Author Topic: How capable is the RCN?  (Read 6509 times)

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Offline EnchantedEng

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How capable is the RCN?
« on: August 13, 2020, 10:51:46 »
I came across this article which partly talks about the Turkish maritime capability and some issues in the region: https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauliddon/2020/08/13/turkey-is-up-against-some-formidable-navies-in-the-eastern-mediterranean/

If I am not mistaken, Op Reassurance places the RCN frigates not too far from Turkey and the said issues.

I wonder how our frigates will fare, if say, were to get into a one time scuffle with one of Turkey's Corvettes or Frigates?

In the same line of thinking, how ready would the RCN be for a potential state of war?
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2020, 11:36:53 »
I came across this article which partly talks about the Turkish maritime capability and some issues in the region: https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauliddon/2020/08/13/turkey-is-up-against-some-formidable-navies-in-the-eastern-mediterranean/

If I am not mistaken, Op Reassurance places the RCN frigates not too far from Turkey and the said issues.

I wonder how our frigates will fare, if say, were to get into a one time scuffle with one of Turkey's Corvettes or Frigates?

In the same line of thinking, how ready would the RCN be for a potential state of war?

Given that all three countries are 'NATO Allies', I assume that this is a moot point.

Regardless, AFAIK, all navies are 'ready, aye, ready' when they are deployed on any kind of operation, and few will fight alone.
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2020, 14:56:37 »
I came across this article which partly talks about the Turkish maritime capability and some issues in the region: https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauliddon/2020/08/13/turkey-is-up-against-some-formidable-navies-in-the-eastern-mediterranean/

If I am not mistaken, Op Reassurance places the RCN frigates not too far from Turkey and the said issues.

I wonder how our frigates will fare, if say, were to get into a one time scuffle with one of Turkey's Corvettes or Frigates?

In the same line of thinking, how ready would the RCN be for a potential state of war?

We operate with the Turkish Navy in NATO battle groups and in its its front an back yards on Op Reassurance. 

I have full confidence in our operators that in a 1 on 1 stand up fight we would come out on top.  My only worry would be the serviceability of various equipment systems at any given time.

The RCN is as ready as we can be for a war. 
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Offline Underway

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2020, 15:12:16 »
I came across this article which partly talks about the Turkish maritime capability and some issues in the region: https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauliddon/2020/08/13/turkey-is-up-against-some-formidable-navies-in-the-eastern-mediterranean/

If I am not mistaken, Op Reassurance places the RCN frigates not too far from Turkey and the said issues.

I wonder how our frigates will fare, if say, were to get into a one time scuffle with one of Turkey's Corvettes or Frigates?

In the same line of thinking, how ready would the RCN be for a potential state of war?

Our sailors are head and shoulders above the Turks, particularly the senior officers and technicians.  That's important.  Turkey has some very new and good ships and some very old and terrible ones as well.  Assuming sea room to fight and no supporting cast I would take our frigates over theirs any day of the week.  But naval battles are not fought that way. And mutual destruction is a thing.

Offline NavyShooter

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2020, 18:59:03 »
Our ships are more capable than they ever have been. 

ESSM RIM-162
Harpoons
57mm Bofors
CIWS

Plus the sensor integration and fleet interoperability with our allies...yes...our ships are quite capable.

Are there more deadly/better armed ships?  Yup.  Ours are pretty good too though.

NS

Insert disclaimer statement here....

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2020, 19:19:45 »
Our ships are more capable than they ever have been. 

ESSM RIM-162
Harpoons
57mm Bofors
CIWS

Plus the sensor integration and fleet interoperability with our allies...yes...our ships are quite capable.

Are there more deadly/better armed ships?  Yup.  Ours are pretty good too though.

NS

I think we've got some really well trained boarding party folks too, which wasn't always the case.

I have no idea how they'd stack up against the opposition but I'm sure, knowing some of the trainers, they'd be hard to ignore if required ;)
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2020, 19:52:04 »
Our ships are more capable than they ever have been. 

ESSM RIM-162
Harpoons
57mm Bofors
CIWS

Plus the sensor integration and fleet interoperability with our allies...yes...our ships are quite capable.

Are there more deadly/better armed ships?  Yup.  Ours are pretty good too though.

NS

When they work, and when they have constant supply lines.

I think we've got some really well trained boarding party folks too, which wasn't always the case.

I have no idea how they'd stack up against the opposition but I'm sure, knowing some of the trainers, they'd be hard to ignore if required ;)

Ya, I have deployed with them twice and I cannot support your dissertations.
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Offline CBH99

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2020, 19:59:21 »

Ya, I have deployed with them twice and I cannot support your dissertations.


