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The Canadian Navy is planning to keep 13 ships and three submarines at high readiness, while reducing overall readiness for the rest of its fleet.

In a new Maritime Command Capability Planning Guidance document, the Chief of Maritime Staff Vice Adm Greg Maddison, has set down the new parameters for the navy's operations given the Department of National Defence's fiscal constraints. He says drastic cuts in the fleet maintenance facilities and the maintenance budget, mean "the navy can no longer maintain all ships in the fleet at the same level of technical readiness".

Therefore, from 1 April 2000 the navy will adopt a tiered readiness system that will focus resources on two high readiness task groups (TGs). Maintaining a ship in the high readiness tier will require approximately 120 sea days annually.

One, designated the Contingency Task Group (CTG), will be maintained at 30 days notice for deployment to a theatre of mid-intensity conflict. The other group, designated the National Task Group (NTG), is to be maintained at 60 days notice for deployment.

The responsibility for the generation of the groups will alternate annually between the west coast and the east coast fleets. Previously the responsibility alternated every six months, and the groups were supposed to be ready to deploy within 10 or 30 days.

Each TG will consist of one Iroquois-class destroyer, two Halifax-class frigates, one Victoria-class submarine and one auxiliary-oiler-replenishment ship. The CTG will also include up to seven helicopters and up to six maritime patrol aircraft. The NTG will include "appropriate rotary wing and maritime patrol aircraft".

One Halifax-class frigate from each TG will be a vanguard unit, deployable within 21 days. Another Halifax-class frigate from the cast coast fleet, deplorable within 21 days, will be assigned to NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic. Although not assigned to a TG, four of the navy's new Kingston-class coastal defence vessels will also be maintained at high readiness.
Another five Halifax-class frigates and six Kingston-class vessels will be held at standard readiness levels, deployable to a theatre of mid-intensity operations within 90 days. Meanwhile, they will be capable of performing routine sovereignty operations, participating in exercises and training. Ships in this tier will require approximately 80 sea days per year to maintain proficiency.

The extended tier will be used for ships assigned low activity status, designated as harbour training ships, undergoing refits or scheduled for docking and work periods. They would be deployable within 180 days, and less than 20 sea days a year may be required to facilitate rotation to or from another tier of readiness.

The new system will result in an overall reduction in sea days, but Capt John Dewar, Director General Maritime Development and Operations, said that by using simulators for shore-based training, "you get the most value for every day at sea". He added: "This is not just a cost-saving measure, this is a way of addressing the operational tempo for the sailors themselves."

Here are the ships of the Canadian Fleet :

- Iroquois Class Destroyer ( 3 in service )

ddh283.jpg (54399 bytes) The Iroquois Class ships are powered by gas turbine engines with a maximum speed in excess of 29 knots. Their cruising range is 7250 kilometres at 20 knots. The complement of each ship is 255, including 23 officers, plus 30 aircrew. Each ship in this class is capable of embarking two maritime helicopters.As part of the modernization process, the Iroquois Class received significant improvements to weapons and sensor systems. Installed were vertical launch missile systems, a rapid fire gun and a close-in weapon system, as well as state-of-the-art radar and electronic systems.

- Halifax Class frigates ( 12 in service )

halifax3.jpg (45963 bytes) The multi-purpose frigates were commissioned between 1992 and 1997.The ship's surface to surface missile is the Boeing Harpoon Block 1C. The two quadruple launch tubes are installed at the main deck level between the ship's funnel and the helicopter hangar.The Sea Sparrow vertical launch surface to air missile uses semi-active radar homing to deliver a 39 kg warhead at speed Mach 1.6 to a range of 15 km.The main gun on the bow deck is a 57 mm 70 Mark 2 gun from Bofors.The hangar can accommodate a 15 ton helicopter such as the Sikorsky CH-124A Sea King.

