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Changes to Australia's Submarine Plans

By David Dunlop, 16 September 2021

February 2019: Portsmouth based Type 23 Frigate HMS ST ALBANS currently deployed on operations as the UKs Duty Towed Array Patrol Ship, conducts a personnel transfer from Astute Class Submarine HMS ASTUTE, using HMS ST ALBANS embarked Merlin Helicopter from 814 NAS

Australia has now done an about-face and scrapped the 12 boat French DNCS Barracuda Block 1A submarine deal. The French/Naval Group naturally are livid but a deal among the US, UK and Australia has just been announced to transfer nuclear technology to Australia. Up to 8 nuclear attack submarines are to be built. Whether it be Astute-class or Virginia-class boats is not clear as yet. Will this give Canada new momentum to make a deal with the US to also transfer its nuclear technology to Canada? Australia's deal with the US & UK does not involve any nuclear weapons. More to follow.

Discuss on the Broadsides Forum!

Upcoming CNR issue

Volume 17, Number 2 (2021)

Summer has ended and fall has begun. We are now dealing with the fourth wave of this never-ending pandemic saga. But the show must go on and thus we continue to produce new issues of Canadian Naval Review.

I’m happy to announce that the Fall issue is coming soon. Here is a preview of what’s in store for you. The issue begins with an Editorial examining the topic of military training and exercises, an issue that has come into the spotlight with the collapse of the Afghan National Army and the country’s fall to the Taliban. Then we have five articles, all of which are timely and interesting. 

The first article examines a topic that was in the news for weeks this summer – the blockage of the Suez Canal by a huge container ship. What happened and what will be the implications? Read the article and find out. The second article takes a look at the maritime warning function in NORAD. The third article examines incident at sea agreements, using the US-Soviet INCSEA Agreement as a point of discussion, and examining recent agreements and negotiations in Asia. The fourth article discusses submarines, and explains how they are useful and why Canada needs them. And the final article discusses the use of ‘loitering munitions’ – i.e., “optionally recoverable unmanned aerial vehicles, capable of self-propelled and self-controlled flight, with a built-in reconnaissance and explosive payload that can be detonated on target” – in the maritime environment. These articles are all excellent.

We also have a selection of interesting commentaries. Contributors discuss delays in the construction of icebreakers, a plan to create a Canadian maritime tactical helicopter squadron, the ‘northern bridge’ to Europe, and a possible future for global maritime forces. As well, we have a commentary on how the new Arctic Fisheries Agreement will affect the Canadian Coast Guard. The good material just never ends! In other words, as usual the issue is full of amazing material – illustrated with beautiful photos.

If you don’t have a subscription yet, you should get one so you don’t miss anything.

The issue will be available soon – keep your eyes on the CNR Twitter account for details (@CdnNavalReview). And see the full table of contents below.

Table of Contents - Vol. 17, No. 2 (2021)

  • Editorial: Training in the Spotlight - by Ann Griffiths
  • Suez Canal Blockage - by Heinz Gohlish and Michael Moon
  • NORAD’s Maritime Warning Role: Origins and Future - by Andrea Charron and James Fergusson
  • Towards Multilateral Arrangements Regarding Incidents at Sea in Europe - by David F. Winkler
  • Why Canada Needs Submarines - by James Brun
  • Exploring the Impact of Loitering Munitions in the Maritime Environment - by Christopher Verklan
  • Making waves
    • The Ongoing Delays of Building a New Heavy Icebreaker - by Jeff G. Gilmour
    • It is Time for a Maritime Tactical Helicopter Squadron - by Major (Ret’d) Les Mader
    • Canada’s Northern Bridge to Iceland - by Steven Bright
    • Global Naval Forces are Key to the World’s Future - by Mikael Perron
    • Impacts of the Arctic Fisheries Agreement on the Canadian Coast Guard - by Nicole Covey
  • Dollars and Sense: Canadian Patrol Submarines: Complementing or Competing with Continental Defence? - by Dave Perry
  • Warship Developments: Expeditionary Sea Basing - by Doug Thomas
  • Book Reviews

Previous CNR issue

Volume 17, Number 1 (2021)

  • Editorial: One More Time: Sexual Misconduct in the CAFby Ann Griffiths
  • The Science of Vague Assumptions: The Sea Mine and Its Future - by Lieutenant (N) Sebastian Harper
  • Modernizing Anti-Submarine Warfare: A Systematic Journey - by Commander Chris M. Devita
  • Artificial Intelligence: How Can the RCN Benefit in the Near Term? - by Megan Martins Da Ponte
  • Canada-US Defence Relations and the CSC: A Ship Too Far?by Dan Middlemiss and Denis Stairs
  • A View from the West: The Quad 2.0 and Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region - by Jocelyn Sandhu
  • Dollars and Sense: Shipbuilding, Moving Forward - by Dave Perry

CNR resources

Read more: CNR Archives (50+ magazines in PDF) and Subject Index (500+ articles)

Looking for Books about Maritime Matters?

Over the last 15 years, Canadian Naval Review has published over 170 book reviews. These books cover a variety of topics but they all relate to maritime matters, history, or security and defence at sea. This is an amazing resource. Go through the list of reviews, pick out a few books that look interesting, read the reviews, and then order the books from your nearest bookstore or from the publisher. See the list of book reviews at