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Status on Victoria-class Submarines?

CougarKing

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Germany's "Kremer affair" and its connection to the delayed installation of acoustic monitoring devices for the RCN's sub program:

From the Defense Industry Daily site:

2012 – 2013
Torpedo firing. Windsor breakdown. VISSC.

Sept 8/13: Spy story. In 2008, Canada signed a C$ 1.3 million deal with the German firm Applied Radar and Sonar Technologies GmbH to install acoustic monitoring devices, as part of an underwater training range. Delivery was supposed to take place in 2009. Fast forward to a a December 2012 briefing note prepared for senior DND staff, which says the company has disappeared, the contract is terminated, and they’re going to try and use international collection agencies to collect about C$ 1 million.

Just one problem. The Ottawa Citizen tracked the firm to Izmir, Turkey. Its CEO says that not only has the equipment been ready for a while, but DND officials have visited him in Turkey at least 4 times over the years. The hangup is transportation costs
, and the core of the 2012 allegations involve sloppy research by the Ministry of Public Works and Government Services, which is disconnected from DND’s efforts.

As to why they’re in Turkey, and why the shipping charges are a problem, the “Kremer Affair” is an interesting story. In 2005, Germany’s BND intelligence service asked the firm to pass along information acquired from arms deals with foreign customers. Applied Radar and Sonar Technologies declined, and shortly thereafter, German police seized their computers and company equipment. German courts cleared the firm of wrongdoing under the charges, and said that compensation was in order for the grave damage to the firm’s finances and operations, but none has been paid. The firm had relocated to Turkey to avoid further harassment, and the entire affair left them without the funds to ship Canada’s equipment per the contract. DND was contacted about this in 2009, and refused to pay anything more. A more rational model might have looked at the small shipping sum involved, the firm’s proven ethics, and the cost of not having the range at full readiness, and paid it. Instead, here we are. Sources: Ottawa Citizen external link, “Missing $1M DND equipment order not missing all along, contractor says” |

Article & link deleted in accordance with site policy
 

CougarKing

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RCN official youtube channel video "Underway on board a Canadian submarine"


Plus more from Defense News Intercepts blog:

No one would argue the Canadian Navy has had an easy time of it with its four Upholder-class diesel-electric submarines. Each one has been plagued with problems since they were acquired from the British Royal Navy a decade ago.

Here’s a nice video of one of them, HMCS CORNER BROOK (ex-HMS URSULA) underway in early June 2011. One of three submarines based on the west coast at Esquimalt, British Columbia, the CORNER BROOK had just transferred from the east coast when this video was shot.

Sadly, the cheerfulness shown in the video didn’t last long. The submarine struck bottom while operating submerged near Vancouver Island in Nootka Sound on June 4, 2011. Despite injuries to two sailors and damage to the submarine, CORNER BROOK was able to return to Esquimalt under her own power. There she remains, awaiting full repairs that are not expected to be completed until at least . . . 2016.

Of the four Upholder-class submarines, only one, HMCS VICTORIA, is operational, although she has yet to be elevated to the fully operational status.

 

The Bread Guy

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The latest on the fleet from the Info-machine:
.... HMCS Chicoutimi:

HMCS Chicoutimi was undocked and returned to the water on November 26, 2013, following the submarine’s extended docking work period at Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. in Esquimalt, B.C. This important milestone signifies progress to the completion of its deep maintenance work, which is being conducted for the first time solely by industry under the Victoria In-service Support Contract.

HMCS Chicoutimi continues to conduct system testing and trials as well as crew training. As part of the normal testing and trials regime, HMCS Chicoutimi will conduct a camber dive, so-named as it takes place in a protected, shallow area within a harbour known as a camber. This dive verifies the submarine’s watertight integrity and the functionality of its communications and other key systems.

HMCS Chicoutimi is expected to return to sea in early 2014 in order to commence sea trials as part of her tiered readiness program. This program will certify the crew and all engineering systems - including the weapon systems - with the aim of having the submarine declared fully operational.

The submarine will return to the RCN upon completion of its extended docking work period.

HMCS Corner Brook:

.... On June 4, 2011, HMCS Corner Brook ran aground while conducting submerged manoeuvres during submarine officer training in the vicinity of Nootka Sound off the west coast of Vancouver Island .... The full extent of the damage to HMCS Corner Brook was assessed during its ongoing extended limited maintenance period, a period of minimal maintenance designed to preserve the submarine’s existing condition. The actual repairs will occur during the submarine’s scheduled extended docking work period at Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd.

