Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Canadians Want To Send A Sub To The Arctic

[Intel Source: SubSim] The Commander of the Canadian Joint Task Force Atlantic says he wants to send one of Canada's submarines on a "sovereignty patrol" of the country's Arctic regions. As I've mentioned before, Canadians are apparently upset that American submarines might be passing through Canadian territorial waters when sailing through the Arctic Ocean. They're concerned about some of the potential problems of operating up north, though:
"One of the things that I will want to be able to exercise, practise, validate, is how well I can communicate and control the submarine in what is an area where you have very difficult and, in some cases, sketchy communications architectures. Satellite coverage is as bad there is it is anywhere on earth.
"So pushing the submarine up into those types of operations allows us to figure out where the envelopes are. . . . I would hope to get to the stage where I can do that sooner rather than later."
In March, then-rear admiral Dan McNeil said it would be "almost impossible" for diesel-electric subs to operate in the Arctic archipelago, noting depth charts of the area are more than a century old and currents in the narrowest passages move along at up to 17 kilometres per hour.
Out of date depth charts? Seems like all they'd have to do is ask the U.S. Navy for updated ones, and I'm sure we'd be glad to provide them.

(Emergency Deep! to avoid the counterfire of various Canadians...)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen a movie titled "Canadian Bacon (1995)" before?

9/12/2006 2:27 AM

Blogger NCdt(II) Genest said...

It's more complicated than just having you guys passing through our waters with your subs. We also have the Danish and Russians to contend with, and they both want the ressources (minerals, oil, etc) present in the region.

Now, if we don't at least appear to be doing something to "keep you guys at bay" so to speak, it sends the message that we're weak and we won't defend what's "ours." (And I'm not even talking about the disputed areas)

Besides, Canada is trying to reassert itself as a credible middle power. To do that, we have to go around showing other nations that we do have some might--granted, we couldn't pick a fight with you guys, even though our grunts, sailors and airdales are better than yours. We're just doing what the US has been doing for years: flexing our muscles to show we have them.

Finally, our subs haven't been seen much, and although I'm sure they've been out to sea doing things other than training, they haven't been public about it. The public (and even part of the Canadian Forces) still think that after the HMCS Chicoutimi fire, our subs are in dock waiting to be scrapped.

Anyway I'll be writing a little something (with a tiny bit more detail than this comment) about the situation on my own blog. [/shameless plug]

9/12/2006 8:31 AM

Blogger ninme said...

How come the Canadians don't use nuclear submarines? Too expensive (defense budget doubles!)? Too political? Too unnecessary?

9/12/2006 12:54 PM

Blogger NCdt(II) Genest said...

Ninme, it's a little bit of everything.

Obviously our Navy can't support a large number of nuclear vessels (I don't even know if it can support a small number of them), especially the "startup" costs related to infrastructure for refits and whatnot--and a deal with the US to use their facilities would be seen as another step towards "assimilation."

On the political side, we actually did plan on purchasing nuclear-powered submarines at one point not too long ago, but the left (and the majority of the population) couldn't tell the difference between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. We want to be a nuclear weapons free country, and so the fearmongers said something to the effect of "nuclear submarines are nuclear weapons, so we can't have them." The people agreed; no nukes.

To tie that in with the "unnecessary" part, Canadians see our Armed Forces (not just the Navy) as Peacekeepers, not warriors. They barely understand the need for weapons of war, particularly submarines, let alone things that can only be used to blow stuff up. I personally don't feel it would be unnecessary, as it's always preferable to have a fast-moving, hard to detect platform ready to go anywhere on earth and stick around for a while, but the view of the population and people with much higher paygrades than me is that although we're engaged in offensive operations in Afghanistan, we don't "do" war on the high seas anymore, and there's no "credible" seaborne enemy.

All in all, it's mostly a question of how we percieved ourselves: we're nice, low-budget, non-lethal "soldiers of peace," so why do we need expensive things that are dangerous? There have been rumors of our new government considering nukes, but I think with the spending levels we're at with the new ships, nukes aren't going to happen anytime soon.

Sorry for the long reply, but I always try to be thorough and cover the important things.

9/12/2006 1:55 PM

Blogger ninme said...

So, the first and the last, primarily dictated by the second?

9/12/2006 2:40 PM

Blogger NCdt(II) Genest said...

I guess that's what it comes down to, really, which is sad.

9/12/2006 2:50 PM


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