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New Canadian Shipbuilding Strategy

Stoker

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So, just trying to wrap my head around this replacement vessel's requirements, if the expectation that this new vessel is to patrol the Grand Banks then the size must increase to accommodate those potential sea states correct? Is this not more of a small frigate as opposed to a corvette? This is no longer replacing MCDVs but a whole new class of vessel which still leaves Canada with the problem of replacing The MCDVs with a similar coastal patrol class. Mission creep?
(also the Visby is good for up to sea state 5)
Visby was created for littoral waters and can be used offshore however the range is not very good and I suspect the endurance is not what we want either because the class requires heavy shore support. Any ship we buy must be able to cross the Atlantic without refueling or at least get us to the Azores. The ship has 4 gas turbines for sprinting and 2 cruise diesels for economical speeds. If on those gas turbines at all they will use that fuel quickly and drive down its range dramatically.

It seems to me a Corvette or even smaller ship given a proper design can do open ocean, after all Corvettes did a decent job during WW2. I have sailed in MCDV's for 4 cross Atlantic crossings and the highest sea state we hit was 14M, we were fine.

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Edward Campbell

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Visby was created for littoral waters and can be used offshore however the range is not very good and I suspect the endurance is not what we want either because the class requires heavy shore support. Any ship we buy must be able to cross the Atlantic without refueling or at least get us to the Azores. The ship has 4 gas turbines for sprinting and 2 cruise diesels for economical speeds. If on those gas turbines at all they will use that fuel quickly and drive down its range dramatically.

It seems to me a Corvette or even smaller ship given a proper design can do open ocean, after all Corvettes did a decent job during WW2. I have sailed in MCDV's for 4 cross Atlantic crossings and the highest sea state we hit was 14M, we were fine.

View attachment 69864
The famous Flower class and later corvettes did what was needed ... because they were cheap and easy to build. But, as early as 1940s British and Canadian admirals, including Murray, were pressing for a bigger, better ship. The result was the River class frigates, 1,500+ tons/almost 300 ft long. They were "improved" and became the Canadian Prestonian class in the 1950s (about the same length but about 2,300 tons).

It seems to me (an old soldier who's never been to sea) that a useful Canadian "small combatant" vessel ~ smaller and cheaper than our Type 26s, call it a corvette if you like, I do ~ will need to displace 2,500+ tons, have a flight deck and hanger and a complement (including for the aircraft) of less than 125 officers and sailors.
 

GR66

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So, just trying to wrap my head around this replacement vessel's requirements, if the expectation that this new vessel is to patrol the Grand Banks then the size must increase to accommodate those potential sea states correct? Is this not more of a small frigate as opposed to a corvette? This is no longer replacing MCDVs but a whole new class of vessel which still leaves Canada with the problem of replacing The MCDVs with a similar coastal patrol class. Mission creep?
(also the Visby is good for up to sea state 5)
I also wouldn't get too caught up in the naming of ship classes as an indicator of their size. For example:

WWII Flower Class Corvette: 62.5m
SIGMA Corvette 9113: 91m

WWII River Class Frigate: 91m
Halifax Class Frigate: 131m

WWII Tribal Class Destroyer: 105m
Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer: 160m
Zumwalt Class Destroyer: 190m

So something like the VENARI-85 or New Zealand's Otago (85m) and the River-Class Batch 2 OPV or Samuel Beckett-Class (90m) are actually the length of a WWII Frigate.

Ships are classified by the role they fill rather than by their size, so as the tools required to complete various jobs (banks of VLT's and magazines for large missiles vs guns, RHIBs, Flex Bays, Flight Decks and Hangers, larger sensors, embarked troops, UAVs/USVs/UUVs, better crew quarters, supplies for greater deployed endurance and the engines to power all the above) have gotten larger, the size of the ships has had to increase as well.
 

Stoker

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The famous Flower class and later corvettes did what was needed ... because they were cheap and easy to build. But, as early as 1940s British and Canadian admirals, including Murray, were pressing for a bigger, better ship. The result was the River class frigates, 1,500+ tons/almost 300 ft long. They were "improved" and became the Canadian Prestonian class in the 1950s (about the same length but about 2,300 tons).

It seems to me (an old soldier who's never been to sea) that a useful Canadian "small combatant" vessel ~ smaller and cheaper than our Type 26s, call it a corvette if you like, I do ~ will need to displace 2,500+ tons, have a flight deck and hanger and a complement (including for the aircraft) of less than 125 officers and sailors.
So what we need as a government or navy to decide if any replacement for the Kingston Class will be dual hatted or not. Dual hatted as in a MCM and offshore Patrol role. Generally speaking NCM ships are around the size of the Kingston Class and sometimes smaller. The requirements I saw was a ship about 20M longer than a Kingston Class a tonnage of around 1200-1400. If we decide to separate the classes then obviously more personnel, more maintenance resources are required.
Its nice to say more tonnage, more weapons', more capabilities but the feeling I got is something relatively cheap to build and very smart in how that money is spent on those capabilities.
 