Due to program management reasons relating to the Department of National Defence's In-Service Support Contract, only one submarine at a time is to be in deep maintenance. HMCS Corner Brook will therefore be maintained at the minimum level necessary as the submarine awaits its scheduled extended docking work period, which is planned to commence upon completion of HMCS Chicoutimi’s extended docking work period in 2014.

HMCS Victoria:

.... HMCS Victoria was declared fully operational in 2012. Since completing its tiered readiness program, Victoria has participated in various advanced international exercises. These exercises have demonstrated the modern capabilities of the Victoria-class submarine while providing anti-submarine training for Canadian and international maritime vessels.

HMCS Windsor:

.... In December 2012, a defect was identified with one of HMCS Windsor’s two diesel generators during sea trials. These diesel generators are part of the main submarine battery-charging system. Having two diesel generators provides a level of redundancy because the submarine can still safely operate at sea using a single diesel generator.

Despite the loss of one of its two diesel generators, HMCS Windsor is conducting local operations at sea to train submariners; however the submarine is under temporary restrictions on the range and endurance of these operations. These restrictions will remain in place until the affected diesel generator is replaced during a pre-planned work period within the submarine’s scheduled maintenance and operations routine ....
 

MMSS

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I saw Chicoutimi in the water yesterday at Ogden Pt. Good to see progress.
 

CougarKing

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A broken generator?

Canadian Press link

HMCS Windsor, only operating submarine on East Coast, to undergo repairs

By Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - The navy says its only operating submarine on the East Coast will have to undergo repairs for six to seven months because of a broken generator.

Capt. Peter Ryan says HMCS Windsor will be out of commission for repairs from March until September at a navy facility in Halifax.


Ryan says the generator is one of two on the submarine that provides a crucial source of power for the vessel.

He says it is a key piece of equipment that must be fixed before the submarine can return to operations.

The submarine spent five years in a refit from 2007 until the middle of 2012, when it was returned to service.

The navy said in an email late Wednesday that theproblem with the generator was detected shortly after it returned to sea.

Spokeswoman navy Lt. Jennifer Fidler said the work has been planned for "months."

"HMCS Windsor is conducting ongoing local operations to train submariners. However, as it is operating with one generator, the submarine is under temporary restrictions on the range and endurance of these operations," she wrote in an email.


"The exact parameters of these restrictions are classified, and will remain in place until the affected diesel generator is replaced."

She said the diesel generators are large components attached to the submarine's diesel engines, and are used to charge the submarine's battery.

She estimated the cost of installing a replacement would be about $1.5 million.

The navy's four submarines were once heralded as a great bargain for taxpayers, but the poor condition of the British-built, diesel-electric vessels has since tarnished their reputation.


Prior problems with the fleet include extensive rust, flooding and hull dents.

HMCS Victoria — based on the West Coast — is now the navy's only fully operational submarine, having completed the test firing of a live torpedo.

Windsor was in operation but remained under dive restrictions and wasn't certified to fire its weapons.

HMCS Corner Brook is in dry dock for life extension and repairs after hitting the ocean floor off Vancouver Island.

The navy recently said HMCS Chicoutimi — which was damaged in a fire 10 years ago that killed a sailor — has been rebuilt and is set to return to the fleet.
 

RedcapCrusader

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The poor things. The Navy needs to put them down and move on; keep the 2 in best shape around for training and invest in obtaining new(er) subs. Sell the other two for scraps or to a starving developing Navy. Maybe Argentina would buy them?
 

CougarKing

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RedcapCrusader said:
The poor things. The Navy needs to put them down and move on; keep the 2 in best shape around for training and invest in obtaining new(er) subs. Sell the other two for scraps or to a starving developing Navy. Maybe Argentina would buy them?

Taiwan would jump at the chance considering they only have 2 modern subs to face the threat of 69 Chinese submarines.
 

RedcapCrusader

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S.M.A. said:
Taiwan would jump at the chance considering they only have 2 modern subs to face the threat of 69 Chinese submarines.

They'd probably pay a pretty penny too
 

YZT580

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If they had wanted them they would have bid on them a decade ago when they first became available.  Perhaps they did a proper survey and decided that there were too many potential trouble spots on boats that had been tied up for so long.
 

