Further to this post close to three years ago, and to this post wherein there are lots of links related to the Navy’s, er, challenges,
the essence of the matter is outlined:
Small fish in a big pond: Future of navy lies in balance of defence review
Officials [no–ministers] must decide whether the Royal Canadian Navy will retain its ability to have even ‘relative prominence’ overseas…
For the Royal Canadian Navy, which is arguably facing the biggest capability gap in the Canadian Armed Forces, current and former officials agree this could result in a major culture shift.
The question boils down to this: will the navy maintain a significant international presence in the future, or will it turn most of its focus inwards, to maintaining sovereignty in Canadian waters?
…to give Canada a place of “relative prominence” within a naval coalition, the navy needs to be able to form “task groups” of three or four ships, with anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities. These groups give Canada international clout, said a defence official speaking on background.
But readiness has dropped, the official said. Destroyers and supply vessels have been retired. While Canada’s fleet of Halifax-class frigates are expected to last until the 2030s, possibly into the 2040s, with refit programs, after which new Canadian Surface Combatants are expected to take over, long expensive defence procurements like these have a habit of slipping. The fear is that replacements might not arrive, or not enough would be built.
From a political perspective, the government might be satisfied to let go of the naval task group capability, meaning that it would retain a more modest ability to participate overseas.
“If we showed up with only one modern ship, that might satisfy the politicos, as they can argue that we’re doing our bit,” the official added. Domestic capabilities, in that case, could be prioritized. “The self-image of the force would shift from a combat-capable organization with global reach to a regionally-focused force that can provide a very modest presence in a single crisis area.”..