• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Replacing the Subs

Dale Denton

Full Member
Reaction score
122
Points
580
4 more in 2024
2 in 2025
3 in 2026

How many does Canada need?
The Providence is currently the oldest service SSN in the USN, and was commissioned in July 1985.
Which admittedly is older than the Vics - but they aren't at end of service life - she surfaced the North Pole July 1 2008 (Happy Canada Day)
They are just being replaced by newer models - with refit they could see 20+ more years of service.

Arguably, 6 has been floated as the minimal needed for 1 on patrol in the arctic (for under ice training), and one out in the Pacific with allies.

Another idea would be to buy 6 new SSNs from France to bolster its SNN industry for a discount. But do we really wanna be on that side of the disagreement with Australia/AUKUS?
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,491
Points
1,140
Point number 1 that most have to remember is the the US has ‘first right of refusal’ so to speak, when comes to us (or anyone else) attempting to buy either a UK or French nuc sub. They have joint treaties/agreements with both the UK and France to stop such sales.
It’s the first huddle we’d need to cross in going down this path and there would be little incentive for the US to sign off on us obtaining French nuc subs instead of US or UK nuc subs.
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,491
Points
1,140
Arguably, 6 has been floated as the minimal needed for 1 on patrol in the arctic (for under ice training), and one out in the Pacific with allies.

Another idea would be to buy 6 new SSNs from France to bolster its SNN industry for a discount. But do we really wanna be on that side of the disagreement with Australia/AUKUS?
I’d rather build 12 CSC’s and go with 9 subs instead.
 

Colin Parkinson

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,102
Points
1,060
We could work this into our nuclear sub deal to get rid of US nuclear waste for a discount on the subs

 

Maxman1

Full Member
Reaction score
282
Points
930
Speaking of, seeing as the Americans will be building a frigate named USS Chesapeake, there's a Shannon, Quebec, so we could name one of them after the HMS Shannon while keeping the naming convention for frigates.
 

Underway

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
2,226
Points
1,010
Arguably, 6 has been floated as the minimal needed for 1 on patrol in the arctic (for under ice training), and one out in the Pacific with allies.

Another idea would be to buy 6 new SSNs from France to bolster its SNN industry for a discount. But do we really wanna be on that side of the disagreement with Australia/AUKUS?
In order to have 1 ship/boat at sea at all times, you need 3 ships/boats total. 1 in maintenance, 1 operational, 1 in "regeneration (working up to operational/training).

As Canada really has a two navy challenge (East and West Coast navies) that pretty much means 6 boats. In an ideal world there would be 9. (6 West and 3 East) but I don't even know if we have the people for the four we have.
 

Dale Denton

Full Member
Reaction score
122
Points
580
In order to have 1 ship/boat at sea at all times, you need 3 ships/boats total. 1 in maintenance, 1 operational, 1 in "regeneration (working up to operational/training).

As Canada really has a two navy challenge (East and West Coast navies) that pretty much means 6 boats. In an ideal world there would be 9. (6 West and 3 East) but I don't even know if we have the people for the four we have.
My stated idea for a plan would allow for us to start with LA Classes and slowly add more to the fleet as we had enough of a stable crew roster to support the hulls. Work our way up the Blocks until we get to 6, in a decade or two, and by then we could find out if we want new US built Virginia Class or the UK's SSN (R).

Perhaps use the time to build a domestic SSN maintenance capacity so in 2040 we'll have an up and running capability so we can do it cheaper at home.
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,491
Points
1,140
In order to have 1 ship/boat at sea at all times, you need 3 ships/boats total. 1 in maintenance, 1 operational, 1 in "regeneration (working up to operational/training).

As Canada really has a two navy challenge (East and West Coast navies) that pretty much means 6 boats. In an ideal world there would be 9. (6 West and 3 East) but I don't even know if we have the people for the four we have.
Thoughts on 12 CSC and 9 Subs. Good, bad or doesn’t real make a difference.
 

stoker dave

Member
Reaction score
119
Points
630
Ok, there was a post some time ago that (for a number of valid reasons) dismissed the idea of nuclear powered submarines for Canada. I am not sure why you guys are still thinking that is feasible.

