Daily Archives: July 4, 2013

Canada – New $531-million submarine contract protects 200 jobs at Esquimalt

A rare site of two Canadian subs sailing together into homeport for the Christmas holidays. Seen leading the pack is the HMCS Cornerbrook with the HMCS Windsor following. The HMCS Cornerbrook and the HMCS Windsor arrived in the early dawn coming along side in Halifax today in Nova Scotia on the 21st of December 2006


The Harper government is set to announce a five-year, $531-million contract  extension to repair and upgrade Canada’s fleet of four diesel-electric  submarines

OTTAWA — B.C.’s shipbuilding and repair industry will get a shot of good news  Thursday when the Harper government announces a five-year, $531-million contract  extension to repair and upgrade Canada’s fleet of four diesel-electric  submarines, The Vancouver Sun has learned.

The contract, following a similar agreement struck in 2008, will protect  roughly 200 jobs at the department of national defence’s Fleet Maintenance  Facility in Esquimalt, according to a federal official.

Another 200 jobs will be protected at locations elsewhere in Canada, he  said.

“This significant federal investment will support more than 400 high-quality  jobs, improve the long-term sustainability of B.C.’s shipbuilding industry and  provide the best tools for Canada’s sailors,” he said in a prepared  statement.

The contract was won in a competitive bid by Babcock Canada Inc., a  subsidiary of the British multinational firm Babcock International Group  PLC.

Babcock International won the original contract in 2008 after it teamed up  with Weir Canada Inc. of Mississauga, Ont., to create a consortium called the  Canadian Submarine Management Group.

However, Babcock announced in 2011 that CSMG would be renamed Babcock Canada  Inc. after Weir’s share of the joint venture was transferred to Babcock.

The original contract award caused a political flap because Babcock beat out  Irving Shipbuilding, which wanted to keep the repair work in Halifax.

One of the critics was Green party leader Elizabeth May, who at the time was  planning her run against Defence Minister Peter MacKay in his Nova Scotia  riding.

May, who accused the government of an “anti-Atlantic bias,” is now the MP for  the Vancouver Island riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.

The original five-year contract in 2008 was worth $370 million over five  years, but if CSMG met performance targets the contract was to be extended over  15 years, for a total value of up to $1.5 billion.

Thursday’s announcement gives a clear indication that Babcock has met those  targets.

The fleet of four Victoria-class diesel-electric submarines has had a rocky  history after the Liberal government made what appeared to be the  bargain-basement purchase of the mothballed subs from the Royal Navy for $750  million in 1998.

It took far longer and was costlier than expected to make the vessels  seaworthy, and in 2004 the HMCS suffered a fire that left one officer dead. In  2011, HMCS Corner Brook ran aground near Vancouver Island during manoeuvres.

There are now two subs, HMCS Victoria and HMCS Windsor, that are fully  operational.

HMCS Chicoutimi is currently being serviced at Esquimalt but is expected to  be ready for sea trials later this year.

The HMCS Corner Brook is also in Esquimalt for both repairs and a refit.

The fleet is “at the highest state of readiness that they’ve ever been,” the  source said.

Source – The Vancouver Sun

UK – AMS wins submarine equipment contract

UK – Stokesley-based firm Analox Military Systems has won a valuable contract to supply submarine equipment to the Norwegian Navy

Analox Military System is to supply the Norwegian Navy with submarine equipment
Analox Military System is to supply the Norwegian Navy with submarine equipment


A manufacturing specialist has won a six-figure contract to supply the Norwegian Navy with submarine equipment.

Analox Military Systems (AMS), which specialises in the design and manufacture of gas analysis equipment, has signed the contract with Norwegian Defense Logistics Organisation (NDLO) to supply the Norwegian Navy with two carbon monoxide monitoring systems for six ULA-class submarines.

Established more than 30 years ago, the Stokesley-based firm already exports to navies around the world including the USA, Brazil, Holland, Australia and Sweden.

It will undertake the development, manufacture, installation and commissioning of the new system, with the first due to be delivered in February.

Analox Ltd divided its operation into two divisions in 2011, launching Analox Military Systems Ltd to help it continue the business growth.

AMS, which also won Exporter of the Year Award at the North East Business Awards 2006, delivers services and products for military customers around the world. It is currently working with Hakon Rygh, its Norwegian distributor, on the installation and commissioning phase.

Vicky Brown, sales and marketing director at AMS, said: “We’re very proud to be supplying the Norwegian Navy with gas analysis equipment.

“Historically, carbon monoxide monitoring has been problematic for submarines owing to the presence of hydrogen.