Kirkhill

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So what we need as a government or navy to decide if any replacement for the Kingston Class will be dual hatted or not. Dual hatted as in a MCM and offshore Patrol role. Generally speaking NCM ships are around the size of the Kingston Class and sometimes smaller. The requirements I saw was a ship about 20M longer than a Kingston Class a tonnage of around 1200-1400. If we decide to separate the classes then obviously more personnel, more maintenance resources are required.
Its nice to say more tonnage, more weapons', more capabilities but the feeling I got is something relatively cheap to build and very smart in how that money is spent on those capabilities.

The Kingstons can transit blue water but do they operate there? I was under the impression that most to their work was done closer to shore in the Littorals.

The reason I ask is related to your points about both size and the ability to work with the Cyclone. Would a flight deck, without hangar, rated for a Griffon and small UAVs (the VBAT is my current techno-porn fixation) be a worthwhile compromise? I'm thinking that shore based Griffons could be used to maintain Vertrep linkages with a small craft.
 

Stoker

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The Kingstons can transit blue water but do they operate there? I was under the impression that most to their work was done closer to shore in the Littorals.

The reason I ask is related to your points about both size and the ability to work with the Cyclone. Would a flight deck, without hangar, rated for a Griffon and small UAVs (the VBAT is my current techno-porn fixation) be a worthwhile compromise? I'm thinking that shore based Griffons could be used to maintain Vertrep linkages with a small craft.
Generally they work out to 100 NM and of course it varies depending on mission. I'm not really against a flight deck but still adds a lot of cost. The concept art I saw for the replacement had no flight deck but still could operate drones.
 

GR66

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There are lots of potential options out there with a range of capabilities depending on what direction you want to go. My personal opinion is to lean toward a small combatant type ship based on the renewed/escalated conflict with Russia and the growing risk of confrontation with China.

Just one builder (Fassmer) has three different options (actually lots more) that could fulfill our requirements depending on what we want:

Offshore Patrol? OPV 80 - 80.5m, 1900t, 20+ kn, 12,000 nm range, 30 day endurance, stern ramp, flight deck & hanger, mission deck for 5 x 20' containers, options for additional weapons

Small Combatant? PK 90 - 95m, 2200t, 26+ kn, 6,000 nm range, 30 day endurance, flight deck & hanger, mission deck for 5 x 20' containers, hull mounted sonar, SSMs and SAMs.

Lillypad (for Kirkhill)? MPV 90 - 91m, 3200t, 20+ kn, 12,000 nm range, 60+ day endurance, 20t flight deck and hanger aft with additional 11t flight deck forward, 500 m2 mission bay, well deck, cargo crane and deck hatch, Ro-Ro ramps.

And that's a selection of the many options from a single builder. But as Stoker rightly points out a decision has to be made as to what role the Kingston-Class replacement will fill. MCM? Patrol? Small Combatant? MCM/Patrol? Patrol/Small Combatant? MCM/Patrol/Small Combatant? And of course the more roles (or higher up the capability list you go) the greater the capital cost, the greater the personnel requirements, the greater the maintenance costs, etc.

I guess you could go with two different classes of ships...6 x MCMs and 6 x Small Combatants, but to my mind that would just make the support and training issues worse than going with a single compromise class of ship.

Get out your crystal ball and guess what the RCN is going to have to face over the next 40 years. My guess (unfortunately) is that it may end up facing more potential for open conflict than it has for the last 40 years.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Visby would last about 10min on the Grand Banks. It's designed for the Baltics.


Let me flip this comment. What's our (the websites) infatuation with over-gunning constabulary vessels? 25 or 30mm is enough for their job and commonality with AOPS or CSC is an excellent idea. 57 and 40mm require a fire control system, fire control radar, CMS and the techs to keep them running. And it keeps costs down. That stuff really jacks up the price quite a bit.

The UK have the right of it in my mind, with similar armament on the River Class (20 or 30mm cannons depending on the Batch).


I don't agree that it's a must-have as the MCDV's are doing fine without it. If it were to come down to a sweep deck for payloads vs a flight deck I'll take the former. Not that I'm against a flightdeck. I would like to see one but getting one big enough for a Cyclone along with a sweep deck/quarter deck big enough for payloads would be a challenge. Cyclone needs a lot of space...

I could see a small flight deck like on the VENARI design proposed by @Stoker above. That would allow for UAS and an area for VERTREP etc... without having to have the helo actually land. UAS would be very useful in a MCM capacity.