There is NO WAY that nuclear powered vessels will ever be acquired. They are too expensive. They require substantial infrastructure. They require a 'concept of operations' entirely unknown in the current Naval culture. They are unacceptable to Canadian society.

I have some experience and knowledge of the nuclear industry. The requirements for training, support, waste management, oversight, procedural compliance and implementation are FAR beyond what any of you can even comprehend.

Here is an example. A trivial example. Let's consider how to change oil in pump where the oil is radioactive (yes, that happens). What are you going to do with that oil? You need procedures to safely remove and handle the oil. You need to transport it to a liquid waste processing facility (you did think about building one of those, right?). You need to convert that oil to a solid. You now need to find a way to dispose of that waste (you did think about building a waste disposal facility, right?). You need to transport the oil to that facility, probably on public roads. Did you ask everyone that lives along the transportation route if that is ok? This is just one tiny part of the operations and the obstacles are huge.

No one will want a radioactive waste processing facility built near them. No one will want a radioactive waste disposal facility built near them. No one wants truckloads of radioactive waste sharing the roads with cars, school buses and trucks.

So, please, give up on this idea of SSNs for Canada. It is not feasible, practical, workable or realistic.

I agree that the technology is probably the right solution. But this will never be a viable program.
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,491
Points
1,140
Ok, there was a post some time ago that (for a number of valid reasons) dismissed the idea of nuclear powered submarines for Canada. I am not sure why you guys are still thinking that is feasible.

There is NO WAY that nuclear powered vessels will ever be acquired. They are too expensive. They require substantial infrastructure. They require a 'concept of operations' entirely unknown in the current Naval culture. They are unacceptable to Canadian society.

I have some experience and knowledge of the nuclear industry. The requirements for training, support, waste management, oversight, procedural compliance and implementation are FAR beyond what any of you can even comprehend.

Here is an example. A trivial example. Let's consider how to change oil in pump where the oil is radioactive (yes, that happens). What are you going to do with that oil? You need procedures to safely remove and handle the oil. You need to transport it to a liquid waste processing facility (you did think about building one of those, right?). You need to convert that oil to a solid. You now need to find a way to dispose of that waste (you did think about building a waste disposal facility, right?). You need to transport the oil to that facility, probably on public roads. Did you ask everyone that lives along the transportation route if that is ok? This is just one tiny part of the operations and the obstacles are huge.

No one will want a radioactive waste processing facility built near them. No one will want a radioactive waste disposal facility built near them. No one wants truckloads of radioactive waste sharing the roads with cars, school buses and trucks.

So, please, give up on this idea of SSNs for Canada. It is not feasible, practical, workable or realistic.

I agree that the technology is probably the right solution. But this will never be a viable program.
Ok, I’ll bite.
Doesn’t some of this infrastructure exist in one form or another in Ontario due to the fact it operates The Bruce and Darlington nuclear generating stations?
They must have some nuclear waste disposal and processing facilities in the province and the ‘mind set’ of working day in and day out with nuclear fuel rods and such. Can’t any of this be utilized? They must transfer spent fuel rods via truck across Ontario roads now.

On the other hand, I unfortunately do agree that the mountain might be too high to get over and convince the CDN public that SSN’s would be good for Canada, unless of course for major issue/event makes it easier.
 

GR66

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
710
Points
1,040
Ok, there was a post some time ago that (for a number of valid reasons) dismissed the idea of nuclear powered submarines for Canada. I am not sure why you guys are still thinking that is feasible.

There is NO WAY that nuclear powered vessels will ever be acquired. They are too expensive. They require substantial infrastructure. They require a 'concept of operations' entirely unknown in the current Naval culture. They are unacceptable to Canadian society.

I have some experience and knowledge of the nuclear industry. The requirements for training, support, waste management, oversight, procedural compliance and implementation are FAR beyond what any of you can even comprehend.

Here is an example. A trivial example. Let's consider how to change oil in pump where the oil is radioactive (yes, that happens). What are you going to do with that oil? You need procedures to safely remove and handle the oil. You need to transport it to a liquid waste processing facility (you did think about building one of those, right?). You need to convert that oil to a solid. You now need to find a way to dispose of that waste (you did think about building a waste disposal facility, right?). You need to transport the oil to that facility, probably on public roads. Did you ask everyone that lives along the transportation route if that is ok? This is just one tiny part of the operations and the obstacles are huge.

