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CSC: Is Even the Sky Not the Limit?

Dan Middlemiss, 18 June 2021.

RCN CSC factsheet Nov20
RCN CSC factsheet November 2020

There has been much discussion about the projected costs of the CSC, and it would appear that even the most ardent supporters of the CSC have now abandoned their earlier contention that the CSC will not cost significantly more than roughly comparable ships now in service or at the point of construction elsewhere.

Recently, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) estimated the total costs of the CSC to be $77.3 billion, with that amount rising to $82.1 billion if the contract is signed in 2022-23.[1] A DND spokesperson recently announced that an initial, limited-build contract would likely be awarded in 2023.[2]

DND has stated that it remains “confident” that its estimate of $56 billion to $60 billion (before taxes) for the CSC project remained valid.[3]

Putting aside the issue of which set of estimates is likely to prove accurate, a simple question arises: is there no cost beyond which the CSC could be deemed excessive?

I invite Broadsides readers to weigh in with their views on this basic matter. What level, if any, of CSC costs would you consider to be too high – and why?

Join in on the Broadsides Forum.

Current CNR issue

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Volume 17, Number 1 (2021)

We said in the last preview that Canadians started the year 2021 both discouraged and hopeful. A few months later, things have gotten worse in some places and better in others. So we continue to be both discouraged and hopeful.

The Spring issue starts with an Editorial that is about sexual misconduct in the military, a topic much in the news. In the Editorial, CNR Editor Dr. Ann Griffiths also illustrates discouragement and hope – discouragement that once again we’re hearing about sexual misconduct, and hope that the Canadian Armed Forces will finally address the problem.

Following the Editorial are four very interesting articles.

We start with an article that asks what the future holds for naval mine warfare. The article discusses this question by examining mine warfare and how it will fit into future maritime conflict, noting the inattention paid to naval mine warfare by Western navies. The second article discusses how the Canadian Armed Forces have embarked on an incremental and phased approach to improving anti-submarine warfare readiness. The third article takes CNR where it has never gone before – to the topic of Artificial Intelligence and how AI can be used by the RCN in the near term. The final article discusses the implications for Canadian politics and sovereignty of the incorporation of the US-developed Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) on the Canadian Surface Combatants. Because this article raised debate among those who saw a preview of it, we included two commentaries in Making Waves that respond to it.

And, speaking of commentaries, we include an interesting discussion of operations and sustainment costs for the future Canadian Surface Combatant. In another commentary, we return to the discussion of whether Canada should consider a landing ship for infantry. We include discussion of the re-invigorated ‘Quad’ in the Asia-Pacific region, hospital ships and shipbuilding. In other words, the Spring 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. Keep your eyes on the CNR Twitter account for details (CdnNavalReview). And see the full table of contents below.

The full table of contents is below.

Table of Contents - Vol. 17, No. 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
  • Making Waves
    • In Response to Middlemiss-Stairs Article - by Hugh Segal
    • Comments on “A Ship too Far?” - by Poseidon
    • Long-Term Operations and Sustainment Costs for the CSC - by Mikaël Perron
    • The LSI(A): An Arctic Sovereignty Protection Option? - by Major (Ret’d) Les Mader
  • 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
  • Warship Developments: Hospital Ships - by Doug Thomas
  • Book Reviews

Previous CNR issue

Volume 16, Number 3 (2021)

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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 https://www.navalreview.ca/book-reviews/