Mark Collins – Just Announced New Canadian Coast Guard Vessels Overpriced by Factor of Five

Further to this post, and comments,

Canadian Coast Guard Shocker – Ten (maybe) New Serious Vessels

some withering under-statement at Defence Industry Daily:

Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSPS)

Oct 7/13: More CCG Ships. Canada’s new Minister of Public Works and Government Services adds up to 10 Canadian Coast Guard ships to the NSPS. The additional C$ 3.3 billion would bring the NSPS’ planned total to C$ 38.3 billion, while fulfilling a FY 2012 budget commitment of $5.2 billion over 11 years to renew a very aged but necessary fleet. With that said, C$330 million for each of these 10 new ships is overpriced by a factor of about 5x, which is consistent with a comparison of Canada’s JSS project [more here] vs. Britain’s similar MARS/ Tide Class.

The new commitment would add up to 5 more Medium Endurance Multi-Tasked Vessels, which are ~65m, shallow draught ships that can lay/ emplace aids to navigation, and fill basic unarmed patrol and support roles.

Another 5 Offshore Patrol Vessels would be up to 75m long, but their focus would lean more toward fisheries protection than the long-range armed projection/ command and control role of larger OPVs like the Dutch Holland Classexternal link. They would also perform other basic patrol and support roles.

These 10 vessels would be built at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards as part of the NSPS. Once built, they would join 9 new Hero Class Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels, which are based on the same Damen Stan Patrol 4207 design as the US Coast Guard’s new Fast Response Cutters. The Hero Class is built by Irving Shipyards but predates the NSPS, and the ships began entering service in May 2013. As one might guess, they’re named after service members who won posthumous awards for bravery.

Note the use of conditional phrases throughout this entry. What this announcement doesn’t look like, is a contract for a finalized design. The long and sorry record of Canadian NSPS delays means that unless and until the government starts issuing actual contracts, it’s hard to take it too seriously. Sources: PWGS Canadaexternal link, “Vancouver Shipyards to build Medium Endurance Multi-Tasked Vessels and Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard” | CDFAI 3Dsexternal link, “Mark Collins – Canadian Coast Guard Shocker – Ten (maybe) New Serious Vessels”…

The NSPS sure is a sappy, disgracefully over-priced, soap opera.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute; 
he tweets @Mark3Ds

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