No one will want a radioactive waste processing facility built near them. No one will want a radioactive waste disposal facility built near them. No one wants truckloads of radioactive waste sharing the roads with cars, school buses and trucks.

So, please, give up on this idea of SSNs for Canada. It is not feasible, practical, workable or realistic.

I agree that the technology is probably the right solution. But this will never be a viable program.
I suggested previously that the only way I could possibly see Canada obtaining SSNs would be to purchase US Boats and home port them at existing US submarine bases. Maintenance and support could be contracted out to the USN. That eliminates the issue of maintenance facilities, staffing and training and to some extent the political hot potato of basing nuclear subs at home but that is offset by the fact that we could be seen as being beholden the the US government.

UN Naval Base Kitsap is only 100km as the crow flies from CFB Esquimalt. The East Coast is a little less convenient...Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT is just under 800km from CFB Halifax.

I'm sure that mature leaders on both sides could come up with a workable agreement that would greatly benefit both of our countries. I'm just not sure that such mature leaders currently exist (at least on our side of the border anyway).
 

CBH99

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
932
Points
1,090
Thoughts on 12 CSC and 9 Subs. Good, bad or doesn’t real make a difference.
Ideally, good. Strategically it would make a huge difference.

12 CSC can be the heavies - and in this case, with far more teeth than the current Halifax class. The Kingston’s can continue doing a great job at their current taskings, and the AOPS can supplement/replace the Kingston’s use in some roles. (Mostly anyway. I’m thinking Operation Nanook, etc.)

9 submarines is 5 more than we have now, which means that ‘theoretically’ thats 5 additional boats available for NATO operations and to support US operations, including NorthCom. (With the understanding that 2-3 would be available for operations at any given time.)

In a shooting war, they’d be exceptionally welcome. And crewing tends to be less than a surface combatant.

The downside is - it is a more expensive plan, and we’d have to fix recruiting/retention.


15 CSC gives the surface fleet a healthy filling out, and with substantially more dangerous ships than current. It also gives us a robust Aegis capability, and brings us into the fold with a real BMD capability. (Again, NorthCom will be happy.)


My extremely unqualified opinion? Option 2 will remain the course, as the plan is already well underway and industry has invested a great deal to make the plan happen.

It also is the option that allows Canada to be seen on the world stage, literally. The media, DND social media, port calls, operating in NATO fleets, etc - are all brownie points for Canada.

Submarines, while obviously effective war machines, don’t give the country any real PR unless it’s the odd media special.


0.02 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

KevinB

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
6,585
Points
1,110
Ok, there was a post some time ago that (for a number of valid reasons) dismissed the idea of nuclear powered submarines for Canada. I am not sure why you guys are still thinking that is feasible.

There is NO WAY that nuclear powered vessels will ever be acquired. They are too expensive. They require substantial infrastructure. They require a 'concept of operations' entirely unknown in the current Naval culture. They are unacceptable to Canadian society.
They also just happen to be the best option for Canada regardless of the above.
You can't take a SSK into the Polar Ice
Canada has three Ocean borders - the largest ocean borders in the World.


I have some experience and knowledge of the nuclear industry. The requirements for training, support, waste management, oversight, procedural compliance and implementation are FAR beyond what any of you can even comprehend.
Get over yourself. You act like everyone is in kindergarten.
No one has suggested it would just be grab the key and go for spin.
Just like the Australians there would need to be a significant training period before any sub was ready to be crewed 100% by Canadians, maintained by Canadians.

The biggest obstacle in ALL reality is will the USG allow the RCN to play with SSN's - given your fearless Leader Kim Jong Trudeau - I don't think it would be in our best interests at this time.

Here is an example. A trivial example. Let's consider how to change oil in pump where the oil is radioactive (yes, that happens).
Are you familiar at all with the reactor system in the USN?
Because if your Oil Pump has radioactive oil in it - you have a LOT bigger issues than how to clean the oil and replace the pump...

