Comparing the RAN and RCN: Comments on the Joint Issue

By Moderator, 13 June 2023

Some of you will have already seen the spring issue of CNR – the joint issue with Australian Naval Review. If you haven’t seen it, you should try to find a copy. It’s interesting to compare the two navies and the two countries’ maritime situations and see the similarities and differences. The joint issue has articles on four themes with authors from Canada and Australia for all of them -- two themes illustrate the differences and two themes illustrate the similarities. First the differences. The national security articles clearly show the different views of the purposes and roles of the navies. In Canada, the navy plays little role in national security, as defined by the government, whereas in Australia, the navy is a key player in how the government sees Australia’s security. In terms of submarines, the differences are stark. Australia is forging ahead on its ambitious submarine program, while Canada is at the initial stages of considering replacements for its submarines. In terms of the similarities, the articles on climate change and navies illustrate that both countries are facing challenges in a changing climate, and both are attempting to make their navies carbon neutral. And it is clear that recruitment and retention are huge problems for both the RAN and RCN – the only differences are in the programs that have been set up to address the problem. Comments on the joint issue or other similarities or differences would be very interesting to hear. Maybe we could think about a second joint issue!


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