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Canadian Surface Combatant RFQ

KevinB

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No idea. There is an argument to be made that if you have 30mm you don't need a 50 cal. I can see mounts for a 50 though, amidships and on the bridge wings for going into and out of harbor in a higher force protection state. Should do it like the UK though. Get a 7.62 minigun.
.50 Minigun, because it’s a ship, and WhyTF not ;)
 

KevinB

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Collateral damage to the neighbourhood as its for entry and exits of harbour, but I would love to see it. So badass.
If you need to fire a Minigun in a harbor / I’m pretty sure stuff has gone seriously pear shaped.
I’d use a DMR first then C6 - if that isn’t solving the issue then escalate to GAU-19 and then 30mm for the win.
 

RedFive

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We can maintain even 3 shipyards, if the government does not insist on running the DND and CCG vessel for their lifespan +20 years. What we need is a rule/law that no government ship will be older than 20 years and must be replaced by then. That will reduce running costs and keep the fleets and the yards modern.
Only if the will is there to follow the policy/law/rule.

To my knowledge, the RCMP has a policy that our vehicles shall be replaced at 160,000kms or 10 years of age, whichever comes first. I'll let you guess how much of the fleet is actually compliant...
 

KevinB

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Only if the will is there to follow the policy/law/rule.

To my knowledge, the RCMP has a policy that our vehicles shall be replaced at 160,000kms or 10 years of age, whichever comes first. I'll let you guess how much of the fleet is actually compliant...
That’s crazy - especially for hiway cars.
Most Fed entities down here are under 50k miles (some under 20) OR three years.
 

Underway

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GAU-19/A is a very reasonable ‘middle ground.’
👍🏼
Lol. With the NRWS a normal 50 is quite accurate. Certainly much better than manual stabilization from a bobbing moving ship using an Mk1 Eyeball tracking of a bobbing moving boat. You only need one bullet to hit one of those boats to ruin the day of everyone onboard so a burst from an RWS does some work. The squishy person is the main target, but we'll take a blown-out engine or sizable hole in the boat as well.

A GAU-19 on an NRWS equivalent likely loses some of its advantages (beaten zone) as it becomes stabilized and accurate. But god damn it would be amazing to see.
 

Good2Golf

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A GAU-19 on an NRWS equivalent likely loses some of its advantages (beaten zone) as it becomes stabilized and accurate. But god damn it would be amazing to see.
Underway, valid point, but don’t worry, GDAS thought about the beaten zone and can custom adjust the barrels alignment to shape the beaten zone at any particular range you want.

I saw the GAU-19/A live fired at GDAS’ Ethan Allen Range in Vermont. The /A variant was dual-rate selectable: 1000 or 2000 rd/min. At 1000, it’s a beast. At 2000, it’s beyond beast like, yet incredibly smooth and balanced in the mount.
 

KevinB

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I’ve only used the GAU off a GMV, but the beaten zone isn’t a need for a Minigun as you can be very selective with short bursts.

A friend of mine (now retired) was hand loading Mk211 (Raufoss) belts for missions, with 1:1 Mk221 to M20 (API-T).
Was very impressive - but that’s probably the only unit willing to pay for that on the planet.
 

Uzlu

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Bigger warships will require big investment in Halifax Shipyard

It’s not just the bill that’s growing; the boats are getting bigger, too.

And the proposed design of the replacement for our aging frigates has outgrown the facilities to build, launch and repair them, so those will need expensive upgrades or replacements.

According to statements made by Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin Mooney, the money for those upgrades will need to come quite soon if it is to begin cutting steel on schedule in 2024.

“Basically it’s a larger ship, it’s a more complex ship,” Mooney said at a recent defence conference in Ottawa.

“So we have to upgrade portions of the shipyard to be able to handle both the capability and the capacity. And, also, we don’t want to bring a very high risk to the construction process.”

Irving representatives refused to comment on details of any request at an announcement of provincial funding for skilled trades held at the Halifax Shipyard on Wednesday.

The federal government, meanwhile, won’t acknowledge that it has received such a request to allow construction to begin on the Canadian surface combatant in 2024, let alone for how much.

“PSPC remains committed to working with our shipbuilding partners to ensure (National Shipbuilding Strategy) projects are delivered in a timely and efficient manner,” reads a written response to Chronicle Herald questions by Public Services and Procurement Canada.

“This includes continuously assessing potential risks facing shipbuilding projects, and putting in place effective mitigation strategies where needed. At this stage, we cannot comment on specific requests from shipyards.”

While Irving and the federal government won’t tell the taxpayer how much they’re being asked to pay, what it’s for or whether we’re going to pay it, Timothy Choi has some idea. The fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute has followed and written on the surface combatant program as the ships’ size, capabilities and cost have grown.

“The biggest cost factor for the expansion is how we get the ships into the water,” said Choi.

The Arctic and offshore patrol ships being built by Irving are launched using a barge that can sink down in the water, allowing the completed vessel to float off. The semi-submersible barge is leased from Norway and is not big enough to launch the larger Type 26 ship.

“Irving was looking at something more permanent, a synchro-lift,” said Choi.

“It’s what we currently have to raise subs and frigates onto dry land in Halifax. The ship sails in and the bottom of the dock lifts up like a giant elevator.”

While the main construction building is large enough for the Type 26, Choi said some processes and equipment will have to be moved or upgraded.

