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Progress on non combat NSPS Ships

The Federal Government today announced a series of preliminary contracts valued at a total of $15.7 million for the joint support ships, the CCGS John G. Diefenbaker polar icebreaker and the offshore fisheries science vessels.

As part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), these initial agreements will enable Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. to:
assist in the progression and assessment of the joint support ship design options;
initiate a review of the polar icebreaker design; and
refine the offshore fisheries science vessel design and specifications; and produce construction plans and determine requirements for material, subcontractors and labour.

As part of the non-combat package under the NSPS, the joint support ships will replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels. The new polar icebreaker, the CCGS John G. Diefenbaker, will be delivered to coincide with the decommissioning of the Canadian Coast Guard’s heavy icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, and the offshore fisheries science vessels are intended to replace the CCGS Teleost, the Alfred Needler, and the W.E. Ricker.

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Ville de Quebec on International Exercises.

HMCS Ville De Quebec is taking part in an composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) with the Aircraft Carrier USS Harry Truman, as a memeber of the 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron (1CDS) 1CDS members currently include USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Gravely (DDG 107), the German ship FGS Hamburg (F220), and the Canadian ships HMCS Ville De Quebec (FFH 332) and HMCS Preserver (AOR 510); USS Monterey (CG 61), USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and USS Kauffman (FFG 59).

COMPTUEX is a series of training scenarios designed to certify HSTSG as a deployment-ready fighting force capable of completing operations in overseas theaters. The exercise will be evaluated and graded by Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic (CSFTA) through warfare scenarios that will include simulated surface, air undersea, strike and electronic attacks.

In addition, events such as maritime interception operations (such as visit, board, search and seizure [VBSS]), live-fire evolutions, and strike group formations will also be assessed by CSFTA. 

German frigate FGS Hamburg (F220) (front) and Canadian frigate HMCS Ville de Quebec (FFH 332) move in formation during a simulated strait transit. Hamburg and Ville de Quebec are underway with aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) conducting a composite training unit exercise in preparation for 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron’s (1CDS) upcoming deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kameren Guy Hodnett/Released)

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Halifax Shipyard Buys land from Province

Irving Shipbuilding will buy a Barrington Street water lot that has been leased from the province for $1 every five years since 1982. The lot is surrounded by a larger water lot already owned by Irving Shipbuilding. This purchase is necessary for the company to meet requirements for the federal government’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. The lease was transferred to Irving Shipbuilding when it bought the shipyard in 1994.

An independent assessment was completed by Turner Drake. The market value of the property was determined to be $95,000. Irving Shipbuilding must purchase the lot to have a deed of licence as it starts federal shipbuilding projects.

Based on the description, I would assume the lease is the area where the Scotia Dock II was located.

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HMCS Toronto to Deploy to Arabian Sea

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto will deploy early this year until the fall of 2013 with a crew rotation during the deployment contributing to the multinational coalition fleet conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea region. HMCS Toronto has been undergoing extensive training in preparation for this deployment as part of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) and will replace HMCS Regina which has been in the region since August. HMCS Regina deployed to the Arabian Sea region with CTF- 150 in order to conduct maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and in the Indian Ocean.

“These deployments continue our strong tradition of making meaningful contributions to international security, and maintain our long-standing relationship of cooperation and interoperability with our allies,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “I thank the captain and the crew of HMCS Regina for their service, as well as their families, who endured their absence over the holidays.”

Canada’s contribution to CTF-150 is known as Operation Artemis. During this deployment, HMCS Toronto’s task will be to detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity by patrolling and conducting maritime security operations in her area of responsibility. Her presence in the Arabian Sea also gives Canada the flexibility and capability to respond quickly to emerging crises in the region.

“HMCS Toronto will carry-on the excellent work that has already been done by the Canadian Armed Forces’ during earlier contributions to CTF 150’s maritime security mission in South West Asia. The deployment of HMCS Toronto will allow us to continue working alongside our allies and partners to help contribute to international security in the region,” said General Tom Lawson, the Chief of the Defence Staff. “I am extremely proud of the professionalism and dedication shown by all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen who have served on our various missions in the region over the last decade.”

