February 25, 2024

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One of many Royal Canadian Navy’s frigates has injury to its propeller and structural cracks and corrosion, limiting the operation of the ship.

Nationwide Defence confirmed the small print this newspaper obtained from navy personnel in regards to the injury to HMCS Winnipeg, however denied recommendations from these sailors that the Halifax-class frigate is perhaps decommissioned within the close to future due to the continuing points.

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Nationwide Defence spokesperson Dan Le Bouthillier confirmed that “structural cracks and corrosion points have been recognized that are associated to the age of the ship.”

However he stated these issues can be handled subsequent yr, when HMCS Winnipeg is docked for a extra in depth restore interval.

Le Bouthillier additionally confirmed the issue with the frigate’s propeller, which occurred final fall throughout a mission to the Indo-Pacific. A bit of the sting of one of many propeller’s 5 blades broke off.

“To keep away from extreme vibration and attainable injury, a pace restriction was positioned on the ship till full repairs could be performed through the ship’s subsequent complete docking interval,” Le Bouthillier stated.

He famous that HMCS Winnipeg was persevering with to assist crew coaching.

The frigate’s propeller was broken in October 2022. Halifax-class Frigates, comparable to HMCS Winnipeg, have two propellers.

HMCS Winnipeg might be docked for a yr beginning in January for prolonged upkeep, generally known as a docking work interval.

As a part of the leadup to that docking, Le Bouthillier stated, routine structural surveys of the warship have been finished and structural cracks and corrosion points have been discovered. “Essentially the most rapid points have been repaired, and, following a rigorous danger evaluation, it was decided that the ship may safely proceed its present crusing schedule with some restrictions on working in excessive sea states,” he added.

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Most pace may also be utilized in case of emergencies.

The Royal Canadian Navy didn’t reply this newspaper’s questions on whether or not discussions had just lately taken place about decommissioning HMCS Winnipeg due to the structural issues.

However navy spokesperson Sabrina Nash did say there have been “no plans to decommission His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Winnipeg in 2024.”

Upkeep finished on the ship through the docking work interval, and different related work intervals that happen each 5 years, will “make sure the frigates stay efficient and proceed to function a bridge to the longer term fleet, permitting the Navy to ship on its core mission till the arrival of the Canadian Floor Combatants,” she added.

The Canadian Floor Combatant or CSC mission will see the development of 15 new warships to exchange the Halifax-class frigates.

However the CSC mission – the most important single expenditure in Canadian historical past – has been plagued with delays and price overruns. Considerations have been raised in regards to the lack of accountability and oversight of this system in addition to the secrecy surrounding the initiative.

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The mission was initially authorised with a $26 billion price ticket however Parliamentary Funds Officer Yves Giroux estimated final yr that value for the ships is now $84.5 billion.

“Each time we take a look at this (mission) the prices go up,” Giroux stated on the time.

A brand new value estimate is anticipated to be launched within the fall by Nationwide Defence.

At the same time as prices proceed to rise, Nationwide Defence is steadfast that it’s going to not be altering course on the mission.

CSC was began by the earlier Conservative authorities however by the summer season of 2015 it was speaking about limiting rising mission prices by decreasing the variety of ships to be constructed.

However the incoming Liberal authorities dismissed that notion and as a substitute dedicated to all 15 warships.

In February 2021, the Division of Nationwide Defence revealed that the supply of the primary floor combatant ship can be delayed till 2030 or 2031. The primary ship was initially alleged to be delivered within the early 2020s however that was later modified to 2025, in accordance with DND paperwork.

David Pugliese is an award-winning journalist overlaying Canadian Forces and navy points in Canada. To assist his work, together with unique content material for subscribers solely, join right here: ottawacitizen.com/subscribe