Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Royal Canadian "Rent a Boat" Navy
There's a new ship in Esquimalt harbour. It's the Chilean navy's Almirante Montt, a provisioning/replenishment/supply ship that we had to rent because we don't have any of our own left. Our are en route to the breaker's yard and their replacements aren't due until 2021 but that's in Harper Years so don't expect it at the dock until years after that.
Now it's not exactly accurate to claim we've rented Chile's Admiral Montt. We've actually just booked it for 40 "sea days." So, if a naval threat does materialize during those 40 days, we might actually have it covered.
As for Canada's Atlantic fleet, we're trying to cut a deal to rent a similar vessel from the Spanish navy.
The RCN removed from service its two supply ships, Preserver and Protecteur. Both carried fuel, food and ammunition for warships. They also provided medical services and helicopter support and maintenance
[Vice Adm. Mark] Norman noted the retirement of the two ships created "a significant gap for Canada that we need to look to mitigate as quickly and as cost-effectively as we can."
Joyce Murray, the defense critic for the opposition Liberal Party, said the gap in capability was caused by the Canadian government's mishandling of military procurement.
The joint supply ships were supposed to be in the water in 2012, but the CAN $2.6 billion project had to be restarted. Construction of the ships is now expected to begin at the Seaspan shipyards in Vancouver, British Columbia, late next year.