Canada is one of 26 nations that contribute naval assets to CTF-150 as part of international efforts to ensure security in the maritime environment of the Middle East.

“The deployment of HMCS Toronto demonstrates the Canadian Armed Forces’ capability to support our allies and gives Canada an opportunity to operate within a responsive international force,” said Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command. “This deployment also allows us to execute any number of missions across a broad spectrum of operations, including humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, regional military engagement, regional capacity building and international diplomacy.”

HMCS Toronto is a Halifax-based Canadian patrol frigate with a crew of approximately 225 personnel, and includes a CH-124 Sea King helicopter air detachment, as well as a shipboard unmanned aerial vehicle detachment. The frigate is commanded by Commander David Patchell.

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Athabaskan tow troubles

Shipfax is reporting that the tow line parted today setting HMCS Athabaskan adrift of Scatrie Island, where the M/V Miner is grounded on shore.

Athabaskan was towed into Sydney by the backup tug Andre H, and is reported to be safe.
For more see shipfax http://shipfax.blogspot.ca/2012/12/hmcs-athabaskan-tow-in-trouble.html

Addtional update from shipfax – there may have been contact and Athabaskan has been damaged. Read more here and Here which has addtional photos of the damage.

UPDATE 01/01/13: I have received confirmation from a source that there are punctures on the port side of the hull, near the Numbers. Shipfax has the photos

UPDATE 02/01/13: Shipfax is reporting Atlantic Towing will be completing the tow and has tugs in Sydney. They have a good synopsis here

CBC news is reportingThe Iroquois-class destroyer, which is currently docked in North Sydney, has at least seven holes in its hull along with several dents and scrapes. It also appears the ship’s frame may be warped along the waterline.
The Royal Canadian Navy declined to comment to CBC News about the extent of the damage.
the story included this video of the damage

Update 12/30/12: CBC News is reporting:

Capt. Doug Keirstead, a spokesman for Maritime Forces Atlantic, said there was no one on the ship at the time, but there were people on the tug.

He said the line was reconnected with the help of a Cormorant helicopter from the airbase in Greenwood, N.S.

“One of the crew members who was on the tug was lowered down to Athabaskan to reconnect the line, as was a member of the tug’s crew,” Keirstead told CBC News on Sunday.

Athabaskan was in St. Catharines, Ont., for a refit. It was on its way to Halifax for the winter when it went adrift.

Once the line was reconnected, the ship was towed to Sydney to wait out the current winter storm. It’s not known when it will resume the journey to Halifax.

Photo HMCS Athabaskan is towed into Sydney harbour to wait out bad weather. (Yvonne Leblanc-Smith/CBC)

Cape Breton post reports

The HMCS Athabaskan drifted in the North Atlantic for hours off Scatarie Island, which has been home to the wreck of the bulk cargo ship, MV Miner, for the past 15 months.
Capt. Doug Keirstead, a spokesman for Marine Forces Atlantic, said the tow line broke due to the poor weather in the region at the time.
There was no one on the Athabaskan at the time, said Keirstead, adding the immediate concern was for the safety of the crew towing the vessel to the Halifax naval dockyard.
“It was drifting at about 0.5 knots, so it was going very slow,” he said, Sunday.
“I do know that they were far enough offshore to allow the ship to be reconnected safely and efficiently, and of course be towed into Sydney at that point to safely avoid the poor weather.”
Keirstead said he was unsure of the exact distance from shore, but given the drifting speed of the Athabaskan, and the time it took to have a Cormorant helicopter fly from its Annapolis Valley airbase in Greenwood to help reconnect the tow line, the ship wasn’t in danger of running aground.
The commercial tugs, contracted by the Canadian Forces, pulled the Iroquois-class destroyer into Sydney harbour late Saturday afternoon.
The HMCS Athabaskan, which has been in service for the Canadian Forces since 1972, had been undergoing a refit in St. Catharines, Ont., and was being towed back to its home port of Halifax prior to the winter closing of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
It hasn’t been determined when the ship will resume its voyage to Halifax, Keirstead said.
He said it’s not unusual for a tow line to break.
“When we’re having to contend with severe weather conditions, which include high winds and rough seas, that can place a challenge on towing a vessel like that.”
It’s not expected there will be an investigation into the tow line break as it’s a “reasonably straight forward issue,” Keirstead said.
However, he noted the Canadian Forces always looks at lessons learned and how that can be applied to future tows.

