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November 28, 2018 | Local, Naval

Canadian Forces says submarines can operate until mid-2020s - but still no details on how fleet will be upgraded


The Victoria-class submarines were expected to reach the end of their operational lives starting in 2022, according to documents obtained under the Access to Information law.

That could have been a major problem for the federal government as it is looking at planning a modernization program for the on-board systems on the class, starting in 2023 or 2024.

If the subs were to reach the end of their operational lives starting a year earlier, how would that have worked?

Defence Watch asked that question and has been informed that things have now changed. Department of National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said that the Victoria-class start to reach the end of their operational life in the mid-2020s. That later date was determined after DND officials did a more extensive examination of the submarine fleet life.

But there are still no details on what needs to be done to extend the life of the subs, how much that will cost, or when that will be done. “The Victoria-class Modernization (VCM) Program is currently in the Options Analysis stage, where the preferred modernization option is being selected,” Le Bouthillier noted. “Details of specific capabilities and milestones will be determined as the program evolves.”

Last year Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan praised the capability submarines provide Canada. “No other platform in the Canadian Armed Forces can do what a submarine can do,” Sajjan said. “No other platform has the stealth, the intelligence-gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance capability and the deterrence to potential adversaries that a sub does.”

But the Liberals have rejected a Commons defence committee recommendation that the Victoria-class subs, bought used in 1998 from the United Kingdom, be replaced with submarines capable of under-ice capabilities.

“The government has also committed to modernizing the four Victoria-class submarines to include weapons and sensor upgrades that will enhance the ability of the submarines to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and deliver necessary improvements of platform and combat systems to extend operational capability to the mid-2030's,” the government response to the committee noted.

On the same subject

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    March 24, 2023 | Local, Other Defence

    U.S. President Joe Biden's visit puts Canadian defence spendinh and Norad modernization back under microscope

    U.S. President Joe Biden?s long-anticipated first trip to Ottawa this week is expected to put the state of North America?s defences and Canada?s military spending back under the microscope.

  • Government awards design contract for future fighter infrastructure in Bagotville

    October 6, 2020 | Local, Aerospace

    Government awards design contract for future fighter infrastructure in Bagotville

    From: National Defence News release October 2, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces As outlined in Canada's defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is providing Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel with the infrastructure they require to support their future operations. Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced a $12.1-million contract award to EllisDon-EBC Inc. Joint Venture of Ottawa for the design of a new fighter jet facility at 3 Wing Bagotville, one of two main operating bases for Canada's future fighter aircraft. This infrastructure, along with the facilities being built at 4 Wing Cold Lake, will support the long-term maintenance and operation of 88 new aircraft being procured for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) through the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). This contract is an important milestone in preparing Bagotville for the future fighter, and delivering the infrastructure our aviators will need. Both the Cold Lake and Bagotville infrastructure projects will provide significant economic opportunities for the Canadian construction industry, as well as their respective communities. In total, approximately 900 jobs are expected to be created during the design and construction of both facilities. The Bagotville facility will host two tactical fighter squadrons and will cover approximately 12,500 m2, providing space for daily operations, maintenance, administration, mission planning, and simulator training. Quotes “Modern infrastructure is a critical step to remaining operationally ready for the future, and this project is another guarantee that we will continue protecting Canadian sovereignty while standing with NORAD and NATO, today and tomorrow. We are well on our way to constructing the modern facilities we need to house our future fighter fleet.” The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence “By investing in infrastructure for the future fighter aircraft and the Canadian Armed Forces, the government is also investing in the Bagotville community. The design and construction of this new facility will provide economic benefits for Canadian industry and the Bagotville region, while ensuring our military remains strong, secure, and engaged.” Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Quick facts A $9.2-million contract was awarded in August 2020 to EllisDon Construction Services for the design portion of the Cold Lake future fighter infrastructure. Construction is expected to begin at both bases in summer 2022. Both the Bagotville and Cold Lake design contracts will include options for the contractors to build the new facilities, and any additional infrastructure once the future fighter is selected, should Canada decide to exercise these follow-on options. By awarding these infrastructure design contracts now, before the future fighter is selected, necessary work can proceed and bases will be ready for the first aircraft deliveries. These facilities will be designed and constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver standards and will use energy efficient options wherever possible.

  • NRC COVID-19 response

    March 27, 2020 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    NRC COVID-19 response

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NRC IRAP works with roughly 8,000 small and medium-sized businesses every year through its cross-Canada network of 255 industrial technology advisors and provides over $300 million in support to more than 3,000 technology development projects annually Through this initiative, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada (HC) will establish a number of challenges corresponding to needs of health providers to deal with COVID-19 NRC IRAP will partner with Innovative Solutions Canada to launch calls for proposals over the next few weeks to address challenges, fund development of solutions, and buy successful products and services needed to address COVID-19 Together, NRC IRAP and Innovative Solutions Canada will: post the PHAC and HC challenges (Innovative Solutions Canada) award Phase 1 funding to successful small and medium-sized businesses to develop a proof of concept for their solution (NRC IRAP) award Phase 2 funding to the firms with the best concepts so they can develop a working prototype (NRC IRAP) The NRC, PHAC, HC or another federal department or agency will then be able purchase the product for use against COVID-19. Innovative Solutions Canada already has challenges in development, which they will begin posting to their website in the coming days. These will continue as PHAC, HC, and health care providers request new topics. Companies with promising technology relevant to the COVID-19 challenges can register their technology or product by clicking on the Register button below. Register 2. The Pandemic Response Challenge Program: National Research Council of Canada Purpose: This program will build teams to address challenges requiring further research and development for solutions to meet COVID-19 related needs. The NRC will build these teams drawing on internal-to-government capacity and academic researchers who register using the button below to indicate their interest, and related areas of expertise and capabilities. The NRC will receive $15M to form dedicated teams to address challenges in the areas of greatest research and development (R&D) need in the fight against COVID-19. 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Funding is available to help cover the costs of research for academic institutions, small and medium-sized businesses, and other eligible recipients participating in the challenge teams. Over the coming weeks, we will post the specific R&D challenges, send information to registered researchers, and invite them to indicate the expertise and capabilities they can bring to a team. Register 3. Biomanufacturing capacity at Royalmount: NRC Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre Purpose: This initiative will result in a Good Manufacturing Practices platform to develop and scale up COVID-19 Canadian vaccine and therapy candidates. The NRC Biomanufacturing facility, located in the NRC's Royalmount Avenue building in Montréal, is used to develop and scale up processes to produce biological medicines and is managed by the Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre. 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Once certified, this facility will be able to accelerate the scale-up production and testing of various types of vaccine candidates in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak, including protein-based, viral vector-based, and antibody-based products.

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