As the Royal Canadian Navy undergoes its most extensive peacetime modernization in history, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), announced September 19 the upcoming retirement of four ships that have reached the end of their operational lives.
The ships are Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Protecteur and Preserver, two Protecteur-class auxiliary oil replenishment ships; and HMC Ships Iroquois and Algonquin, two Iroquois-class guided missile destroyers.
The retirement of these vessels has been anticipated for some time and is a step towards the introduction of new ships and capabilities set to be delivered through the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), as well as recognition of the RCN’s commitment to the responsible use of public funds while maintaining Canada’s naval readiness.
This period of transition includes the modernization of the RCN’s 12 Halifax-class frigates and the procurement of three new classes of ships, including the Joint Support Ships, the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships and the Canadian Surface Combatants, as well as the integration of a new maritime aircraft into fleet service.
During this period of transition, the RCN will be able to count on its modernized Halifax-class frigates, Victoria-class submarines and Kingston-class vessels to carry out the tasks and missions set by the Government of Canada.
The Government of Canada is delivering equipment to the RCN by investing $4 billion to modernize the Halifax-class frigates, and $36.6 billion on the NSPS for the recapitalization of the federal surface fleet during the coming decades.
The RCN has a plan in place to address the many challenges of transition, including the need to maintain excellence in operations, to deliver the future fleet and to prepare the RCN for the new capabilities and technologies that will be delivered through the NSPS over the next decade and beyond.
Press Release, September 23, 2014; Image: Canadian Navy