Additional update from the Cape Breton Post:

The HMCS Athabaskan was tied up at the Osprey dock in North Sydney, Monday. The Canadian destroyer, which was being towed by two tugboats from St. Catharines, Ont. and had its tow line break off Scatarie Island, will remain in Sydney harbour until weather conditions improve, and then continue on with its trip to the port of Halifax. (additional image Steve Wadden, Cape Breton Post)

Don Merritt photos of the damage

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HMCS Athabaskan on the way.

HMCS Athabaskan left Port Weller last night, crossed Lake Ontario today, and is now in the Saint Lawrence seaway. Athabaskan sailed to Port Weller for a scheduled work interval when the seaway opened in march, but the refit ran long, and she must now be towed to Halifax before the seaway closes inland of Montreal, Dec 31 for the winter.

The Tugs Ocean Delta (forward) and Andre H (Aft) have the tow. If Andre H Looks familier, its because she lived in Halifax for a number of years as Point Valiant at ECTug. They have a Halifax ETA on the 31st.

Photo Lynda Crothers HMCS Athabaskan Passing Wolfe Island at 1530
Photo Capt. Andrew Ferris  Meeting the HMCS Athabascan with tugs at Carleton Island

UPDATE 12/24: She is Off Rimouski PQ Today.

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Halifax Shipyards Announces Enginerring firm for yard upgrades.

ISI Anounced today that enginering for 300 million in yard upgrades would be done by Hatch Mott MacDonald Engineering. HMM designed Saint John Shipyard’s buildings and infrastructure; they have also managed and designed marine projects at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal, Department of National Defence Halifax, and Eastern Passage Autoport.

Hatch Mott MacDonald has 40 employees – primarily engineers and specialists – in Nova Scotia today.  With this contract, the company expects to grow to about 65 engineers and specialists to complete the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy yard modernization plans at Halifax Shipyard.

The program presents significant challenges to ISI and the consulting team.  In order to meet delivery, schedule, and financial obligations, ISI must prepare their facility to achieve the goal of beginning production of the first set of vessels in late 2013, and provide a quality product in the most efficient manner possible.  This will require extensive facility modernization including new buildings, building renovations, new marine infrastructure, a new ship erection platform, and extensive site works.

For More See ISI’s release or HMM’s 

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Davie Yard Has a New Buyer

Via The Montreal Gazette:

The Court appointed Bankruptcy monitor, since last August, has been weighing a bid from Zafiro Marine, a British operator of a fleet of offshore supply vessels of the same genre as the three now sitting uncompleted in the Lévis shipyard. The three partially completed offshore oil and gas service and pipe-laying vessels have lain dormant at Davie since Norway’s Cecon ASA placed the original order worth almost $500 million and then ran into financial problems.

The once vociferous Davie union says 900 workers could be recalled in January, but the Quebec City region recently has had one of Canada’s lowest jobless rates.

Industry sources say it will cost about $250 million to finish the three vessels sitting in the Davie yard — they are 60 per cent complete. Davie has two ferry orders worth $120 million for La Société des traversiers du Québec … when the gates reopen.

Denise Verreault, CEO of Les Méchins shipbuilder-repairer Groupe Maritime Verreault Inc., estimates almost $1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money has been spent on Davie since 1985.

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Spy Case Resolved – Delisle pleads Guilty

It is being reported  that Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle entered a guilty plea to spy charges. I suspect a plea deal was made with the crown that will see Delisle serve jail time, and the crown can keep secret what he told the forign entity.

UPDATE: CTV News is reporting that Delisile was Paid $3000/month to supply information to the Russian Inteligence Service.

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