RCN boarding teams aren't up to snuff, Halifax??  (I always like to listen to you guys who actually deploy in these specific environments, always learn something)   
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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2020, 20:20:12 »

RCN boarding teams aren't up to snuff, Halifax??  (I always like to listen to you guys who actually deploy in these specific environments, always learn something)

I am referring to NTOG.  They are talented, no doubt.  But no real usage now.  They have essentially become an outstanding training group for a skill we aren't utilizing.  I would fold them into SOF proper and let that empire contribute, as required, to Naval Ops.
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Offline CBH99

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2020, 20:39:40 »
Boarding ships is a skill we aren't using?

Is that because we are focusing less on Somali coast / Persian Gulf operations, and more on NATO groups?
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2020, 20:45:51 »
I am referring to NTOG.  They are talented, no doubt.  But no real usage now.  They have essentially become an outstanding training group for a skill we aren't utilizing.  I would fold them into SOF proper and let that empire contribute, as required, to Naval Ops.

I disagree, if anything what should happen is NST and the Regular Boarding Parties should be rolled up and done anyway with. They serve no real purpose at all.

Just because something isn't being used atm doesn't mean you do away with it.  Rather, NTOG should look for expanded roles and capabilities so they can provide more value.

Offline Lumber

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2020, 20:51:13 »
Boarding ships is a skill we aren't using?

Is that because we are focusing less on Somali coast / Persian Gulf operations, and more on NATO groups?

Essential, yes.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2020, 20:56:58 »
Essential, yes.

But you could make the same arguments for any number of CAF capabilities.  Clearance Divers aren't really doing EOD because Afghanistan ended, so we should get rid of that. 

NTOG gives the Navy a far better VBSS capability than it previously had, for what is really pennies in the overall budget and also pennies in terms of man power.

Offline Lumber

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2020, 21:17:28 »
But you could make the same arguments for any number of CAF capabilities.  Clearance Divers aren't really doing EOD because Afghanistan ended, so we should get rid of that. 

NTOG gives the Navy a far better VBSS capability than it previously had, for what is really pennies in the overall budget and also pennies in terms of man power.

I think you quoted the wrong person?

I was just answering the question "why arent we using NTOG as much" and it's simply to do with they nature of OP REASSURANCE and OP PROJECTION.
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Offline FSTO

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2020, 01:45:37 »
So when I joined back in the last century, the first CPF had not been accepted from the builder yet.  But:

We had 3 AOR's available
3 serviceable SSK's
4 280's being TRUMPed to become AAWD Command and Control ships

On the downside the Mackenzies, IRE's, St Laurents, Nipigon and Annapolis were at best missile sponges.
NLBP was a joke (we were still saddled with whalers and MWB)
The reserves has the Pigs.

As I reach the twilight years; here is where we stand

The good
FFH's with the Cyclones are very capable for ASW, close in AAW and ASuW (reloads are an issue).
Naval Boarding is light years ahead of what I experienced in 90's and the 00ts you youngsters here have no idea how bad it was back then.
If we could get the SSK's out of the yard they are still very capable and dangerous. (no replacement on the horizon though  ???)

The not so good
MCDV's - what can I say, they are what they are.
AOPS - Personal opinion only; they are what they are, a remote supply vessel with limited sovereignty/patrol capability.

The bad (but is there light on the horizon?)
1 AOR, ONE BLOODY AOR AND ITS TAKEN 25 YEARS TO GET TO THIS POINT? WHAT A COLOSSAL UTTER FUBAR'D SCREWED UP PROCESS! (Granted 2 more are building but it should never have come to this)
15 CSC (with C3? AAWD? Will we even get 15? 10? 5?)
Recruiting, Training, Refresher Training, Regenerative Training, Retention. All are issues that will be/are biting us in the arse. 
 

Thats my assessment of the status of the RCN today. We've advanced but we've also slipped.   

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2020, 01:52:37 »
So when I joined back in the last century, the first CPF had not been accepted from the builder yet.  But:

We had 3 AOR's available
3 serviceable SSK's
4 280's being TRUMPed to become AAWD Command and Control ships

On the downside the Mackenzies, IRE's, St Laurents, Nipigon and Annapolis were at best missile sponges.
NLBP was a joke (we were still saddled with whalers and MWB)
The reserves has the Pigs.

