Mark Collins – The Incredible Shrinking RCN Canadian Surface Combatant Fleet, or…

…the continuing example of the madness of the build-in-Canada National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (which all major political parties support, though the separatist
Bloc Québécois wants more for the Davie yard in Québéc, natch), combined with no government policy on what our Navy is really needed for.  Further to this post, 

Maybe Not the Planned 15 High-End RCN Warships–and Nobody Knows Costs, Part 2
[note links at end]

some serious shrinking is acknowledged from the mouth of the minister himself:


Jason Kenney: Frigate Construction Program Might Include Some ‘Trade-Offs’
[CSCs actually, frigate and destroyer replacements]

A re-elected Conservative government could end up approving the construction of as few as 11 warships to replace the navy’s frigates, despite committing to 15 combat vessels under their marquee defence strategy.

Conservative candidate Jason Kenney, the defence minister, offered that update on Friday [Oct. 2] at a Nova Scotia shipyard [Irving, Halifax]…

The government intends to build between 11 and 15 frigate replacements and the final number will depend on technology and cost, Kenney said.

“We are going to have make choices that trade-off the number of vessels and the expense of the technology we load on to them,” he said during a question-and answer-session with reporters.

“Those latter vessels are going to be built well into the 2020s [IN FACT THEY WILL BE BUILT RIGHT THROUGH THE 2030S]. Should the government at that point need to adjust the budget to accommodate for inflation and technology costs, I’m sure the government will do so. Right now, this is the prudent strategy.”

How many warships the federal government is willing to build has been a source of uncertainty and some anxiety in Halifax, which sees the shipyard program as an economic boon…

Very relevant:

Royal Canadian Navy: 15 Canadian Surface Combatants? Maybe Some Offshore Patrol Vessels Instead

Italian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Plans (RCN?)

Please understand that the current government’s funding allotments for RCN’s plans are nonsenses.  Can anyone, political, naval or more broadly military just think straight?  Or maybe honestly.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


5 thoughts on “Mark Collins – The Incredible Shrinking RCN Canadian Surface Combatant Fleet, or…”

  1. What does a gov’t want the RCN to do?

    ‘Warship numbers worry navy expert

    The delivery of fewer than 15 surface combatant ships under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy could cost Canada the ability to take part in large-scale overseas naval missions, a retired navy commander says.

    Colin Darlington, also the vice-president of the Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia, says new numbers indicated by Defence Minister Jason Kenney last week could mean sacrificing what he considers a crucial functionality of Canada’s navy.

    “Eleven (ships) probably means Canada could not maintain intense long-duration naval operations,” Darlington told The Chronicle Herald on Tuesday.

    To carry out those types of missions, which often call for a task group of four or five ships, Canada would require at least 15 warships, he said.

    …Darlington said the Royal Canadian Navy, with 11 warships, would not have enough ships to engage in high-end operations requiring deployment of a fleet overseas for an extended period of time, as it did in the months following Sept. 11, while still meeting its other obligations.

    Whether the loss of that capability is a negative thing hinges on what the government, the Forces and Canadians want the navy to be able to achieve in terms of foreign policy, he said.

    “For some … 11 is a failure to ensure we have a robust navy … then there are others who don’t wish to be engaged overseas and don’t see the need for a large number of ships.”..

    “The government might say … the possibility of having to deploy a five-ship task group for years is low enough they can accept less ships,” he said…

    [SPIN ALERT] Late Tuesday [Oct. 6] evening, a Conservative party spokeswoman emailed The Chronicle Herald to say the government “remains committed to building up to 15 surface combatant ships under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.”’

    Mark Collins

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