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Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs)

Navy_Pete

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Not really, the ships are used as swiss army knives because the crews enable that usage with minimal extra equipment, and you can do a lot of non-war things (SAR, stricken vessel assistance, disaster relief etc) with the same crew and equipment. They also operate independently for extended periods, where the uncrewed ships are really just short term sails with breaks for repairs.

That's why the application they are being looked at is things like going from A to B carrying cargo, with someone remotely monitoring the driving. The tradeoff is there is no concurrent maintenance activities, so it all has to be done alongside, meaning longer turnaround times.

For far in the future, sure, maybe some things could be done via uncrewed ships, but MCDVs are 30 yeas old with no extension planned. That would be the replacement's replacement (if one was on the books, but there isn't at the moment).

We don't have the people to develop that kind of tech though, so would be banking on whatever the USN and other large navies/commercial operators are doing. I'm guessing at some point in the near future we'll probably start divesting MCDVs to free up crew for AOPs, and at that point someone will realize that small ships that can take different pack up kits and do MCM is useful, starting some panic to get yet another PMO set up.

And we actually are in an either/or situation just because of the HR limits. There is a small cell of 'innovation' people looking at this kind of thing, but it's not really meaningful development that would roll through to an actual product, it's really just a small 'good ideas club' to do initial investigation and then pass it over to others to run with it. The others are already flat out and understaffed to meet existing demands. If we aren't buying routine spares because we don't have enough people to keep up with high priority requests we don't have people for new projects. Currently have a number of 'safety related' projects parked because I don't have enough people to do them all, so doing the safety critical ones first. 'New capability' projects don't even get in the hopper.
 

GR66

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Not really, the ships are used as swiss army knives because the crews enable that usage with minimal extra equipment, and you can do a lot of non-war things (SAR, stricken vessel assistance, disaster relief etc) with the same crew and equipment. They also operate independently for extended periods, where the uncrewed ships are really just short term sails with breaks for repairs.

That's why the application they are being looked at is things like going from A to B carrying cargo, with someone remotely monitoring the driving. The tradeoff is there is no concurrent maintenance activities, so it all has to be done alongside, meaning longer turnaround times.

For far in the future, sure, maybe some things could be done via uncrewed ships, but MCDVs are 30 yeas old with no extension planned. That would be the replacement's replacement (if one was on the books, but there isn't at the moment).

We don't have the people to develop that kind of tech though, so would be banking on whatever the USN and other large navies/commercial operators are doing. I'm guessing at some point in the near future we'll probably start divesting MCDVs to free up crew for AOPs, and at that point someone will realize that small ships that can take different pack up kits and do MCM is useful, starting some panic to get yet another PMO set up.

And we actually are in an either/or situation just because of the HR limits. There is a small cell of 'innovation' people looking at this kind of thing, but it's not really meaningful development that would roll through to an actual product, it's really just a small 'good ideas club' to do initial investigation and then pass it over to others to run with it. The others are already flat out and understaffed to meet existing demands. If we aren't buying routine spares because we don't have enough people to keep up with high priority requests we don't have people for new projects. Currently have a number of 'safety related' projects parked because I don't have enough people to do them all, so doing the safety critical ones first. 'New capability' projects don't even get in the hopper.
Perhaps part of the problem is that we're trying to look at these things on our own instead of partnering with allies like the USN to develop these capabilities.

The US 5th Fleet established Task Force 59 last fall to test and deploy unmanned platforms specifically in conjunction with allied nations in their AO (links Here and Here). Its operations include testing, rapid prototyping with civilian contractors and actual deployments. These platforms are conducting surveillance missions not just cargo transport. Their most recent exercise brought together over 80 unmanned systems from 10 countries. They've had platforms deployed and providing surveillance for 100 days straight without maintenance or resupply.

Granted these are smaller systems not things like XLUUVs, etc. but that to my mind is where you start and build your way up. And I read in another article (can't find the link right now unfortunately) that Task Force 59 has a staff of 24 personnel (10 of which are Reservists).

As to the RCN's crisis in manning resulting in issues like basic maintenance not being performed and the inability to purchase basic spare parts, then I guess that really is just another example of how truly F'd our military leadership is. Honestly, if we have the 6th largest defence budget in NATO and the Navy is falling apart, the Air Force is flying fighters that are older than the pilots and the Army is incapable of fighting a peer enemy without Allies providing us with key weapons systems then there really should be a Royal Commission to investigate the near criminal waste of money that has been perpetrated on the Canadian public by the senior military leadership. [/rant]
 

Navy_Pete

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Do you really need a royal commision to tell you it's really expensive to fix old, obsolete equipment, and if you are sailing ships with half crews, and have the LCMM support and procurement roles half empty for a decade it will catch up to you?