Or perhaps a dual use flightdeck/payload deck. When you have payloads embarked its a payload deck. When you don't you clear it a certify it for Flight Ops. But take it from someone who knows, getting a ship built for RCAF flight operations is a massive pain in the ass and extremely costly. Just the NVG lighting compliance alone is millions of dollars. A simple NVG compliant 17" computer screen costs around $80 thousand. You'll need at least four screens between LSO and Flyco.... so there is 1/3 million right there.
For a ship operating more as a Lilypad or an occasional host for helicopter, does it need NVG compliant screens? Unlikely these ships could launch and recover in similar seas states as the Halifax's or even the AOP's?
Personally I like to see TC Civil Aviation tasked with supplying about 6 Bell 429's painted grey and crew to support RCN domestic and non-military ops related taskings. This would allow the RCN/RCAF to concentrate the Cyclones to the Halifax's and CSC and ensure there is more helicopter capability for the AOP's doing domestic roles.
I also believe the replacement for the MCDV should be split in two classes of about 7-8 ships each. one class being more to the River Class Batch 2 or VENARI-85 type. The other class being very close in size to the existing class, basically an improved MCDV. Having a few more hulls will allow vessels to get proper refits and hopefully DND at some point will pull it's head of it ass on recruiting and personal retention, so we can continue to man ships and other systems.
As for armaments, I said my piece many times, the world is going to be very interesting and not necessarily in a good way for the next 20-30 years. The various conflict points are going to be many and varied. It will be a come as you are and the government of the day my require ships to take part even if they are not the best equipped for the task. Better to have more capability built in, than not. Even if some of the actual guns/launchers are not fitted, but stored ashore. but the design is set up for them and the ship infrastructure is setup for them in regards to electrical draw, cabling, magazines, space for the combat suite, fire, hull/superstructure strengthening, etc.
 

Kirkhill

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For a ship operating more as a Lilypad or an occasional host for helicopter, does it need NVG compliant screens? Unlikely these ships could launch and recover in similar seas states as the Halifax's or even the AOP's?
Personally I like to see TC Civil Aviation tasked with supplying about 6 Bell 429's painted grey and crew to support RCN domestic and non-military ops related taskings. This would allow the RCN/RCAF to concentrate the Cyclones to the Halifax's and CSC and ensure there is more helicopter capability for the AOP's doing domestic roles.
I also believe the replacement for the MCDV should be split in two classes of about 7-8 ships each. one class being more to the River Class Batch 2 or VENARI-85 type. The other class being very close in size to the existing class, basically an improved MCDV. Having a few more hulls will allow vessels to get proper refits and hopefully DND at some point will pull it's head of it ass on recruiting and personal retention, so we can continue to man ships and other systems.
As for armaments, I said my piece many times, the world is going to be very interesting and not necessarily in a good way for the next 20-30 years. The various conflict points are going to be many and varied. It will be a come as you are and the government of the day my require ships to take part even if they are not the best equipped for the task. Better to have more capability built in, than not. Even if some of the actual guns/launchers are not fitted, but stored ashore. but the design is set up for them and the ship infrastructure is setup for them in regards to electrical draw, cabling, magazines, space for the combat suite, fire, hull/superstructure strengthening, etc.

Naval reserves with bolt on Air Defence and NSM type systems that can be deployed on both government vessels and civilian cargo vessels?
 

Underway

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For a ship operating more as a Lilypad or an occasional host for helicopter, does it need NVG compliant screens? Unlikely these ships could launch and recover in similar seas states as the Halifax's or even the AOP's?
Not just NVG compliant screens. Fully NVG compliant for the whole ship (deck lighting, auto blacking out of hatch lights, running lights, bridge lights, horizon bars, flight deck lighting, etc...) otherwise the RCAF will not certify the ship for helicopter operations. There is no changing, bending, or otherwise getting around them because they are flight safety requirements. Not a criticism, just the way it is.

Even the IR cameras that are used on ships to watch various parts of the upper deck for safety at night often use IR floodlights which can wash out NVG's. The cameras have to be carefully chosen to be sensitive enough not to need the IR floodlight.

I gather it's not pleasant trying to land a helo at night on a pitching deck with NVG's and then someone opens a door and you get blinded by the lighting from inside the ship as it wasn't autoblacked out or NVG compliant.

I also believe the replacement for the MCDV should be split in two classes of about 7-8 ships each. one class being more to the River Class Batch 2 or VENARI-85 type. The other class being very close in size to the existing class, basically an improved MCDV. Having a few more hulls will allow vessels to get proper refits and hopefully DND at some point will pull it's head of it ass on recruiting and personal retention, so we can continue to man ships and other systems.

