– Breaking Defense – The contest to build Canada’s next warship just kicked into high gear, and it’s a preview of the US Navy’s own frigate competition, with many of the same players.
– CIMSEC – A key part of any modern navy is its rotary-wing component. The capabilities that helicopters bring to naval operations are essential in the context of modern warfare, and many large navies around the world boast impressive fleets of shipborne rotary-wing aircraft. Smaller navies, however, need to make due with much less, and there is perhaps no better example of a small navy employing its limited rotary-wing assets to the fullest extent as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).
– The Diplomat – According to media reports China will double the number of its Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Divisions (AMID) from two to four. Initially, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fielded two AMIDs, one stationed in Guangzhou, the other in the Nanjing Military Region, with a total number of about 30,000 men. Now total manpower in the AMIDs will be around 52,000 – 60,000. These new amphibious forces are meant to complement the roughly 20,000 strong elite PLA Marine Corps in future conflicts over the East and South China seas as well as Taiwan, although the PLA Marine Corps and the AMIDs still lack a joint command system.
– BBC – Canada’s navy has imposed a near-total ban on its sailors from drinking while at sea.
– War is Boring – Ottawa’s weapons plan is unrealistic and late.
– Winnipeg Free Press – Two of the fleet’s three destroyers, HMCS Iroquois and Algonquin, and both supply vessels, HMCS Preserver and HMCS Protecteur, have made their last voyages and will be decommissioned
– USNI News – The Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Toronto (FFH-333) was overflown by three Russian planes — two fighters and a surveillance aircraft — on Sunday, according to a Monday statement from Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson. “While the Russian military aircraft that circled the HMCS Toronto did not in any way pose a threat to the Canadian ship, their actions were unnecessarily provocative and risk escalating tensions even further,” Nicholson said in the statement.
– Real Clear Defense – Maritime power is hardly the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Canada. Yet, Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world, amounting to 243,000 kilometres. With access to three oceans – Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific – the world’s waterways are certainly integral to Canadian security. That the Royal Canadian Navy has been neglected in the budgets of successive Canadian governments has played some part in building the perception of the country as a non-actor in maritime affairs. But the tide may be turning.
– Defense News – Canada will have to rely on its allies to resupply its warships at sea for a two-year period because of ongoing delays in the construction of a new fleet of support ships for its Navy.
– Postmedia – The navy’s last operational submarine is now sidelined until 2016, leaving the service without an underwater capability and potentially throwing into question the future of the submarine fleet.
The federal government is dropping key performance standards for navy helicopters due this fall in exchange for the manufacturer’s promise to guarantee another $80 million in work to Canadian aerospace.
(Thanks to Justin for the link!)
Defense Industry Daily – Canada’s CH-148 Cyclones: Better Late Than Never?
Canada’s Maritime Helicopter Replacement Program has been a textbook military procurement program over its long history. Unfortunately, it has been a textbook example of what not to do. While Canada’s Sea King helicopter fleet aged and deteriorated to potentially dangerous levels, political pettiness and lack of concern turned a straightforward off-the-shelf buy into a 25+ year long odyssey of cancellations, lawsuits, rebids, and more.
Thanks to Justin for the article!
(Republished due to a typo in the link – my fault…)
Defense Technology International – Canada’s Naval Gap
Canada has a total of thirty-three warships and submarines doing everything a first-world Navy should be doing—patrolling its home coast, performing humanitarian missions in places like Haiti, and participating in the multinational Task Force 150 off the coast of Somalia and Yemen. But to hear the country’s top military officers tell it, Canada’s ships are too old, too few, and have some significant technological gaps that the country is struggling to fill.
Virginian Pilot – Canadian, Italian navies stop pirate attack on Norfolk-based cargo ship
The Maersk Virginia, a 950-foot U.S.-flagged container ship owned by Maersk Line Ltd. of Norfolk, escaped an attack by pirates today in the Gulf of Aden, Maersk said. The Canadian and Italian navies helped stave off the attack.
BBC – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed Canada’s decision to send a frigate to Somalia to protect ships carrying food aid from pirate attacks.
Associated Press – Canada announced plans Monday to increase its Arctic military presence in an effort to assert sovereignty over the Northwest Passage – a potentially oil-rich region the United States says is international territory.
Canadian Press – A key federal cabinet committee has given the go-ahead for a plan to construct six corvette-sized Arctic patrol vessels. The patrol vessels, which are almost as large as the navy’s frigates, are a step down from the armed Arctic icebreakers that the Conservatives promised in the last election campaign and will likely not be in service before 2015.
Washington Post – A long-standing legal wrangle between the United States and Canada could complicate future shipping through the Arctic as global warming melts the ice in the Northwest Passage.
Halifax Live – Canada is undertaking sovereignty patrols in the Arctic.
CTV – Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor confirms Ottawa will go ahead with its plan to commission the construction of three naval supply ships.
CBC – Repair work on the fire-ravaged HMCS Chicoutimi won’t start until 2010, leaving the Canadian navy short by one submarine and raising concerns about whether the vessel will ever be returned to service.
Canadian Press – Will Canada arm its icebreakers to help enforce its sovereignty in the North?
CBC – Canada’s new government plans to defend the sovereignty of its Northwest Passage more aggressively than in the past.
Chronicle Herald – HMCS Athabaskan will join the Standing NATO Response Force Maritime Group 1 in Kiel, Germany. On Jan. 26, the destroyer will become the flagship for the squadron of Canadian, American, German, Portuguese and Polish vessels.