Not rocket surgery, just need more people with less on their plate so the workload is manageable, and a fleet schedule that allows enough time between sailing to get things fixed and obsolete equipment replaced. It's not any one major things, but 1000 small things can still collectively kill you, and is a lot harder to understand the impact from the bottom up level, or see it at the 10,000 ft level.
 

FJAG

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Technically the Army decided on neither ;)
Well there's one on the go.


Objective​

The GBAD system will provide tactical air defence protection to friendly forces and vital installations during expeditionary and domestic operations against the increasingly diverse air threat.

Requirements​

The majority of items to be acquired by this project will be fielded, commercial-off-the-shelf technology. The target threats are rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) munitions, air to surface missiles (ASM) and bombs, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

The Project will deliver an air defence system that will include the effector platform(s) (either guns, missiles, Directed Energy Weapon Systems, EW or a combination thereof), munitions, a sensor suite, fire control software and an integrated networked C4ISR system.

It will also be equipped with a training and simulation system that leverages modelling and simulation to provide realistic and immersive training.

Funding Range​

$250 million to $499 million

Anticipated Timeline (Fiscal Year)​

  • 2019/2020 Start Options Analysis
  • 2020/2021 Start Definition
  • 2023/2024 Start Implementation
  • 2026/2027 Initial Delivery
  • 2029/2030 Final Delivery

🍻
 

Stoker

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So right now now at sea in one of the Kingston Class on Op Reassurance. Ships have reached or are reaching its design life of 25 years. ABS did their survey and found the ships fit for 15 more years as they are in pretty good shape. All Kingston class will he extended for the first 5 years, after which it's expected to start paying them off 2 at a time. So you more than likely see the Kingston Class around for further 15 years. That could of course change as the ships provide incredible value in operational savings and in crewing with low maintenance costs.

No official replacement yet however plenty of concept artwork the replacements. Expected requirements similar to the Kingston class with 25 knot speed, longer and with a gun. So basically a MCDV with some of the biggest deficiencies corrected.
 

SeaKingTacco

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So right now now at sea in one of the Kingston Class on Op Reassurance. Ships have reached or are reaching its design life of 25 years. ABS did their survey and found the ships fit for 15 more years as they are in pretty good shape. All Kingston class will he extended for the first 5 years, after which it's expected to start paying them off 2 at a time. So you more than likely see the Kingston Class around for further 15 years. That could of course change as the ships provide incredible value in operational savings and in crewing with low maintenance costs.

No official replacement yet however plenty of concept artwork the replacements. Expected requirements similar to the Kingston class with 25 knot speed, longer and with a gun. So basically a MCDV with some of the biggest deficiencies corrected.
Well, if it basically works, might as well keep going with the basic design.
 

GK .Dundas

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I doubt that hull shape would do 25 knots even if you fired her engine with nitromethanol.
 

GK .Dundas

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I had heard the that.
I would purely love to see the original design or even just an artist's conceptual drawing.
 

SeaKingTacco

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I had heard the that.
I would purely love to see the original design or even just an artist's conceptual drawing.
I had heard the Kingstons should have been 3 m longer, but have never seen that written anywhere.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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MCDV's hulls are exactly the lenght that they had in the proposals that were filed for the final competition. As is the rated top speed.

Little history here: At the time the replacement of the small vessels came up, the Naval reserve had been tasked with coastal defense. The various working groups indicated a need for three classes of vessels: HSV (Harbour Surveillance Vessel, about 50 tons), ISV (Inshore Surveillance Vessels, about 500 tons - 20 Kts capable), and CSV (Coastal Surveillance Vessels, about 1000-1200 tons - 25 Kts capable). No intent on being able to do any mine warfare. The program experienced some delays while the top brass made a decision on which of the ISV or CSV to build first.

At the same time, the submarine replacement program was in full swing and suddenly, the Conservative governement wanted to switch it to nuclear boats. Maritime Command (as it was then) realised that nuclear boats constituted a sufficiently important asset to greatly increase the risks of mining attacks in the approaches of the main fleet harbours and scrambled to come up with a set of requirements for EDATS (Extreme Depth Armed Team Sweeps) and mine clearance vessels to protect the subs. They decided to use the money from the small vessels replacement program to do that, but to provide for some patrol capability, made the specs call for some patrol capability and some greater speed (Mine Warfare vessels typicall do about 11-12 Kts).

That's how the MCDV, as opposed to the CSV/ISV, came to be.

For the replacement, they are obviously planning on going back to something akin to the CSV, and since minehunting can now be done mostly remotely from containeurized packages and remotely piloted boats, you can optimize the vessel for patrol without loss of MW capability.
 

TacticalTea

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MCDV's hulls are exactly the lenght that they had in the proposals that were filed for the final competition. As is the rated top speed.

