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article imageCost of repairs to Canadian sub much higher than estimated

By Lynn Curwin     Feb 24, 2011 in Technology
Halifax - The refit cost for a Canadian submarine is much more than was budgeted and the work is taking years longer than estimated.
CBC News reported that, according to documents they obtained under an access to information request, the Canadian navy spent $45 million on repairs to HMCS Windsor in 2010 alone, while it had only budgeted to spend $17 million.
The documents state that the vessel has several problems including bad welds in the hull, broken torpedo tubes, a faulty rudder and tiles that often fall off of the side.
The work, which began in 2007, was scheduled to be completed in 2009 but it is now expected to take until late in 2012.
The National Defence website states that HMCS Windsor was built in the UK for the Royal Navy and commissioned in 1992 as HMS Unicorn, then transferred to the Canadian Navy in 2001. The submarine was re-named HMCS Windsor, after the city of Windsor, Ontario.
The Globe and Mail reported that Canada agreed to a lease-to-purchase deal for the subs. The lease price was $897-million but would not involve handing over money, as Britain would use Canadian training facilities for 10 years in exchange.
The other submarines involved in the deal - HMCS Chicoutimi (HMS Upholder), HMCS Victoria (HMS Unseen) and HMCS Corner Brook (HMS Ursula) - have also had problems.
In 2004, a fire on HMCS Chicoutimi resulted in one person dying and two being injured. It was towed to shore and the latest figure on repairs is around $370-million.
HMCS Victoria has been in the water for just over 100 days since the navy took delivery of the vessel in 2000, according to CBC News. The rest of the time has been spent in drydock for repair work.
The Globe and Mail reported that David Rudd, who had been president of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies when the decision to purchase the submarines was made, cautioned that they would be “strategic orphans” for which parts and maintenance would be more expensive because they were the only ones of their kind in the world.
More about Submarine, Sub, Windsor, hmcs windsor, Repairs
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