SAAB, Subs and Timelines

By Dr. Ann Griffiths, 12 June 2024

A graphic of a Saab C71-series submarine. Credit: Saab.

This is a second installment about my trip – sponsored by SAAB – to Sweden in May. In my previous post I discussed the vibrant Swedish defence industry and examined a few differences between Canada and Sweden in terms of naval focus and challenges. In this post, I want to comment briefly on submarines and timelines.

After some serious hiccups and a change of ownership of the facility, two submarines are being built for Sweden by SAAB Kockums in Karlskrona, Sweden. These two submarines – the A26, or Blekinge-class – will join the submarines Sweden already has. Although behind the initial timelines, the first sub is scheduled to be complete in 2027 and the second in 2028.

In our briefings it was made clear that SAAB Kockums would be happy to work with Canada on a new submarine – and would be willing to work with RCN personnel on the design. (It was also pointed out that Babcock maintains Canada’s subs and SAAB has relations with Babcock so maintenance contracts could stay with the same company.) A preliminary design has already been suggested, the C71 which would be a larger version of the A26. There are no existing versions of this sub, but preliminary designs exist for it.

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Latest Issue: Spring 2024

Volume 20, Number 1 (2024)

This spring issue marks 20 years of producing Canadian Naval Review. How time flies! It seems like just yesterday we started this journey – but it’s been 20 years and we still haven’t run out of interesting things to discuss in CNR. We’re a bit biased, but we think this issue is another great one. Prepare to be amazed and delighted!

In this issue, we’re very pleased to present an interview with Rear-Admiral Josée Kurtz that took place at the end of January. CNR Editor Ann Griffiths sat down and had a great chat with the Admiral, discussing everything from budgets to RCN priorities to personnel to assets to tampons in the men’s washrooms.

Our first article, “A Case Study on the Creation and Use of a Bridge Simulator,” is an inspiring story about what you can do if you have the determination, energy and enthusiasm to do it. Read this and you can learn about building your own simulated bridge simulator for $30,000! This article goes well with the Editorial for this issue which is also about bridge simulators. Our next article is a nod to the 100th birthday of the RCAF, entitled “The Influence of the RCAF on the RCN (Air Branch).” The article examines the historic interaction – which was not always amicable – and development of the relations between the RCN and RCAF.

In this issue we also have a smorgasbord of tasty Making Wave commentaries. We learn about: RCN recruitment and suggestions for its improvement; how utilizing uncrewed vehicles may be more challenging for Canada than for other countries; the problems of procurement; a suggestion that Canada should join the AUKUS submarine deal; and the future prospects of naval task groups as the CSCs are built. As well, we have our usual columns. We know what Russia is doing in its West (i.e., invading/attacking Ukraine!), but what about the territories on its Pacific coast? And we learn that, despite recent news of some extra funding for the military, Canada is nonetheless in NATO’s ‘quadrant of shame.’

Naturally, there are amazing photos to illustrate everything! We have no doubt that you will find this issue insightful and engaging. See the Table of Contents below.

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