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DND releases statement regarding the acquisition of new submarines

HMCS Windsor transits Halifax Harbour in preparation for the CLaS Program Credit: Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Shawn M. Kent, Formation Imaging Services - Halifax

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, announced that Canada is taking the first step towards the procurement of up to 12 conventionally-powered, under-ice capable submarines – and that Canada is launching the process to formally engage industry on this acquisition. This is an important step in implementing Canada’s renewed vision for defence, Our North, Strong and Free.

Through the Canadian Patrol Submarine Project (CPSP), Canada will acquire a larger, modernized submarine fleet to enable the Royal Canadian Navy to covertly detect and deter maritime threats, control our maritime approaches, project power and striking capability further from our shores, and project a persistent deterrent on all three coasts.

The Department of National Defence is currently in the process of meeting with manufacturers and potential partners, as part of the Canadian Patrol Submarine Project (CPSP). A formal Request for Information will be posted in fall 2024 to gain further information on the procurement, construction, delivery and operational capabilities of potential bidders who can build submarines for Canada. This RFI will also seek to gain information which will enable the establishment of a submarine sustainment capability in Canada. This procurement will enable Canada to develop closer ties with its allies and partners and establish a strategic partnership that not only delivers the submarines themselves, but creates a durable relationship between Canada and its strategic partner(s) to support personnel training and the sharing of information.

Canada’s key submarine capability requirements will be stealth, lethality, persistence and Arctic deployability – meaning that the submarine must have extended range and endurance. Canada’s new fleet will need to provide a unique combination of these requirements to ensure that Canada can detect, track, deter and, if necessary, defeat adversaries in all three of Canada’s oceans while contributing meaningfully alongside allies and enabling the Government of Canada to deploy this fleet abroad in support of our partners and allies.

The procurement of up to 12 submarines is necessary to ensure the defence of our three coasts, and the federal government is looking forward to working with industry to find a partner that will deliver world-class submarines for Canada.

“As the country with the longest coastline in the world, Canada needs a new fleet of submarines – and today, we’ve announced that we will move forward with this acquisition. This new fleet will enable Canada to protect its sovereignty in a changing world, and make valuable, high-end contributions to the security of our partners and NATO Allies. We look forward to delivering this new fleet to the Royal Canadian Navy.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence


• As outlined in Our North, Strong and Free, the security situation in our Arctic and North is changing as the region becomes more accessible. We are seeing more Russian activity in our air approaches, and a growing number of Chinese dual-purpose research vessels and surveillance platforms collecting data about the Canadian North that is, by Chinese law, made available to China’s military.

• In Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada’s Defence, the Government of Canada announced $8.1 billion over five years and $73 billion over 20 years in new defence spending. This builds on historic investments the federal government has made to date to support members of our Armed Forces, strengthen Canada’s defence capabilities, and respond to global challenges.

• In addition to the funded initiatives in Our North, Strong and Free, Canada also identified ten capabilities for which we will explore options, including:

• renewing and expanding our submarine fleet;

• acquiring new vehicles adapted to ice, snow and tundra;

• enabling our Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels to embark and operate our maritime helicopters at sea;

• making further contributions to the integrated air and missile defence of Canada and North America;

• acquiring ground-based air defences to defend critical infrastructure;

• acquiring long-range air- and sea-launched missiles;

• modernizing our artillery capabilities;

• upgrading or replacing our tank and light armoured vehicle fleets;

• establishing a light armoured vehicle production program; and

• acquiring a suite of surveillance and strike drones and counter-drone capabilities.

• Today, Canada is announcing that it is moving forward to engage industry on the renewal and expansion of Canada’s submarine fleet – in particular, the purchase of up to 12 conventionally-powered, under-ice capable submarines.

• Four Victoria-class submarines were purchased from the British Government in 1998, and delivered to Canada over a four year period from 2000 to 2004. The first three submarines—Victoria, Windsor and Corner Brook—were commissioned into RCN service shortly after their arrival in Canada. The fourth, Chicoutimi, was delivered to Canada in 2004, but was not commissioned into RCN service until 2015, due to a fire in 2004 and subsequent work required.

• The Government of Canada has committed to modernizing and operating the Victoria-class into the mid-to-late 2030s.

6 thoughts on “DND releases statement regarding the acquisition of new submarines”

  1. It is astounding to me that of all the possible initiatives that Canada could take to protect and serve the North, not one mention is made of developing a Canadian airship program. Why would submarines that are designed to lurk under the ice be a better method of projecting power than a very visible rigid airship that can fly over ice, islands and patrol all coasts faster, cheaper and better than any submarine.
    Some might argue that we have no industry to build airships, but we have no industry with any experience in building submarines, but that is never considered any barrier. Let’s stop at 11 submarines and use the money for the 12th to build a modern airship instead.

  2. Yeah sure, we all know this will never happen. We’ve been down this road many times before. The best the Navy can hope for is about 4 subs and they will be the cheapest ones on the market if we get any at all. And we keep making the same mistakes over and over. Non nuclear subs have no credible under ice capability. AIP gives them some limited ability but not more. The Aussies just realized this fact and changed their project from conventional to nuclear subs.

    The other thing we need to remember is that the Liberals know that they can promise the world because they will probably never have to deliver on them.

    1. The liberals unlike the conservatives have been expanding the defense budget.In fact the % of GDP declined under the conswervatives despite fighting a war in Afganistan. During their time the fleet was reduced by two provision ships and 4 destroyers. In addition their planned aquisition of F35s was well below the 88 contracted by the liberals. The expanded type 26 being aquired again under the liberals will be among the most capable ships of their class out there. The Vigilence class they are also planning look good. Then there is the coast guard, the conservatives kept delaying building a polar ice breaker, the liberal contracted for two. In addition they added two of the DeWolf class for the coast guard. Anyone who has spent any time following what is going on knows the lead contenders for the subs is the KSS 3 class again excellent choices.

    2. If they only can have 4 AIP then there will be no other choice than 4AIP. Any atomic wouöd be way over budget. Same as Australia is experiencing now. This is going to be insanely expensive for them and eats up their budget. Especially as they are not investing that money in the country it self. The Canadian situation is very much the same. Canada have done its most costly procurement in history when aquireing new fighters where a very small amount of the money go back in to Canada again. Aswell as said fighters are extremly expensive in maintainance. And Canada does not poses any Sub production facilities so it will be hard to have the investments stay in the country. All that as the nation have spent big money on new surface ships. 40 milion people are only 40 milion people. Its far from an infinite budget there.

  3. Sadly, I agree with M.Mcewan above. Current gov’t know they will never have to deliver on this acquisition. However, by pretending to do so, they give the ‘appearance’ of upping our defence budget to the required 2%.

  4. Under Mr. Trudeau, the Liberals have failed to live up to a majority of their promises, and the ones they have kept, they were forced to keep by the NDP. The conservatives, under Mr. Poilievre, are no better. Mr. Poilievre said in February he would work towards the 2% NATO target. Then, in an abrupt about-face, in July he said he won’t commit to the NATO 2% target because of the “dumpster fire” of a deficit left by the Liberals. Finally, the NDP have nothing on their platform about defence at all, which means this isn’t even on the NDP radar. So, what makes anyone believe this promise will be kept? I’ll believe that Canada will build this fleet of subs, when it really happens.

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