“AMS’s new system uses an accurate infra-red technique and as a result, is not sensitive to hydrogen, giving the submariners confidence in the accuracy of the monitoring.”

Commander Baard Gjerstad, project manager submarine projects for NDLO, added: “We needed equipment which would not be affected if hydrogen was present, and Analox Military Systems is able to deliver systems which meet this specific need. We are looking forward to working with AMS on this contract.”

The submarine has people living and working within a confined space. It is therefore essential the atmosphere is carefully managed at all times to limit exposure of the crew to potentially harmful substances.

The new CO monitoring system, which is designed specifically for submarines, will be officially launched at DSEi, a major defence and security exhibition in London, from September 10 to 13.

Brown added: “ We are expanding our team and boosting our engineering capability. This contract win, and the growth of our team, is testament to the commitment and hard work of everyone at AMS.”

This contract win, and the growth of our team, is testament to commitment and hard work

Source –  The Journal

Trident: Lib Dems consider end to continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent

Trident nuclear submarine

The future of Britain’s Trident nuclear programme has split the coalition

The Liberal Democrats are considering calling for Britain to give up its permanent at-sea nuclear deterrent within the next few years.

They are expected to use a review of Trident to say some of the UK’s four nuclear submarines should not be replaced after they are decommissioned.

But senior figures are now pushing to end Britain’s continuous at-sea deterrent even earlier, from 2016.

A decision about the future of Trident has to be made by that point.

This would mean that some of the existing Vanguard submarines would be confined to port with skeleton crews and used for spare parts to keep the remaining boats operational.

The hope among Lib Dems is that this would not just save billions of pounds but would also send a signal that it is possible for a nuclear state to reduce its arsenal while keeping some kind of a deterrent.

‘Kept in port’

This was hinted at last week when Lib Dem Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander said it was time “to move on from the Cold War postures of the past” with a credible deterrent that “can play a role in supporting disarmament in future”.

One senior Lib Dem MP said: “We are looking at ending continuous at-sea deterrent even earlier. We don’t have to wait until the subs need replacing. We could just keep them in port now.”

Another Lib Dem MP said: “If you thought that you could sustain a meaningful deterrent with two boats, then nothing would prevent you using the existing boats on the same principle.

“It would be reckless to scrap them but you could cannibalise them for parts.

The proposal is contained in an internal party policy paper on defence which is said to be at a “pretty late stage of development” and will be put to the Lib Dem conference in September.

Mr Alexander has chaired the government’s review of Trident which is sitting on David Cameron’s and Nick Clegg’s desks and will be published shortly.

It is expected to say that some of the potential alternative ways of delivering nuclear weapons – from land or from air – are either too expensive or too impractical. But the review is expected to consider the option of scaling back the current submarine-launched system.

Most military experts agree that it would be impossible to provide a continuous, around-the-clock nuclear deterrent with less than four Vanguard submarines. With training and repairs, there is frequently only one submarine on duty at sea.


The Conservatives are committed to a like-for-like replacement of Trident which is estimated to cost as much as £20bn. But many Lib Dems believe that Trident is too expensive and distorts the defence budget.

They hope to argue that it would be better to spend the money on troops and kit.

Last week Mr Alexander told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme that the review was seeking to answer whether like-for-like replacement was “the only way to protect our country in future”.

“And while the review doesn’t come to any conclusions, I think when we publish the results in a few weeks time people will see that there are choices available to this country, there are alternatives where we can move on from the Cold War postures of the past and try and set out a new future for this country with a deterrent that is credible but where this country can play a role in supporting disarmament in future.”

A Lib Dem spokesman said: “The Cabinet Office-led review into alternatives to Trident has now been submitted to the prime minister and deputy prime minister.

“The review’s findings will now be considered and an unclassified version will be published in due course.”

A senior Conservative source said: “Abandoning our continuous at sea deterrence, which has been the ultimate safeguard of our national security for more than 45 years, would be a reckless gamble.

“And leaving our nuclear-armed submarines rusting in port, and then seeking to deploy them at a time of crisis would not only put Britain’s security at risk, but would also risk escalating global tensions.

“Conservative policy is clear: we will safeguard Britain’s national security and maintain our continuous at sea deterrent.”

John Woodcock, Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, said: “Unilaterally ending the commitment to keeping at least one nuclear submarine operational at all times will make no meaningful contribution to global non-proliferation, in fact it could have the opposite result by unsettling other countries who are currently under NATO’s umbrella of protection.

“The Liberal Democrats are finally admitting there is no alternative mini-deterrent that could save billions, but few will be taken in by their latest fallacy that a part-time deterrent could save lots of money and protect Britain adequately in the event of a threat in future decades.”

Source – BBC News