Preview: Canadian Naval Review Vol. 18 No. 2

By Dr. Ann Griffiths, 21 September 2022

The air department onboard HMCS HALIFAX prepares to bring a CH-148 Cyclone into the hangar, after a maintenance flight during Operation REASSURANCE on 20 April 2022. Credit: Pte Connor Bennett, Canadian Armed Forces photo.

Time passes. As the leaves begin to turn and the temperature falls, it’s time for another issue of Canadian Naval Review. In the spring issue we published a theme issue on the Arctic. The fall issue is not a theme issue, but it provides readers with a great dose of interesting and engaging material to help get them through rainy fall days.  

We are pleased to begin a relationship with colleagues in Australia – a preview of a joint CNR/Australian Naval Review issue that we’re planning for spring 2023. Canada and Australia have much in common but we differ in many ways, and we can see this in naval strategy and capability. The fall issue includes an article by Justin Burke, entitled “Sea Change: Australia’s Naval Ambitions.” In this article Burke walks us through the capabilities, plans and progress of the Royal Australian Navy. In another article, “The Future Prospects of the National Shipbuilding Strategy,” Jeff Gilmour examines the delays and cost increases of the NSS in an attempt to explain them. He concludes that, among other things, they are the result of a shortage of experienced personnel to work at shipyards, the management of the process by shipyards themselves, extensive re-design of supposedly mature designs, and an unwieldy procurement process. In another article, “Autonomous Underwater Vehicles and Submarines,” David Dunlop describes how AUVs have grown in importance and relevance, and asks if they will replace submarines. He outlines the utility, trends and technology of these vessels but concludes that there will still be a role for submarines in the near future. In the final article, “The LPA: The RCN’s Arctic Linchpin,” Major (Ret’d) Les Mader makes the argument that Canada should consider – or at least study the possibility of – procuring a Landing Platform Arctic to ensure that the RCN is ready to respond to threats in the Arctic.   

This is just a taste of the material in this issue. We also include commentaries. One commentary argues that the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships should be split into two types – patrol and enforcement. The enforcement ships would have enhanced military capabilities in order to fill any capability gap created by the retirement of the Halifax-class frigates before the Canadian Surface Combatants are built. Another commentary examines why building warships in Canada is so expensive relative to other countries. A commentary looks at how Russia-China cooperation complicates Japan’s defence. Dave Perry discusses the defence budget increases in 2022, and Doug Thomas examines the sinking of RFS Moskva, the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet flagship.  

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Volume 18, Number 1 (2022)

The world has changed since the last issue of Canadian Naval Review. We had all hoped that Russia was bluffing as it massed troops on the border of Ukraine. It wasn’t. And now we watch in horror at the brutality with which Russia attacks its neighbour.

But spring arrives regardless. And as the flowers and birds of spring appear, it’s time for another issue of Canadian Naval Review. In the spring issue we have a special treat for readers. It’s a theme issue on the Arctic. The topic is timely because even though Russia did not invade an Arctic country, its actions have nonetheless had repercussions in the North.

We are honoured to publish an article written by the former Commanding Officer of HMCS Harry DeWolf, Commander Corey Gleason. Commander Gleason gives us an account of the trip that HDW took through the Northwest Passage in 2021, the first Canadian navy ship to do so since 1954. In our second article, “A Tale of Two Ships: HMCS Labrador and HMCS Harry DeWolf,” Roger Litwiller examines that earlier trip through the North. In this article we learn the details of Labrador’s voyage and compare the experience with that of HDW. In our third article, “The Arctic Council and Oil Pollution Prevention in the Arctic Ocean,” Jeff Gilmour looks at some of the work that has been done by the Arctic Council to address the possibility of large-scale oil pollution in the North. How this will change in the light of the Arctic Council’s pause in activity in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is yet to be seen. We are very pleased to have a contribution from Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), who talks about the Inuit relationship with the lands and waters of the North/Northwest Passage and perspectives on future developments there. And we have a contribution from Captain Simon Dockerill who discusses his experiences in the Arctic with the Canadian Coast Guard.

This just scratches the surface of the interesting material in this theme issue. We also include commentaries about the value of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, landing craft for the navy in the Arctic, getting serious about Arctic defence, and Russian naval capabilities in the North. And we have a commentary from Andreas Østhagen who examines Norway’s Arctic Policy – a commentary and policy that has had to be re-thought since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

And, of course, we have amazing photos that you won’t want to miss.

Click through to check out the table of contents and download the new issue!

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