UPHOLDERs

#1
Anyone serve on one of the UPHOLDERs ? What were they like, compared with the older diesel boats or an SSN ? Curious as to why we flogged them, leading to the embarrasing situation where we had to borrow a U-boat from the Helmuts for FOST work up when the Ts were out of service due to safety fears.
 

snorko

Lantern Swinger
#2
The story goes we lost the upholders because of defence custs. FOSM was asked to put up a saving, and instead of putting up an SSN, or something else he put up the most capable and newest SSK's around - or some would say. Thinking the MOD would never take such a ludicrous saving he setled back in his chair, only to find out that the MOD had taken the saving, and there was the end of our SSKs. If the truth is different I would be interested to know
 
#4
Bow cap /rear door interlocks did not work
VSEL dep project manager? become the Aussie project manager and was so impressed by such a superior product they got the Collins class instead ,allegedly
 
#5
A story I heard when the RAN was looking for a new S/M was that the RN did not want the Upholders and they were built for export only to keep the builders employed. When no-one wanted them the RN was forced to take the minimum number they could get away with, and offloaded them at the first opportunity.
 
#6
lsadirty said:
Anyone serve on one of the UPHOLDERs ? What were they like, compared with the older diesel boats or an SSN ? Curious as to why we flogged them, leading to the embarrasing situation where we had to borrow a U-boat from the Helmuts for FOST work up when the Ts were out of service due to safety fears.
Even before the S&T trouser leg problem reared its head FOST would use foreign SSK's as part of its training programme. The foreign navies would offer SSK time in part exchange as payment for their skimmers to conduct BOST, COST and whatever.

This benefits all concerned. The MOD got a hull on which to work up our own ASW assets and the foreign SSK's got to stay in some decent Weymouth hotels for the duration.

I got to do sea time on some weird and wonderful submarines and sample the beer they brought with them. One or two boats would have see through bulkheads when dived but what the hell; I was young and full of piss and wind. Great fun...........
 
#8
Topstop said:
Bow cap /rear door interlocks did not work
VSEL dep project manager? become the Aussie project manager and was so impressed by such a superior product they got the Collins class instead ,allegedly
Yea but they fixed that and the other problems.
They were good boats I didn't serve on them I left the mob before they came into service but I did work on the 'Reactivation' project when I worked for VSEL in Bath. I did quite a few of the feasibility studies for the Canadians and got lots of help from ex 'Upholders' in Barrow and they thought they were damn good boats. They were packed with kit for such a small boat and so quiet.
They are only on lease to the Canukes!!!! This was a ploy to confuse the Canadian public making them think at the end of the day we, us Brits, would take 'em back.
Shame really why we flogged them in the first place was a crime.
 

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
#9
Poly, am I right in thinking that they were sat alongside the wall for about 10 years before the Canucks took them over?
 
#10
I was at Cammell Lairds for the launching of Unseen. It was a really foggy day on the Mersey and once she slid down the slipway into the river she disappeared into the fog and was truly 'Unseen'
 
#11
like I mentioned, any chance you can take them back...

"Submarines for Canada's Navy," Backgrounder BG-98-017, DND, 6 April 1998. A "lease to buy" arrangement paid over eight years would allow Canada to receive the submarines within two years. Canada would deduct the annual lease payment from the amount the UK pays to train its military at Canadian facilities which, in the past, has been valued at approximately $80 million per annum. DND also would partially finance the purchase by early retirement of five ships and avoidance of future refits for the Oberons, saving total costs of approximately $160 million. Of course, these estimated savings are based on the assumption that the destroyers and Oberons should otherwise have remained in operation.
Table I - Upholder Submarine Program Costs (for 30 year program)*
A: Acquisition costs
Purchase of four used Upholder submarines $610 million
Shore facilities & modifications to meet Canadian requirements $140 million +?
Total acquisition costs $0.75 billion
B: Refit costs
Routine refits over life of program $1 billion
Air Independent Propulsion system (AIP) refit $1 billion
Total refit costs $2 billion
C: Operating costs
Annual operating costs (based on Oberon program) $90m/year
Total operating costs for 30 years $2.7 billion
D: Total program costs $5.45 billion
http://ploughshares.ca/libraries/Briefings/brf981.html

These boats for all intents and purposes were "mothballed" and left to sit alongside without proper "daily" maintenance, let your car sit for a number of years without upkeep and just jump in and start her up, see how long it takes for the engine to seize...

