Shipbuilding & Defence – Credibility is priceless

By SHARON HOBSON

Capital and credibility. Those two words are going to figure prominently in the navy’s future.

Before Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government fell at the end of March, it tabled Main Estimates, which show the Department of National Defence (DND) will receive a budget of $21.3 billion in 2011-12 and $19.3 billion in 2012-13, Continue reading

Canada needs its Submarines

SHIPBUILDING & DEFENCE

By Sharon Hobson

Canada needs its submarine

For the first time, one of Canada’s four Victoria class submarines has entered a commercial shipyard for an Extended Docking Work Period (EDWP).

 HMCS Chicoutimi, in dry dock since October 2004 after being damaged by a fire that also killed a sailor, has begun a major refit and repair under the $370-million Victoria In-Service Support Contract (VISSC) signed in 2008 with the Canadian Submarine Management Group (CSMG). The contract, initially for a five-year period, could be extended for an additional 10 years, for a total value of $1.5 billion. Continue reading

What does government want from its navy?

What does government want from its navy?

By Sharon Hobson

The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) is underway, and the government has announced that it intends to acquire new support ships and Arctic patrol vessels for the navy. All would seem to be well with the navy and the shipbuilding world. But there are some concerns that these programs raise. Continue reading

The continuing saga of the JSS program

The continuing saga of the JSS program

By SHARON HOBSON

The saga of a replacement for the Canadian navy’s two aged auxiliary-oiler-replenishment (AOR) ships, HMCS Preserver and Protecteur, has entered another chapter.

 The government has officially announced the re-start of the Joint Support Ship (JSS) program. Although there won’t necessarily be three ships, just two, and, from the description, “Joint Support” may be more name than function.   Continue reading

A Brave Move

A Brave Move

By Sharon Hobson

After being the neglected Cinderella of the Canadian Forces for the past seven years while the Afghanistan mission focused attention and resources on the army and air force, the navy is back in the spotlight. Yes, it’s the navy’s centennial, but that’s not the reason the silent service has suddenly attracted headlines. Rather, it’s the usual problem – money, or rather, the lack of it. Continue reading

Budget prompts questions about long-term expenditures

shipbuilding & defence

By Sharon Hobson

Budget prompts questions about long-term expenditures

Uh-oh. Things are not looking good for the navy.

In its March 4 budget, the federal government revealed its plans to bring the budget back to balance. Not unexpectedly, those plans will have a major impact on the Department of National Defence. “The government will slow the rate of previously planned growth in National Defence’s budget by $525 million in 2012-13 and $1 billion annually beginning in 2013-14,” said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “Defence spending will continue to grow but more slowly than previously planned.

“By implementing this measure beginning in 2012-13, the government will ensure that it does no Continue reading