Building One Navy,Funding Another
Canada is yet another Western military who is finding its Cold War era building practices unsustainable in the modern age. This story is from David Pugliese, almost a one-man voice for his country’s armed forces:
As celebrations continue for its 100th anniversary, Canada’s navy has announced what defence analysts say is a major reduction in the number of ships available for service.
The move, sparked by budget problems, will leave the navy a shell of its former self, according to analysts.
The fleet of Kingston-class maritime coastal defence vessels will be reduced from 12 to six ships and three frigates, HMCS Montreal, St John’s and Vancouver will now be conducting domestic and continental missions to a “limited degree,” according to a letter sent to naval formations by the service’s commander Vice Admiral Dean McFadden.
We often note how the USN and the Royal Navy love their high tech wonder ships, they just don’t love to fund them properly or increasingly are unable because of the wars and domestic concerns. All this might be understandable, but really the type military should reflect the funds available. Too often the admirals’ wish list exceed available capital by many times. Look here specifically what is happening to the large frigates the Navy insists it must have:
Combat systems on HMCS Toronto and HMCS Ottawa will be “minimally supported to enable safe to navigate sensors and communications only,” states the letter written April 23 and released to the Ottawa Citizen on Wednesday. The same will happen to the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan, it added.
A key weapon system on board the Protecteur-class supply ships designed to destroy incoming missiles “will not be supported,” it added. Some anti-submarine warfare capabilities for the navy’s destroyer fleet will also not be supported.
So if the threats aren’t there to justify this equipment now, what promise is there it will be needed for some future obscure conflict? My point is, if the Canadian Navy is going to buy and maintain high tech warships, and can only do so by “dumbing” them down to operate like spartan patrol boats, why not just buy patrol boats to being with?
Instead build smart ships, smaller ships, cheaper ships, and lots of them, putting aside the facade of the Cold War, since the Cold War budgets are long gone and not likely to return.