Journeyman

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S.M.A. said:
HMCS Victoria — based on the West Coast — is now the navy's only fully operational submarine, having completed the test firing of a live torpedo.
WOOHOO!!  How many years?

Ah yes, the downside of retaining obsolete Mk 48 Mod 4s that couldn't be fired from the British subs.  (No mention if the 'test fire' was a US-compatible Mod 7 or not).

Thank you Navy, for reassuring us that the Army and Air Force aren't alone in facing procurement....." issues."    :not-again:
 

Navy_Blue

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There is very little truth in the latest news.  It is actually old news.  The Engine is fine it is the generator that is U/S.  It has been that way for over 12 months and in that time the Windsor has sailed its arse off.  It would not be uncommon to see any ship go in for a "short work period" after running 6 to 12 months.  The Brits were willing to attempt and completed such repairs in the water I am told, but the brass feels the risks are to high and to be honest it is a much safer choice.  Therefore it must go on the lift and while it there they are going to get they're moneys worth and fix and refit what they can. 

Everyone is hoping for it to be a quick as possible.  They are good boats and given time they are going to preform most likely beyond 2020 .  The problem is the media keeps spinning them on slow news days. 

Don't believe everything you hear about the subs take it with a grain of salt.  The problem is we are not allowed to say much in our own defense most times and the truth is much more boring and un news worthy 

:salute:
 

johnston.db

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Stacked said:
The torpedo firing was completed rimpac 2012 when we sank the USNS Concord. And yes it is a mod 7.  Victoria has been sailing quite hard as of late actually.
  No the torpedo fired was not a Mod 7 it was a MK 48 mod 4M, I should know as I was her TI at the time. As to the "extensive modifications" that were rewired to the torpedo tubes there have been very few changes to the weapons discharge system and the only big change was the swap out of the British fire control system for the Canadian one and the Canadian one is a much better and modern system.  VICTORIA was discharging MK 48 dummy torpedoes in 2004 and 2005 to map out the firing envelope for the 48 on this class.

As to WINDSOR getting repairs done this is old news.  The only reason it hasn't been done sooner is the syncrolift in Halifax has been under going an over haul that took a lot longer than was forecasted.
 

MilEME09

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https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-14-00628491

found this today, wonder where they will find spare parts for such old subs?
 

Colin Parkinson

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Since they are valves and valve parts I suspect they should not be hard to find. Valves don't change that much, mostly it's the outside casting and flanges that get altered to fit the job.
 

Stoker

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Colin P said:
Since they are valves and valve parts I suspect they should not be hard to find. Valves don't change that much, mostly it's the outside casting and flanges that get altered to fit the job.

A large amount of parts weren't purchased by the RCN and now as the boats age this will become a bigger and bigger problem. Parts for the sub are usually very specialized and expensive. They plan to operate the boats until 2030, with a life extension program starting around 2020. Many Billions more I expect.
 

dapaterson

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Note that it's being run out of the PWGSC office in Germany.  I suspect they are hoping for the OEMs to bid.
 

Mike5

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Just thinking about the quote above "The problem is the media keeps spinning them on slow news days.  Don't believe everything you hear about the subs take it with a grain of salt.  The problem is we are not allowed to say much in our own defense most times and the truth is much more boring and un news worthy "

Are we allowed to say anything -- i.e. letters to the editor?  It's frustrating when the media chooses recycling bad news from 10 years ago over honest, objective reporting.
 

CougarKing

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3 out of 4 subs ain't bad. Though the majority of those commenting at the source link comment section say otherwise.

CBC

Navy submarines: first time Canadian fleet is operational
CBC – 3 hours ago

Canada's Navy is marking what it calls a milestone for its controversy-plagued submarine program.

For the first time since Canada's four Victoria-class subs were purchased almost two decades ago, the navy says the fleet is now "operational", meaning three of the subs are able to conduct naval operations.

Two of the subs, HMCS Victoria and HMCS Chicoutimi will be in the water off Esquimalt, B.C. this week, while HMCS Windsor is currently operating out of Halifax.

A fourth vessel, HMCS Corner Brook is currently in dry dock in Esquimalt in what the navy calls a period of "deep maintenance". 


Canada's submarines were bought second-hand from Britain for $896 million in 1998. Critics believe they've cost at least twice that much to fix, maintain and update to modern standards.

(...SNIPPED)
 
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