They could've stuck with the ships Paul Martin had on the books when he left office, but nooooo.
The ships, three of them, were to replace the navy's 45-year old supply ships only they were to be supply ships and more. That deal was scrapped by the Tories.
Now we're told to expect an announcement that the navy will get two, possibly three, replacement ships but they won't measure up to what was promised.
What followed, (after Martin's plan was scrapped) according to the series of internal briefings, was a
drastic scaling back of the navy’s design concept, overseen by senior
civilian defence and political officials.
The $2.6 billion program relaunched in 2010 is expected to deliver two — maybe three — ships.
with the program delayed until 2018 and accounting for inflation —
currently running at seven per cent in the shipbuilding industry — it
will likely cost taxpayers more than if the government had stuck with
the original plan.
The new proposal will see the joint ships carry
fewer helicopters, drastically less cargo, no space for a joint mission
headquarters or a full-fledged hospital, as mandated in the original
The Harper government has assigned the task of building
the ships to Seaspan Shipyards in Vancouver and is expected to select
from two specific designs sometime this year.
Unlike the troubled
F-35 fighter proposal where capabilities such as stealth were hardly
questioned, the briefings on the joint support ships suggest civilians
played a large role after 2008 deciding what the military could live
without in the new vessels.
...The initial concept was for a joint ship that could act as floating
supply base for the navy, carrying vast amounts of army equipment to
trouble spots, and act as offshore command post and hospital for
humanitarian missions. It was well-researched and thought out by the
...The ships, as they are envisioned now, almost entirely give up the sealift role.