To no one’s surprise MarineLog reports that Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon, Quebec, Canada’s largest shipyard, has been selected as the third shipyard partner in Canada’s “National Shipbuilding Strategy” and will build six icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard.
There is much more detail in the VARD brochure and Wikipedia entry linked above, but a few significant data points.
- Displacement, full load: 23,500 tons
- Length overall: 150.1 m 492’-6”
- Length waterline: 137.6 m 451’-5”
- Breadth moulded 28.0 m 91’-10”
- Design draft: 10.5 m 34’-6”
- Generators: 39,600 kW 53,100 hp
- Propulsion: two 11 MW (14,751 hp) wing shafts and a 12 MW (16,092 hp) azimuth thruster. total 34 MW (45,595 hp),
- Speed: 18 knots ice free, 3.0 kn, 2.5m ice
- Range: 26,000 NM @ 12 kn ice free
- 1,800 NM @ 3.0 kn 2.2 m of ice
- 60 core crew + 40 program personnel
- Endurance 270 days
For comparison these are figures for the planned Polar Security Cutter. Projected delivery dates, 2024, 2025, 2027.
- Displacement, Full Load: 22,900 tons
- Length: 460 ft (140 meters)
- Beam: 88 ft (26.8 meters)
- HP: 45,200
- Accommodations: 186
- Endurance: 90 days
In many ways the designs are remarkably close. Looks like the Canadian breaker will be slightly larger than the PSC, but will have a much smaller crew.
Presumably there will be no provision for armament since the Canadian Coast Guard does not arm its vessels.
The Diefenbaker’s very long endurance is a bit of a surprise, in view of Canada’s lack of a requirement to go to Antarctica, a feature that has driven the design of the PSC.
Propulsion power is almost identical, a bit over 45,000 HP, and both designs include three propellers, but the way it is done is different. While the PSC has a conventional shaft on the centerline and rotatable drive units to port and starboard, the Canadian design has a single rotating drive unit on the centerline and conventional shaft driven props port and starboard. This may provide the PSC with a redundancy advantage in that it might allow steerage even if one unit is damaged. On the other hand the single Canadian unit may be less likely to be damaged because of its position.
Marine Link reports that,
“The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping industry is calling for at least five new icebreakers to be part of the (Canadian–Chuck) federal government’s recent announcement of $15.7 billion for Canadian Coast Guard fleet renewal.”
This appeal was addressed to the Canadian government, but we can expect to hear continued appeals for more USCG icebreakers on the lakes as well.
“Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard crews worked tirelessly during the Great Lakes spring break-out, but were hampered by the age and condition of the fleets at their disposal. Two U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers were out of service in March and a Canadian icebreaker assigned to Lake Superior was only able to operate at 60 per cent of capability and was idled in April due to mechanical issues.”
Congressmen from states bordering the Great Lakes have been asking for more icebreakers for years. There was $5M in the FY2019 budget to start work on procurement of a Great Lakes icebreaker at least as capable as USCGC Mackinaw.
There is an indication that the system may be expanded and the navigation season extended,
That economic contribution is only set to increase as ports and their customers invest in increasing the capacity of the waterway as well as looking at options like lengthening the navigation season of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
There might be an opportunity here to combine the program to provide medium polar icebreakers with a new icebreaker for the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes icebreaker might serve as a prototype for the medium polar icebreaker.
Workboat is reporting that the Canadian Coast Guard has taken procession of the 307.4’x59’ Captain Molly Kool, the first of three refurbished icebreaking anchor handling vessels that will fill in, as older Canadian Coast Guard vessels are taken out of service for major overhauls. We talked about these vessels earlier.
It does appear the Canadian Coast Guard has become an election issue and is starting to get some attention. As noted only last week, 18 more vessels are on the way.
MarineLog is reporting that Canada is planning to build 18 additional ships for the Canadian Coast Guard including two additional Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS, a type previously built for the Royal Canadian Navy).