As I reach the twilight years; here is where we stand

The good
FFH's with the Cyclones are very capable for ASW, close in AAW and ASuW (reloads are an issue).
Naval Boarding is light years ahead of what I experienced in 90's and the 00ts you youngsters here have no idea how bad it was back then.
If we could get the SSK's out of the yard they are still very capable and dangerous. (no replacement on the horizon though  ???)

The not so good
MCDV's - what can I say, they are what they are.
AOPS - Personal opinion only; they are what they are, a remote supply vessel with limited sovereignty/patrol capability.

The bad (but is there light on the horizon?)
1 AOR, ONE BLOODY AOR AND ITS TAKEN 25 YEARS TO GET TO THIS POINT? WHAT A COLOSSAL UTTER FUBAR'D SCREWED UP PROCESS! (Granted 2 more are building but it should never have come to this)
15 CSC (with C3? AAWD? Will we even get 15? 10? 5?)
Recruiting, Training, Refresher Training, Regenerative Training, Retention. All are issues that will be/are biting us in the arse. 
 

Thats my assessment of the status of the RCN today. We've advanced but we've also slipped.

But hey... 'Morale Patches', right? :)
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline FSTO

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2020, 02:48:00 »
But hey... 'Morale Patches', right? :)

Undoubtedly the most stupiderest thing going.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2020, 06:40:43 »
I disagree, if anything what should happen is NST and the Regular Boarding Parties should be rolled up and done anyway with. They serve no real purpose at all.

Just because something isn't being used atm doesn't mean you do away with it.  Rather, NTOG should look for expanded roles and capabilities so they can provide more value.

I don't disagree with your first point.  The NST was established to try and take some strain off of ships company's and their duty watches while on deployment(s).  I think its a good idea but with our limited manning and monies I don't think its unreasonable to ask ships to fill the required foreign port duty watches when required. 

If you want to expand NTOG it needs to leave the RCN and join SOF or become its own trade.  Right now they are essentially expensive and manpower draining alongside FP groups.

But you could make the same arguments for any number of CAF capabilities.  Clearance Divers aren't really doing EOD because Afghanistan ended, so we should get rid of that. 

NTOG gives the Navy a far better VBSS capability than it previously had, for what is really pennies in the overall budget and also pennies in terms of man power.

Just a couple of points, and I cant believe I am going to stick up for divers lol.  I know FDU(A) gets called out weekly for some sort of UXO that is reported to authorities.

The VBSS capability sure is a step up.  But its defiantly not pennies on the budget and defiantly not pennies in terms of man power.  Also while we would like to have capabilities is this an actually required capability the RCN should have ?  Or is this more of the CAF just trying to me a jack of all trades instead of a master of a few ?  Give it to SOF!  Its in their wheel house! 

NTOG is an excellent example of a capability dreamed up and put into reality without building the foundation first.  The drain this organization is having on already distressed Naval trades is not to be ignored, these sailors are required to maintain their quals in their home trades and still fall under them for career management its a mess and creates animosity within trades. 

As for budgetary effect seeing as I have supported them for over a year of my life while deployed I can tell you they sure can eat through a budget, fast.  The fact NTOG is years old and still doesn't have a proper scale of issue and the knock on effect that has created with Ships boarding teams means capability and kitting can now vary from ship to ship.

Again push these teams into the SOF empire equip them and man them properly and then use as required for Naval Ops. 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 06:45:09 by Halifax Tar »
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2020, 07:11:20 »
So when I joined back in the last century, the first CPF had not been accepted from the builder yet.  But:

We had 3 AOR's available
3 serviceable SSK's
4 280's being TRUMPed to become AAWD Command and Control ships

On the downside the Mackenzies, IRE's, St Laurents, Nipigon and Annapolis were at best missile sponges.
NLBP was a joke (we were still saddled with whalers and MWB)
The reserves has the Pigs.

As I reach the twilight years; here is where we stand

The good
FFH's with the Cyclones are very capable for ASW, close in AAW and ASuW (reloads are an issue).
Naval Boarding is light years ahead of what I experienced in 90's and the 00ts you youngsters here have no idea how bad it was back then.
If we could get the SSK's out of the yard they are still very capable and dangerous. (no replacement on the horizon though  ???)

The not so good
MCDV's - what can I say, they are what they are.
AOPS - Personal opinion only; they are what they are, a remote supply vessel with limited sovereignty/patrol capability.

