until CSC starts to be delivered, so some of them may 'self retire' anyway (like PRE).

We're starting to bring in Lloyd's surveyors; I think the brakes will slam on that once we start adopting their more extensive hull surveys they start doing as the ship gets old and they tell us we need to replace half the steel and most of the piping.
 
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