Canada’s subs*

*Moderator’s Note: This statement originally appears in The Globe and Mail, Opinions Section – Letters to the Editor, on 10 September 2011.

Contrary to what was conveyed in your article on the Victoria-class submarines (“The Sad Saga Of The Boats That Wouldn’t Float” – Sept. 5), our submarines are capable now of firing the Mark 48 heavyweight torpedo.

Victoria and Windsor will be certified next year, followed by Chicoutimi. From 2013 forward, Canada will have a submarine available on each coast, with a third deployed wherever required.

Our submarines were purchased with 80 percent of hull life remaining at one-quarter of the cost of a new build. They cost no more to run than other submarines of equivalent capability and will provide a solid return on investment well into the 2020s.

It has taken us longer to bring the boats into service than we would have wished, but the submarine business is unforgiving. No shortcuts can be taken for the dangerous work our submariners do, and I am proud that they have brought us to this point – near the end of a long beginning.