I don't know what the numbers are, but assume that 8 ships minimum if AOPS is doing some of the same tasks. Leaves East Coast with 8 OPV's (4AOPS and 4MCDV replacements) and West Coast 6 OPV's (2 AOSP and 4 MCDV replacements). Right now on both coast one MCDV is usually tied up with no crew. I think that's the minimum. I have no insight but my own opinion on this one.

As for armaments, I said my piece many times, the world is going to be very interesting and not necessarily in a good way for the next 20-30 years. The various conflict points are going to be many and varied. It will be a come as you are and the government of the day my require ships to take part even if they are not the best equipped for the task. Better to have more capability built in, than not. Even if some of the actual guns/launchers are not fitted, but stored ashore. but the design is set up for them and the ship infrastructure is setup for them in regards to electrical draw, cabling, magazines, space for the combat suite, fire, hull/superstructure strengthening, etc.
I really think a slightly different "River Class Inspired" design would be very good. It's designed for the same oceans, and with a slight modification to the flight deck to make it a "workdeck" then we are in a good place. The River Class has space for future upgrades.
 

Underway

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So, just trying to wrap my head around this replacement vessel's requirements, if the expectation that this new vessel is to patrol the Grand Banks then the size must increase to accommodate those potential sea states correct? Is this not more of a small frigate as opposed to a corvette? This is no longer replacing MCDVs but a whole new class of vessel which still leaves Canada with the problem of replacing The MCDVs with a similar coastal patrol class. Mission creep?
(also the Visby is good for up to sea state 5)
You can hit Sea State 6 in the Halifax Approaches. Just not the right tool for the job.
 

Kirkhill

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Another issue to consider is the cost of size.

Generally speaking the longer the hull the greater the cost. As far as the accountants are concerned.

But....

I can build a shed the same size as my house for a tenth of the price. The issue is not the size it is the number of walls (bulkheads), facilities, contents, fit and finish that drive up the cost.

A 6000 tonne Frigate costs a lot more than a 6000 tonne Ferry although, assuming similar hull forms and power plants (and Ice Classes), both would have similar sea keeping abilities.

A 1000 tonne MCDV hull with its azipod is a handy little runabout for doing odd jobs. A 2000 tonne hull may not be as handy, although azipods and bow thrusters can probably fix that. On the other hand the extra displacement, increased length and additional deck area, covered or uncovered, may give additional advantages.

And it doesn't have to be with an exorbitant increase in price. If all you want is a floating warehouse and a lilypad that can be done cheaply.
 

Good2Golf

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Not just NVG compliant screens. Fully NVG compliant for the whole ship (deck lighting, auto blacking out of hatch lights, running lights, bridge lights, horizon bars, flight deck lighting, etc...) otherwise the RCAF will not certify the ship for helicopter operations. There is no changing, bending, or otherwise getting around them because they are flight safety requirements. Not a criticism, just the way it is.

Even the IR cameras that are used on ships to watch various parts of the upper deck for safety at night often use IR floodlights which can wash out NVG's. The cameras have to be carefully chosen to be sensitive enough not to need the IR floodlight.

I gather it's not pleasant trying to land a helo at night on a pitching deck with NVG's and then someone opens a door and you get blinded by the lighting from inside the ship as it wasn't autoblacked out or NVG compliant.
👍🏼

NVG compatible is a smart move for a number of reasons, including survivability. Not flooding NVG-equipped helo crews is only one advantage…anyone who thinks ‘tactical red’ light is a smart thing for any platform/installation in a potential threat environment needs to see said ‘tactical’ installations under any NVD (goggles, EO/IR, etc.)…they stick out like beacons…
 

Underway

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👍🏼

NVG compatible is a smart move for a number of reasons, including survivability. Not flooding NVG-equipped helo crews is only one advantage…anyone who thinks ‘tactical red’ light is a smart thing for any platform/installation in a potential threat environment needs to see said ‘tactical’ installations under any NVD (goggles, EO/IR, etc.)…they stick out like beacons…
This is the reasons green lighting is taking over from red lighting onboard ships in many spaces. I had an article I read not too long ago about it. Green is the way to go for IR signature reduction.
 

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Yup. 👍🏼 ANVIS Class-A and Class-B compatible lighting (that bluish-green, and slightly yellower-green respectively) due to their narrow-bandwidth specification, are actually fairly night-vision friendly, so the ‘must be red’ to not degrade night vision is not longer a driving factor.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Yup. 👍🏼 ANVIS Class-A and Class-B compatible lighting (that bluish-green, and slightly yellower-green respectively) due to their narrow-bandwidth specification, are actually fairly night-vision friendly, so the ‘must be red’ to not degrade night vision is not longer a driving factor.
The interior lighting in the Cyclone helicopter is a nice calming, NVG compatible green. It does not wash out goggles, no matter how bright it is turned up at night. Very pleasant.
 
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