Little history here: At the time the replacement of the small vessels came up, the Naval reserve had been tasked with coastal defense. The various working groups indicated a need for three classes of vessels: HSV (Harbour Surveillance Vessel, about 50 tons), ISV (Inshore Surveillance Vessels, about 500 tons - 20 Kts capable), and CSV (Coastal Surveillance Vessels, about 1000-1200 tons - 25 Kts capable). No intent on being able to do any mine warfare. The program experienced some delays while the top brass made a decision on which of the ISV or CSV to build first.

At the same time, the submarine replacement program was in full swing and suddenly, the Conservative governement wanted to switch it to nuclear boats. Maritime Command (as it was then) realised that nuclear boats constituted a sufficiently important asset to greatly increase the risks of mining attacks in the approaches of the main fleet harbours and scrambled to come up with a set of requirements for EDATS (Extreme Depth Armed Team Sweeps) and mine clearance vessels to protect the subs. They decided to use the money from the small vessels replacement program to do that, but to provide for some patrol capability, made the specs call for some patrol capability and some greater speed (Mine Warfare vessels typicall do about 11-12 Kts).

That's how the MCDV, as opposed to the CSV/ISV, came to be.

For the replacement, they are obviously planning on going back to something akin to the CSV, and since minehunting can now be done mostly remotely from containeurized packages and remotely piloted boats, you can optimize the vessel for patrol without loss of MW capability.
That's incredible, do you have any documents/sources that delve into that? Would love read more about it.

And so would you expect that one of the initial types of unmanned vessels would be dedicated to MW?
 

Colin Parkinson

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That's incredible, do you have any documents/sources that delve into that? Would love read more about it.

And so would you expect that one of the initial types of unmanned vessels would be dedicated to MW?
Go back and look at the two vessels I posted a couple pages back. The new Belgium/French MCM vessel is a mothership to a bunch of unmanned minehunting platforms. That is the real future for unmanned stuff.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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That's incredible, do you have any documents/sources that delve into that? Would love read more about it.

I am sure historians would be able to trace back the minutes from the various working groups and tiger teams. I am recollecting from my time as Commander Coastal Defense Sector Laurentian (we had decided to split then areas and sectors along the Coast Guard one's to make communication simpler. The plan itself, that we were working from and updating simultaneously was MAOP 320, IIRC.
 

TacticalTea

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I am sure historians would be able to trace back the minutes from the various working groups and tiger teams. I am recollecting from my time as Commander Coastal Defense Sector Laurentian (we had decided to split then areas and sectors along the Coast Guard one's to make communication simpler. The plan itself, that we were working from and updating simultaneously was MAOP 320, IIRC.
Ah, oral history!

What assets was Laurentian responsible for? Were some of the MCDV's predecessors scattered around the Laurentian basin?

Was that a full time job? Or part time, akin to current reserve commands?

Sorry for all the questions but you've piqued my curiosity!
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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It was a part time job, akin to current reserve command.

At the time, we had no asset as we were just resuscitating the capability. We started (in good Canadian fashion) by setting up HQ to define the requirements, prepare/update the plan and then build up from there. There were three areas (to be brought up to four when Arctic stood up) corresponding to the Coast Guard ones: Pacific, Atlantic and Laurentian, which corresponded to the Coast Guard Central region. For Laurentian, we had our HQ in the Montreal Harbour administration building.

Each area was under the command of a Captain, with a Commander as deputy commander, then the various sectors had a Lcdr in command. My sector, within Laurentian, was designated "St-Lawrence", with my counterpart in Toronto commanding sector "Great Lakes". We ran at least two CPX, that I can recall.

While no pre-MCDV vessels were assigned to the tasks, the whole of the Naval Reserve was re-organized around coastal defense and Shipping Control at that time. Prior to that, N.R.U.'s were basically dedicated to individual training. In a single summer, they were redirected to become providers of operational crews, a bit like the US Naval Reserves, and concentrated on team training under the CFCD102 to fill the needs of coastal defense/NCS. So, for instance, a given NRU would be "tasked" with providing two CSV crew, 2 ISV crew and one HSV crew, together with one diving team and one NCS watch. Etc. Etc.

Then, the wall fell, the submarine program was bandonned and cuts in defense occured. The Navy barelly managed to hang on to the MCDV project - now using the need for reserve training ships as the rationale, and the whole coastal defense thing was shelved yet again, replaced by more modest harbour defense teams and general trades training. I suppose the timing was good, as until a permanent solution was found after 9/11, the reserves harbour defense teams played a major role in protecting the fleet's main harbours.

I suppose that now that the Naval Reserve is seen as an "augmentation" force again, they went back to individual training only.
 
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