They will also add a third shipyard to the national shipbuilding strategy.
The cost may appear out of line. The total for the 18 ships, C$15.7 billion (about US$11.7 billion) averages US$650M per ship. That is more than the average cost of the contract with options for three USCG Polar Security Cutters ($1.9B for three ships or $633M on average), but the price is not final and it appears it may include extended support.
The C$15.7 billion funding for the 18 large ships in represents early estimates of project budgets including construction, logistics and support, contingency, project management and infrastructure costs. The costs of each ship will be announced following contract negotiations.
Still there is likely to be some criticism.
There is also mention of an intention to also build some smaller vessels,
The Government of Canada will also proceed through a competitive process with the design of a new class of smaller ships, the new Mid-Shore Multi-Mission Ship, which would complement the work of the large fleet in shallow areas and deliver mid-shore science activities.
All in all, good news for the Canadian Coast Guard and an investment in ship building in Canada, assuming it actually happens. Like the US Coast Guard, they have had their problems.
“Vancouver, B.C., based Vard Marine, Inc. reports that the Canadian Coast Guard has awarded it an engineering services contract to explore concepts for the Coast Guard’s future fleet renewal program.
“…The work is intended to explore requirements for multiple future fleet ship types and could stretch over several years.“
Vard was of course a designer of the Offshore Patrol Cutter.
Video: Russian nuclear powered icebreaker NS 50 Let Pobedy (Russian: 50 лет Победы), translated as 50 Years of Victory or Fiftieth Anniversary of Victory. The new Chinese Nuclear icebreaker will be similar in size.
Some recent writings on China’s increasing interest in the Arctic caught my eye.
First there is this piece, “Opinion: China Is Joining the Rush for Arctic Riches.” by former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis noting China’s apparent high level interest in the Arctic and its increasing military, political and economic alignment with Russia.
A wide ranging article from the Canadian Naval Review looks at “China’s Arctic Policy and its Potential Impact on Canada’s Arctic Security.” The author sees the roots of the Chinese policies in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) quest for legitimacy. As a result China has asserted “rights in respect of scientific research, navigation, overflight, fishing, laying of submarine cables and pipelines, … and rights to resource exploration and exploitation in the Area,” The author also suggests the Chinese see the Northern Sea Route as a way to avoid the US Navy’s potential blockage of the Straits of Malacca, but I cannot see that as a possibility, given the US possession of the Eastern half of the Bering Strait.
Lastly, some details about the new Chinese icebreaker have been reported by NavyRecognition. It is going to be very large.
“Next, came the official announcement that China intends to build a nuclear icebreaker. It will be 152 meters in length, 30 meters wide, and will displace 30,000 tons.”
Like many of you, I was unable to attend the Surface Navy Association Conference, but I did find a number of videos which may provide some of the information that would have been available there. The Coast Guard Commandant had been scheduled to speak but cancelled, apparently in response to the partial government shutdown.
I have provided three videos, each about ten minutes, that may be of general interest, and links to four others, typically 20-25 minutes. The descriptions are from their respective YouTube pages.
The second and third videos have specific Coast Guard content, which I have identified by bold typeface with the beginning time in parenthesis. Some of the other equipment may have Coast Guard applications in the future.
Day 1 video coverage at SNA 2019, the Surface Navy Association’s national symposium. In this video we cover:
– Austal latest frigate design for FFG(X)
– Raytheon DART Variable Depth Sonar (VDS)
– Raytheon / Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM)
– Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti Ship Missile (LRASM)
Day 2 video coverage at SNA 2019, the Surface Navy Association’s national symposium.