Repair costs

The Upholder had been mothballed in April of 1994, and by the time the Canadians agreed to purchase her, she had already been laid up for four years. The problems with returning the vessel to service were therefore, perhaps, predictable. When workers set to work restoring the Chicoutimi, some areas of steelwork, but not the hull itself, were discovered to be corroded well beyond a safe extent. Some hull valves were cracked, air turbine pumps were defective, and the Chicoutimi had been looted for usable parts. Ironically, the cannibalization of the Chicoutimi took place to provide parts for her sister ship, HMCS Corner Brook, according to documents acquired by the Halifax Daily News in September of 2004.[2]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Chicoutimi_(SSK_879)

IMHO we were sold a bill of goods, and my Government in it's hurry to purchase Submarines made an error in judgement, we would have been further ahead if we had of bought the plans for the Swedish variants and went ahead and built our own, we have the shipbuilding infrastructure, but politicians being the miserly bastards they are went looking for a quick and "cheap" solution only to discover it is costing us a huge amount and the boats are hardly seeing any service...

Just a note, I am not pointing any fingers as I feel we are the ones who screwed up, before we took possession of the boats all Q&A should have been done to everyone's satisfaction, that way we both walk away knowing it's a good deal, but our Admirals feeling the heat from the politicians made the move to early.

I remember the early 80's when a young rookie cabinet minister (Perrin Beatty) in Ottawa declared to the public we were going to purchase 10 Nuclear capable Submarines, well 2 things happened right away, this was the early 80's so the GreenPeacers jumped all over that and the ongoing Submarine Acquisition program which had been working away for at least 5yrs just got shit canned.......sooooo everyone scrambled when the O-Boats were reaching their "mid-mid-life" refits....and thus the story began...
 

scabz

Lantern Swinger
#12
The Upholder's were a compromise design, neither what the RN wanted nor what the DTI/FCO or whoever the department was that drove exports at the time wanted. Consequently it was a hybrid that satisfied no-one.
They were put up as a savings measure, I believe, on the understanding that they'd never be taken ...funny old thing, they were.
Sad really, because SSKs were an excellent opportunity to learn tools/tricks of the trade. I'd like to see SSKs back in the RN, but no chance, I guess.
 
#13
scabz said:
The Upholder's were a compromise design, neither what the RN wanted nor what the DTI/FCO or whoever the department was that drove exports at the time wanted. Consequently it was a hybrid that satisfied no-one.
They were put up as a savings measure, I believe, on the understanding that they'd never be taken ...funny old thing, they were.
Sad really, because SSKs were an excellent opportunity to learn tools/tricks of the trade. I'd like to see SSKs back in the RN, but no chance, I guess.
I thought the design was based on the T boats without the middle section
I don't think it was ten years alongside the wall but a fair few before the Canadians bought, sorry lease loaned them! There was quite a few Navies we tried to flog them to before the Canadians showed an interest.
 
#14
Polycell said:
Topstop said:
Bow cap /rear door interlocks did not work
VSEL dep project manager? become the Aussie project manager and was so impressed by such a superior product they got the Collins class instead ,allegedly
Yea but they fixed that and the other problems.
They were good boats I didn't serve on them I left the mob before they came into service but I did work on the 'Reactivation' project when I worked for VSEL in Bath. I did quite a few of the feasibility studies for the Canadians and got lots of help from ex 'Upholders' in Barrow and they thought they were damn good boats. They were packed with kit for such a small boat and so quiet.
They are only on lease to the Canukes!!!! This was a ploy to confuse the Canadian public making them think at the end of the day we, us Brits, would take 'em back.
Shame really why we flogged them in the first place was a crime.
Was used as part of the EBS/BIBS trials in the Fore ends only about half the guys managed to breath. The reducers were to small. dont know if that was fixed.
Was supposed to be the killick foreendie on Unicorn, I meet at least 6 others in Dolphin and 3? officers claiming to be the WEO designate.
Got a draft to the main gate and then civvy street instead.
 

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