You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 9, 2011.

Submergible bird sanctuary reporting for duty!

The Canadian Navy is silly.

The questionable purchase of four submarines from the British in 1998 is still haunting our humble navy.

“In the year 2010 alone, the Canadian navy spent $45 million on repairs to HMCS Windsor. It had budgeted to spend just $17 million, the documents show.

It appears that every system on the British-built submarine has major problems, according to the documents, including bad welds in the hull, broken torpedo tubes, a faulty rudder and tiles on the side of the sub that continually fall off.”

One would think that if, when buying a new vehicle, one would check to see if you could actually steer it.   Apparently a radical notion back in the heady 1990’s.

There is an upside, the birds seem to looooove our submarines!

“Because the submarine has been in drydock in Halifax for so long, it has become a bird sanctuary. The navy spent thousands of dollars just trying to keep the pigeons from roosting in the vessel.”

Imagine the changing of the submarine guard with all the regal and pomp of any important military, tourists flock to see the changing of the pigeon patrol and the handing over of the air horns and .22’s.  If  this regal spectacle is not on your eastern Canadian trip itinerary you are missing out.  “But what about the torpedoes Arb?” says my gentle readership.  I’m getting there, be patient the stage needs to be set to fully appreciate the magnitude of how far the Canadian navy is willing to piss up this particular rope.

The country’s stock of second-hand submarines – already beleaguered with repairs and upgrades — is incapable of firing the MK-48 torpedoes they currently own.

When Canada purchased its current fleet of four submarines from Britain in 1998, they were fitted for British torpedoes. At the time, Canada was heavily invested with the modern MK-48 torpedo system and did not want to abandon it.

Like any shopper trying to justify a second-hand purchase in the face of an obstacle, they figured it was still a good deal. They “Canadianized” the submarines, but, 13 year later, they still haven’t got around to the “weaponization” part.

“The Canadian Forces has always intended for the Victoria Class submarines to carry and fire the Mark 48 torpedo,” wrote Denise LaViolette, the director of navy public affairs, in an email. “Initial weapons certification will be progressed early in 2012 in HMCS Victoria for Pacific operations followed that year by HMCS Windsor for Atlantic operations.”

It is like buying a car without a windshield  for highway driving.  The splatty-stingy bug impacts of common sense have no effect on our heroic Navy highway-driver, damn the windscreen we need to upgrade the tires!  No torpedoes AND submarines that regularly catch on fire,  sounds like a good idea upgrade them further:

“In late March, Canadians discovered their government has been cross-border window shopping for 36 “Torpedo Conversion Kits” when the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued a release. These kits come with spare parts and logistical support to upgrade the current stock of MK-48 torpedoes from Mod 4 to Mod 7. The estimated cost is $125 million, but the sale hasn’t been completed yet.”

While our benevolent conservative government pleads poverty and belt tightening they spend like drunken sailors on torpedoes we can’t fire on submarines that are better suited to be bird sanctuaries than actual naval vessels.

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