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