What are you going to do with that oil? You need procedures to safely remove and handle the oil. You need to transport it to a liquid waste processing facility (you did think about building one of those, right?). You need to convert that oil to a solid. You now need to find a way to dispose of that waste (you did think about building a waste disposal facility, right?). You need to transport the oil to that facility, probably on public roads. Did you ask everyone that lives along the transportation route if that is ok? This is just one tiny part of the operations and the obstacles are huge.
I don't think you really know as much about moving Nuclear material as you think you do.
Asking or telling people about it (or the routes you take) is not done (at least down here) it is just moved with little fanfare and a decent amount of security.

But the point remains that everyone knows it wouldn't be a simple task - there are requirements for Naval trades that the RCN currently doesn't have - there are security, storage, maintenance and support issues that Canada has no precedence for.
All of that takes time - BUT - it wouldn't be impossible - and if you factor in the Victorias are not scheduled for retirement immediately - it provides a transition window for these things to be dealt with.

No one will want a radioactive waste processing facility built near them. No one will want a radioactive waste disposal facility built near them. No one wants truckloads of radioactive waste sharing the roads with cars, school buses and trucks.

So, please, give up on this idea of SSNs for Canada. It is not feasible, practical, workable or realistic.
Canada already takes Nuclear material from overseas for disposal - granted I doubt that makes a lot of headlines - but there is also the waste from the CANDU's
I agree that the technology is probably the right solution. But this will never be a viable program.
You are giving up on something you admit is the best option, before you even start.
Frankly that pisses me off.

No one is suggesting this would be an easy thing.
But IF the RCN actually did their homework - and engaged the public - it wouldn't nearly be as hard a sell as you think.
 

KevinB

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
6,585
Points
1,110
In a shooting war, they’d be exceptionally welcome. And crewing tends to be less than a surface combatant.

The downside is - it is a more expensive plan, and we’d have to fix recruiting/retention.
Nuke boats major upfront costs are the not the platform but the support infrastructure (if it already doesn't exist).
Other than that - they are cheaper to run over the life time of the boat than D/E boats.

Also they are significantly more environmentally friendly - as they aren't burning diesel, and don't have extremely nasty battery banks that are an absolute horror to dispose of.

The newest US Cores for SSN's are designed to last over 25 years before refueling...


I'd also like to point out with over 210 different N vessels and over 500 reactor cores -> the USN has never had a reactor incident
 

Underway

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
2,226
Points
1,010
Ok, I’ll bite.
Doesn’t some of this infrastructure exist in one form or another in Ontario due to the fact it operates The Bruce and Darlington nuclear generating stations?
They must have some nuclear waste disposal and processing facilities in the province and the ‘mind set’ of working day in and day out with nuclear fuel rods and such. Can’t any of this be utilized? They must transfer spent fuel rods via truck across Ontario roads now.

On the other hand, I unfortunately do agree that the mountain might be too high to get over and convince the CDN public that SSN’s would be good for Canada, unless of course for major issue/event makes it easier.

NB has nuclear power as well. Currently, all nuclear waste from reactors must be stored on-site due to Federal rules. There are attempts to turn a mine in northern Ontario into a storage facility. Not sure where those are going. If you want to get rid of nuclear waste from a nuclear submarine likely there would be a deal made with the US to decommission or refuel the boats instead of Canada doing it ourselves. Same thing for any waste.

They also just happen to be the best option for Canada regardless of the above.
You can't take a SSK into the Polar Ice
Canada has three Ocean borders - the largest ocean borders in the World.

It's not the best option for Canada. It's an option for Canada. @stoker dave didn't say anything that wasn't incorrect. Weird things get contaminated with radiation in reactors. Disposal of said items is a pain in the ass. NIMBYs lose their **** when a wind turbine goes up, imagine when multiple nuclear boats are permanently parked off of downtown Halifax. Or Victoria.

As for "three" Ocean borders:
So what? This is just jingoism mainly stirred up by conservatives to try and get classic right nationalism going in Canada instead of our weird left wing nationalism. Most of those ocean borders are impassible for more than half the year. The reason governments never paid attention to the third ocean was that it doesn't need attention. No population, no economic worth, impossible or dangerous to travel. It will never be properly developed because of the intersection of environmentalism, first nations rights and harsh weather.