The bad (but is there light on the horizon?)
1 AOR, ONE BLOODY AOR AND ITS TAKEN 25 YEARS TO GET TO THIS POINT? WHAT A COLOSSAL UTTER FUBAR'D SCREWED UP PROCESS! (Granted 2 more are building but it should never have come to this)
15 CSC (with C3? AAWD? Will we even get 15? 10? 5?)
Recruiting, Training, Refresher Training, Regenerative Training, Retention. All are issues that will be/are biting us in the arse. 
 

Thats my assessment of the status of the RCN today. We've advanced but we've also slipped.

 :goodpost:   That. Exactly.

I will add that in-between those two state of affairs, there was a period where we had AOR's (OK getting old but still effective), Trumped IRO's for AAW and young effective frigates (the HAL's). In those days, an all Canadian task force of one AOR, one IRO and two HALs was indeed a very powerful naval force compared to most countries in the world. We are unfortunately not there anymore and to get somewhat back there, I sincerely hope that the first four CSC's that come out of ISL are the one optimized for AAW.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2020, 07:17:55 »
:goodpost:   That. Exactly.

I will add that in-between those two state of affairs, there was a period where we had AOR's (OK getting old but still effective), Trumped IRO's for AAW and young effective frigates (the HAL's). In those days, an all Canadian task force of one AOR, one IRO and two HALs was indeed a very powerful naval force compared to most countries in the world. We are unfortunately not there anymore and to get somewhat back there, I sincerely hope that the first four CSC's that come out of ISL are the one optimized for AAW.

OGB, ya those were the days.

Wondering about your opinion.  Should we have built another Asterix and used the USNS and RFA examples and went with more civilian crewing on these platforms ?
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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2020, 10:25:47 »
If you want to expand NTOG it needs to leave the RCN and join SOF or become its own trade.

Why would we do that?  CANSOFCOM isn't an orphanage for anyone with a C8 and some hands and feet skills, and naval boarding is not a SOF mission.  Maritime counter-terrorism is, but these two are apples and oranges.
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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2020, 12:00:43 »
An even more dangerous situation developing with Turkey because "An injury to one,..............." doesn't apply. As to Canadian or Turkish ships coming out on top? The biggest consideration would likely be 'who shoots first'? Even Argentina was capable of sinking HMS Sheffield.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2020, 14:07:43 »
OGB, ya those were the days.

Wondering about your opinion.  Should we have built another Asterix and used the USNS and RFA examples and went with more civilian crewing on these platforms ?

I certainly think so, two Resolve class and two Kingston class AOR's with one of each on both coasts would give the navy huge flexibility and very good way to train Merchant sailors to command levels to take on future roles as ships pilots and the like.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2020, 20:42:32 »
OGB, ya those were the days.

Wondering about your opinion.  Should we have built another Asterix and used the USNS and RFA examples and went with more civilian crewing on these platforms ?

Sorry I didn't answer sooner ... long work day today.

My answer: Yes! Absolutely. We are in the business of fighting wars, not the gas station / convenience store business. Civilian mariners are a lot more capable than we are at operating ships  that require only engineering and seamanship with a lot less personnel. Similarly, civilian aviators are adequately capable of providing - with a much smaller footprint - an onboard helicopter capability for vertreps. All they need is a small military logistics cell to do the paper work and keep track of goods/finances provided to the fleet.

That's been my view for a long time. If the American and the Brits can make it work, why not us?

I know the counter argument has always been: "But since we are military, we can put ourselves in more dangerous situations than civilians so we use our AORs quite differently than the US and the UK." 

First of all: Tell that to the British RFA's that went down to fight the Falkland wars. They were right in the middle of the friggin action, civilian crew and all. Second how much of how we used our AORs is simply a factor of the fact that we (the RCN) are the ones crewing them as opposed to actually fulfilling an operational requirement that we cannot do without. As far as I am concerned, we can run the "command team accommodation" duties put on the AOR's from any other type of command ship, be it a Destroyer or something else we could acquire if we weren't stuck having to crew and operate the AOR's - such as a multipurpose helicopter/landing/humanitarian vessel (rings a bell with anyone?).

Offline FSTO

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Re: How capable is the RCN?
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2020, 03:44:43 »
I know the counter argument has always been: "But since we are military, we can put ourselves in more dangerous situations than civilians so we use our AORs quite differently than the US and the UK." 

I'm sure glad we never had a shooting war with that sort of attitude. Putting our AOR's in harms way for no apparent gain is nothing to base a strategy on.

If I had a magic wand we'd have 4 to 6 Astrix class AOR's (operated by civilians) and 4 Mistrals for HDAR/Sea Control Ops.