In this video we cover:
– Fincantieri Marine Group FREMM frigate design for FFG(X)
– General Dynamics NASSCO John Lewis-class T-AO (New Oiler)
– Raytheon SM-2 restart
– Raytheon SM-3
– Leonardo DRS Hybrid Electric Drive for U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) (time 11:10)
Day 3 video coverage at SNA 2019, the Surface Navy Association’s national symposium. In this video we cover:
– Atlas North America’s solutions for mine counter measures, harbor security and unmanned surface vessels
– Lockheed Martin Canadian Surface Combatant (Type 26 Frigate, Canada’s Combat Ship Team)
– Insitu ScanEagle and Integrator UAS (time 4:30)
– Raytheon SPY-6 and EASR radar programs
Vice Adm. Tom Moore, USN, the commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, discusses US Navy efforts to increase public and private ship repair capabilities, lessons learned from repairing USS John S. McCain and Fitzgerald, the new Ford-class aircraft carrier, getting the Littoral Combat Ship on regular deployments and more with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian at the Surface Navy Association annual conference and tradeshow in Northern Virginia.
George Awiszus, military marketing director of GE Marine, discusses the outlook for the company’s LM2500 engine that drives warships in more than 30 nations and the future of shipboard power with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian at the Surface Navy Association’s annual conference and tradeshow in Northern Virginia.
Adm. Bill Moran, USN, the vice chief of naval operations, discusses dialogue with China, improving the surface force in the wake of 2017’s deadly accidents, refining Navy culture, increasing ship repair capabilities, harnessing data, improving information sharing across the force and the new Design for Seapower 2.0 with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian at the Surface Navy Association’s annual conference and tradeshow in Northern Virginia.
Maj. Gen. David “Stretch” Coffman, USMC, the US Navy’s director of expeditionary warfare (N95), discusses new expeditionary warfighting concepts, the recent deployment of Littoral Combat Group 1 — composed of USS Wayne E Meyer (DDG-108) and USS Somerset (LPD-25) — to South America, new formations to replace the current Amphibious Ready Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit, unmanned ships, the performance of the F-35B Lightning II and more with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian.
The Canadian Coast Guard is getting some new assets. They are getting two new 62 foot Motor Lifeboats that will be stationed at Port Hardy BC, on the NE tip of Vancouver Island, and Bella Coola, about half way up the British Columbia coast.
They are being transported on the newly leased Atlantic Raven, seen above, which will join its sister, the Atlantic Eagle. They will serve as Emergency towing vessels.
The two larger vessels are expected to be homeported in British Columbia. The Atlantic Eagle in Victoria and the Atlantic Raven in Prince Rupert near the border with SE Alaska
One will patrol a northern area in Canadian waters between Alaska and the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and the other a southern area including the west side of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. They will also be available to conduct search and rescue operations and support environmental responses, when required.
Canada has dispatched a RCAF C-146 search and rescue helicopter to assist local authorities in dealing with the fires in California.
Thanks to Ken for bringing these two developments to my attention
Thanks to Walter Y. for bringing this to my attention.
Canada is building twelve large, relatively fast, self-righting Motor Lifeboats. These are the “Bay” class and the first are now making an appearance.
Reportedly they will be “capable of safe operation in extreme weather up to Beaufort Force 12 conditions and are able to survive in 12 meter (40 foot) seas.”
This again brings to mind the fact that at some point we will need to replace the four 52 foot MLBs and we may also want to use the replacement class in other areas where exceptional seakeeping and longer range than the 47 footers is desirable. We did discuss this possibility earlier including some other alternatives and got lots of comments.
These self-righting, 20-meter (65.6 ft–Chuck) boats are powered by a pair of MTU 1600 HP marine Diesel engines providing a speed of up to 24 knots in extreme weather conditions. These vessels are primarily a day boat and will be operated by a crew of up to five Coast Guard seamen.
The vessel’s particulars are as follows:
- Length overall: 19.0 metres
- Length DWL: 17.5 metres
- Beam, moulded: 6.3 metres
- Depth, moulded, at midship: 2.58 metres
- Hull draft, nominal: 1.67 metres
- Power: 2,400 kW
- Speed: 23.5 kts