Russia doesn't give a crap about the Canadian arctic any more than we do. They care about their own, as a melting arctic is another threat vector to Russia.

TL/DR: No one really cares about the arctic when the idea of nuclear power scares people in Halifax and Victoria.
 

CBH99

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
932
Points
1,090
Nuke boats major upfront costs are the not the platform but the support infrastructure (if it already doesn't exist).
Other than that - they are cheaper to run over the life time of the boat than D/E boats.

Also they are significantly more environmentally friendly - as they aren't burning diesel, and don't have extremely nasty battery banks that are an absolute horror to dispose of.

The newest US Cores for SSN's are designed to last over 25 years before refueling...


I'd also like to point out with over 210 different N vessels and over 500 reactor cores -> the USN has never had a reactor incident
Totally understand and agree with everything you said.

The initial sticker shock would almost immediately have the idea rejected by the Canadian public, even if it does represent a savings in the long run.

And facts don’t matter all that much when it comes to the boats running exceptionally clean for decades. Most Canadians will automatically reject the idea based on sheer ignorance & misguided concern the moment they hear the word ‘nuclear.’

We also have a media that chooses to pander rather than inform, sensationalize rather than just report the facts, and calls on the some of the dumbest & least knowledgeable people as their ‘experts.’

Nuclear boats are a great idea if the RCN can develop the safety and protocol culture required to operate them safely. Training our members with the USN is the best way to do that, so when the boats are ready, so are the crews.

Logically, everything about going with nuclear boats makes sense. But facts, logic, and common sense unfortunately take a distant back seat to whatever nonsense the media is spouting to scare people.


0.02
 

KevinB

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
6,585
Points
1,110
NB has nuclear power as well. Currently, all nuclear waste from reactors must be stored on-site due to Federal rules. There are attempts to turn a mine in northern Ontario into a storage facility. Not sure where those are going. If you want to get rid of nuclear waste from a nuclear submarine likely there would be a deal made with the US to decommission or refuel the boats instead of Canada doing it ourselves. Same thing for any waste.



It's not the best option for Canada. It's an option for Canada. @stoker dave didn't say anything that wasn't incorrect. Weird things get contaminated with radiation in reactors. Disposal of said items is a pain in the ass. NIMBYs lose their **** when a wind turbine goes up, imagine when multiple nuclear boats are permanently parked off of downtown Halifax. Or Victoria.
Best operational option - will you accept that?
Additionally the safety record on USN Nuclear fleets is exponentially better than the RCN has with DE SSK's...



It gives legs for the subsurface fleet IF the RCN was tasked to go into the Asian area.
It also allows 365 subsurface patrol in the Arctic.
As for "three" Ocean borders:
So what? This is just jingoism mainly stirred up by conservatives to try and get classic right nationalism going in Canada instead of our weird left wing nationalism. Most of those ocean borders are impassible for more than half the year. The reason governments never paid attention to the third ocean was that it doesn't need attention.
Impassable to surface non Ice Breaking craft - but fully navigable by sub surface.

No population, no economic worth, impossible or dangerous to travel. It will never be properly developed because of the intersection of environmentalism, first nations rights and harsh weather.

Russia doesn't give a crap about the Canadian arctic any more than we do. They care about their own, as a melting arctic is another threat vector to Russia.

TL/DR: No one really cares about the arctic when the idea of nuclear power scares people in Halifax and Victoria.
Russian doesn't until it is in best interests (real or imagined) - as well as other folks who may want to stir the pot - or use it to get closer for a strike - Hudson's Bay could be used as a launch site and breach just before launch.
Unlikely yes - but still I don't see what use SSK's offer Canada other than fills the check mark of having a Sub...
 

Czech_pivo

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,491
Points
1,140
On another note -

Canadian navy aims to have 3 submarines at sea by end of 2021​

As the article, from June 2021 describes, the RCN had the intent to have 3 of 4 of the Vic's out of port and doing what they were built for by the end of this year. Anyone have any thoughts or insight if this is going to even happen?

I did find this one line interesting and pertinent to our current line of discussions - " A new Lockheed Martin sonar system is being installed fleet-wide and could open the door to undersea missions in the Far North."

 
Top