Counter-Drug help from Canada?

HMCS Ssaskatoon, Mar. 2007, Photo by Rayzlens

HMCS Saskatoon near Esquimalt, British Columbia and A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter that is practicing personnel transfers. Date March 2007 Photo by Rayzlens

The Canadians have been helping with Drug Interdiction Operations. They call it Operation Caribbe, but if I read between the lines correctly, their participation may be increasing.

Some changes are expected in the composition Canadian Navy, and in the way they operate. For the next few years, their fleet is going to be reduced by two supply vessels and two destroyers and their crew members are to be diverted to the twelve Kingston Class “Coastal Defense Vessels” that are normally manned only by reservists, and to more intense boarding training.

This should allow the Kingston class to be underway more, and I would expect they will want to work with Coast Guard LEDETs. They are already being employed in counter-drug ops. In March four were deployed for this purpose. Being relatively slow and having no helicopter deck, they may not be ideal for counter-drug operations, but they have proven useful.

These little ships are similar in size to 210s, shorter but beamier, and 30 years younger.

Displacement: 970 t (970.0 t)
Length: 55.3 m (181.43 ft)
Beam: 11.3 m (37.07 ft)
Draught: 3.4 m (11.15 ft)
Propulsion: 2 × Jeumont DC electric motors
4 × 600 VAC Wärtsilä SACM V12 diesel alternators
2 × Z drive azimuth thrusters
Speed: 15 kn (27.78 km/h)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,260.00 km)
Complement: 31 to 47

The Canadian Navy’s intent,

The Kingston-class ships are staffed entirely by the naval reserve. Under the new plan, the ships will be staffed 60 per cent by reserves and 40 per cent by the regular forces. That still doesn’t account for everyone, and the navy says sailors on land will focus on more advanced boarding-party and anti-terrorism training.

Hopefully the Coast Guard may be seeing even more of these little ships.


17 thoughts on “Counter-Drug help from Canada?

  1. That’s why for Canada, they really need an OPV for that kind of work. They need an AAW DDG and a Frigate when working with the USN overseas, but for local and regional area, they need an OPV that is similar to the SIGMA Corvette/Frigate or the USCG’s NSC cutter.

  2. Meanwhile they are sending a larger ship, this from the German Navy Blog, Marine Forum, “16 April, Canada, Only remaining destroyer ATHABASCAN sails from Halifax on a several-month deployment to the Caribbean and – via the Panama Canal – to the Central American Pacific coast … in framework of national operation „Caribbe“ join multinational counter-drug operation „Martillo“ … also participate in bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans (USA).”

  3. You know, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Canada and Australia to partner on their coast guard and navy shipbuilding programs. Neither one of them build enough ships to maintain a viable naval shipbuilding industry because of the troughs between programs. But if they partnered on projects and divvied up workloads they might be able to balance out the schedules. For instance, Canada could build OPV’s and Australia build frigates, or vice versa. Or Australia could build subs for the two countries and Canada builds destroyers. It would be complicated to determine the work shares, and I know I am greatly oversimplifying it. But the way both countries are doing it now just doesn’t work. You can’t build a half dozen warships over a decade, then not build any more warships for two decades and have a viable industry.

    • Submarines in particular are a problem. Canada has three and Australia has six. New Zealand has none. Australia is planning to build twelve. Both countries have had serious problems with their subs.

      For destroyer/frigates (DD/FF), Canada has had 15 and Australia 12. Australia is currently building Aegis destroyers and buying big deck amphibs in Spain with outfitting being done in Australia. In the past the Canadian and Australian navies have been about the same size, but it looks like the Australians are currently out building the Canadians. Both Canada and Australia could maintain a build rate of one (DD/FF) every two years and maintain a steady state program, although one a year at a single yard would probably be more economical. They could certainly share design and development costs.

      One way to split the work between Canada, Australia, and New Zealand it might be:

      Canada builds all underway replenishment vessels, icebreakers, and their own FF/DDs.
      Australia might build subs for themselves and Canada, DD/FFs for themselves and New Zealand.
      New Zealand could build OPVs for all three.

      • I know New Zealand is even looking at replacing their ANZAC Frigates as well and they have even looked at our NSC and FRC as well.

  4. Discussion of the state of Australian naval shipbuilding:
    “The Australian naval shipbuilding industry that will build our next generation of vessels needs to be a different industry to the one we see today. RAND has found that currently, the industry isn’t internationally competitive in terms of its productivity, and if this doesn’t change the industry won’t be sustainable. RAND also found that Australian taxpayers currently pay a price premium of at least 30 to 40 per cent greater than US benchmarks to build naval ships in Australia, and even greater against some other naval shipbuilding nations.”

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  7. The Canadians are still helping us. This from a recent announcement of the off load of narcotics.
    “Coast Guard to unload 24,886 pounds of cocaine and 2,664 pounds of marijuana in Port Everglades”
    HMCS Whitehorse was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 1,540
    kilograms of cocaine.
    HMCS Edmonton was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 451
    kilograms of cocaine.

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