- Province Class DDG ??

province3.jpg (84241 bytes) Around the year 2010, the current IROQUOIS class of air defence destroyers will  need to be replaced, after close to 40 years of service. To that end, the Canadian Navy committed to funding a small part of the development of the Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) system, which is currently being fitted to new ships of the Dutch and German navies.Few details have been released, but it is likely they would be built on a modified HALIFAX Class hull. It has also been suggested that a likely name for the class is the PROVINCE Class. The Navy has stated that they intend to replace the capabilities of the existing IROQUOIS class ships. This would suggest that any future construction would incorporate AAW, ASW, and Command capabilities. Due to weight restrictions, the IROQUOIS class does not incorporate true anti-surface capability, but this might be included in new ships of this type.

- Victoria (HMS Upholder) Class Submarines ( 4 in service )

uphold1.jpg (71312 bytes) On April 6,1998, the Canadian Government announced that four ex-Royal Navy submarines of the UPHOLDER class have been purchased from Britain (in an 8 year lease-to-buy schedule).The UPHOLDERs are twenty-five years more modern than the OBERON class submarines that they replace, and they represent a substantial leap in techology over their predecessors. They use a scaled down hull from the Royal Navy's TRAFALGAR class SSN, and it is possible that in future they will be fitted with fuel cell technology (Air Independent Propulsion, or AIP) produced by Ballard Canada. HMCS VICTORIA arrived in Halifax in late October, 2000. She will remain in Halifax until her Canadianization refit is complete, and will proceed to Esquimalt once her sea trials are complete.These subs were Sub-Harpoon capable in British service, and supposedly will require minimum alterations to allow such in Canadian service should circumstances require it. Sub-Harpoon missiles are not being purchased by Canada at this time

- Kingston Class Maritime coastal defence vessels ( 12 in service )

king3.jpg (40517 bytes) The 12 Kingston Class ships provide a single class of new vessels for multi-function use by the Canadian Naval Reserves. Canada is the second largest country in the world and has a coastline of 243,791 km. The main roles of the ships are : coastal surveillance, naval reserve force training, mine countermeasures for route survey, minesweeping and mine inspection operations.The ship is equipped with a Bofors 40 mm Model 60 Mk 5C rapid fire gun, and two 12.7 mm machine guns.

- Protecteur Class Multi-product replenishment ships ( 2 in service )

aor510.jpg (68452 bytes) Canada has two operational support ships, one based at Halifax and one at Esquimalt, B.C. These ships replenish food, munitions, fuel and other supplies and provide medical and dental support, enabling a naval task group to operate independently at sea for extended periods. Although there are two different designs, both ships are capable of carrying three Sea King helicopters. Each is lightly armed for self-defence. 

- Quest Class Research ship ( 1 in service )

agor172.jpg (60105 bytes) Displacement: 2,130 tons full load
Dimensions: 253 x 42 x 15 feet
Propulsion: Diesel electric, 2 shafts, 2,960 shp, 15 knots
Crew: 55

Concept/Program: General-purpose research ship employed mostly in acoustic and sonar trials work.             

Builders: Burrard, Vancouver.

Aircraft of the Canadian Navy :

- CP-140 Aurora (18 in service )

aurora4.jpg (76160 bytes) The Aurora, a long-range patrol aircraft able to fly over 9,000 km without refueling and Canada's only strategic airborne land and sea surveillance aircraft. Designed originally for anti-submarine warfare, the Aurora remains capable of detecting the latest generation of stealthy submarines. But its multi-role capability means it's also ready to tackle a variety of different missions.

Armament: Mk 46 Mod V torpedoes, signal chargers, smoke makers, illumination flares, and may be fitted with air-to-surface missiles
Crew: Minimum mission crew 10, typically 12 to 15

- CH-124 Sea King ( 29 in service )

ch124.jpg (87128 bytes) It's a ship-based helicopter with both day and night flight capabilities, and is carried aboard many Canadian Maritime Command destroyers, frigates and replenishment ships. The Sea King carries detection, navigation and weapons systems as part of its primary mandate of searching for, locating and destroying submarines. With its subsurface acoustic detection equipment and homing torpedoes, it's also a versatile surveillance helicopter.

Sources : 

Canadian Navy homepage
Worlds Navies