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Canadian U Boats.


Lantern Swinger
What follows is my opinion and my opinion alone. It is in no way a reflection of the opinions of the Government of Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Company I work for, or any other organization or person(s) who were involved in the acquisition of the Upholder submarines, nor those who served, or continue to serve in the RCN Submarine Force.

As a former submariner who served in Swiftsure, Oberons, and Victoria (ex Upholder) Class submarines continuously from 1974 to 2005, it's my opinion that the VCS (Vic Class submarine) is up there in the top five diesel electric submarines worldwide. Canada first started showing interest in the Upholders as being a potential replacement for the aging Oberons in the mid-1990's; however, contracts were not exchanged until late 1998 or so. It is not for me to comment on Government procedures or the politics surrounding the acquisition (see above); that information is available to those who wish to search for it. It is however, a fact that the four Upholders languished in Barrow for about fours years, with only limited maintenance being undertaken, which likely contributed to problems with material state of the boats and the many issues that with had to be worked out to ensure the boats were not only contractually compliant, but more importantly, safe to operate. Nevertheless, VSEL/Marconi/BAE Systems did a fair job in reactivating the submarines. The RCN, like the RN and other sub operating navies, consider their submarine service to be the Silent Service. As a result, the Canadian press, eager for information jumped on the negatives that may have contributed to program delays. Even after the boats had been 'signed for' and were back in Canada the press continued on their relentless pursuit of negativism. In an effort to showcase the boats, journalists and TV crews where invited to spend time at sea. That resulted in hydraulic leaks being reported as hydraulic bursts; overfilling a trim tank was reported as a flood. The press very rarely, if ever, reported on the successes the boats enjoyed. The relatively short in-service period with the RN did not provide Canada, or the RCN specifically, with much operational or technical data. The RCN essentially had to start from scratch and compile their own operational characteristics and technical know how. That, coupled with a big loss of qualified submariners whom were taken up by DND and industry for their knowledge base (myself included), led to a capability gap while the RCN trained a new generation of submariners. It has without doubt been a long road to achieving the operational tempo the RCN currently enjoys today; two boats are fully operational, to be joined by a third in the coming weeks, and the fourth in its scheduled EDWP. But all that being said, I'm sure the press don't want to report on that though because it's not 'newsworthy'. Dolphin 36.


War Hero
I think that the Senator in the first clip may have (had, it seems like it was recorded a while ago) a hidden agenda!

I was in Dolphin at the time. As I understand it, they were world class leading conventional boats. So far as I know, UKplc then made the decision to concentrate on nuclear boats only, thus rendering the U boat surplus to requirements. No mention of this in the totally unbiased Canadian reporting! Obviously they could not be sold to just any old navy. Yes, there were well documented, and repaired, problems - the tube interlocks and the upside down T-frame (or was that an A boat?). They were assessed and then bought 'as seen' and as I recall, given then a pretty good re-furb at Barrow.

Caveat emptor and all that.


Lantern Swinger

One of our operational submarines, HMCS Chicoutimi, has just returned from a very successful and rewarding 197 day Asia-Pacific deployment. If interested, you can read about the deployment at the link above. As I alluded in post #2 above, there was nary a word from the national news services other than a brief acknowledgement that the boat had returned safely (successes are not newsworthy). It's left to a government publication to laud well deserved praises on the crew and the logistical support teams. BZ to all concerned in making this deployment a success for the Canadian Submarine Force. Dolphin 38 (DBF).


War Hero
HMCS Chicoutimi was newsworthy in 2004 although as the media couldn’t get to her (the RN and RFA could and did) they made shit up.

Sometimes it’s better that the media don’t report.


War Hero
HMCS Chicoutimi was newsworthy in 2004 although as the media couldn’t get to her (the RN and RFA could and did) they made shit up.

Sometimes it’s better that the media don’t report.
I for BAE Submarines at that time so fully aware of issues, when she first left Barrow


War Hero
Issues that had nothing to do with the fire and casualty on board that I’m referring to?
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