Beyond the building and launching of the new ships there will be the issue of the facilities to maintain them. The current dry dock was originally built in the 1800s and, according to Choi, is “barely adequate” for the Halifax-class frigates.

A new one will be needed for maintaining the ships after they go in the water. The first of the new generation of ships is not anticipated to be operational until the early 2030s, so the upgraded dry dock might not come right away.

Choi was hesitant to give figures but posited the required upgrades (dry dock included) “could” be within the $500-million range.

“There’s been a lack of investment over several decades,” said Choi.

“We’re building ships that exceed the parameters of the facility. So that infrastructure needs to be renewed and it’s coming along with the ships themselves. That will cost a heck of a lot.”

The ship dimensions

“This is arguably not even a destroyer; this is a cruiser, is what it is,” said Ken Hansen, retired navy commander and current defence analyst, of what we know of the evolving plan for the new ship.

For his part, Choi would argue that the new ships don’t warrant the larger cruiser designation.

Regardless, the new ships will be a lot bigger and more capable than the 12 frigates (4,700 tonnes displacement) and four already retired Iroquois Class destroyers (5,100 tonnes) they are replacing.

They’ve grown in size so far to an official estimate of 8,080 tonnes. But the design isn’t complete and, according to the MacDonald-Laurier Institute publication No Other Option released last December, the decision to use a larger, more advanced radar system will bring displacement up to over 9,000 tonnes when the ship is fully loaded.

The Lockheed-Martin Spy-7 system will allow the ships to provide area ballistic missile defence for itself and nearby ships. The radar, which looks like a big pyramid, allows the ships to track and shoot down multiple targets at once with missiles packed into 30 bays.

While the Halifax- and Iroquois-class ships carried surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, this new ship will also be capable of carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles that can hit targets 1,700 kilometres away.

The growing size and capabilities led the Parliamentary Budget Officer to estimate the cost of the 15 ships at $77.3 billion.

“That price is going to go up,” said Hansen.

“I’ve seen their spreadsheets. . . . The length and weight (increases) will drive it up, plus the extra power, then the Spy-7 radar system will be eye-wateringly expensive.”

Hansen argues that Canada could have saved money by having the Spy-7 system on three or four ships and less advanced radar on the others.

He said Canada previously maintained a “tiered fleet structure” with more advanced guided missile destroyers and accompanying frigates, like our allies.

“Which is normal because no one can afford it to all be at the highest level,” said Hansen.

“But in Canada nothing else will do.”

Others, including Choi and the MacDonald-Laurier Institute, argue that having all the ships with advanced capabilities will provide economies of scale while also allowing Canada to maintain constant readiness on both coasts.

“To maintain a constant state of readiness you will have one ship deployed, one in maintenance and one in training,” said Choi.

“If the purpose of the military is to be an insurance police then you should build it to be a credible insurance policy, not something that is halfway.”
 

MTShaw

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I hoped that we wouldn’t have to go back for the reasoning behind the single-surface-combatant: The only way to have the load out you want is for the changes only to occur in the VLS.

4-5 billion a year is a good deal for our SPY-7 NORAD/nato obligations.
 

Underway

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I think if you run a search with the keywords "Ugh, Ken Hansen" on this board there would be more than one hit for sure.

Ken needs to go back to school and understand how ships are classified (tip: It's not by how big they are, it's about what their role is).

The criticism about a tiered fleet is valid to an extent. The destroyer + frigate + AOR fleet mix is a valuable one, but because of the RCN two fleet structure, you run the risk of not having one of the tiers available. The RCN has just had the experience of losing two capabilities because of a tiered fleet structure. Moving forward we are not going to have that happen again.

Timothy puts out some good info. I was not thinking about drydock and synchro lift compatibility.

I have a lot of time for Timothy Choi. One of the few military writers in Canada who doesn't seem to have an agenda and writes a balanced perspective that is often more facts based.
 

Czech_pivo

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Has Irving won the maintenance contract on the new frigates?


Beyond the building and launching of the new ships there will be the issue of the facilities to maintain them. The current dry dock was originally built in the 1800s and, according to Choi, is “barely adequate” for the Halifax-class frigates.

A new one will be needed for maintaining the ships after they go in the water. The first of the new generation of ships is not anticipated to be operational until the early 2030s, so the upgraded dry dock might not come right away.


The drydocks at Davie's facility are large enough today to accommodate the yet to be built frigates, the rest of their facilities might need to be refurbished, the drydocks are big enough - At 351m, the Champlain Dry Dock is Canada's largest graving dock. The Champlain Dry Dock is 36.57m wide - you can actually fit 2 Type 26's end to end in that Dry Dock....
 

Underway

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No they haven't AFAIK, but you can't have a fleet on the coast without a super easy maintenance drydock adjacent. Sometimes a ship just needs to go into the ditch quickly.
 

SeaKingTacco

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No they haven't AFAIK, but you can't have a fleet on the coast without a super easy maintenance drydock adjacent. Sometimes a ship just needs to go into the ditch quickly.
I wonder if the solution for Halifax is a floating drydock? The shoreline real estate situation there is not exactly conducive to a brand new, in ground drydock. Unless maybe the low side of Shearwater gets dug up.
 

Underway

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I wonder if the solution for Halifax is a floating drydock? The shoreline real estate situation there is not exactly conducive to a brand new, in ground drydock. Unless maybe the low side of Shearwater gets dug up.
A floating drydock or a synchro lift of the appropriate size would be valuable. Its a good idea for sure.
 
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