Only Op­er­at­ing East Coast Sub out of Com­mis­sion Un­til Septem­ber

RCN News - - News -

The navy says its only op­er­at­ing sub­ma­rine on the East Coast will have to un­dergo re­pairs for six to seven months be­cause of a bro­ken gen­er­a­tor.

Capt. Peter Ryan says HMCS Wind­sor will be out of com­mis­sion for re­pairs from March un­til Septem­ber at a navy fa­cil­ity in Halifax. Ryan says the gen­er­a­tor is one of two on the sub­ma­rine that pro­vides a cru­cial source of power for the ves­sel. He says it is a key piece of equip­ment that must be fixed be­fore the sub­ma­rine can re­turn to op­er­a­tions.

The sub­ma­rine spent five years in a re­fit from 2007 un­til the mid­dle of 2012, when it was re­turned to ser­vice. The prob­lem with the gen­er­a­tor was de­tected shortly af­ter it re­turned to sea.

Spokes­woman navy Lt. Jennifer Fi­dler said the work has been planned for months. “HMCS Wind­sor is con­duct­ing on­go­ing lo­cal op­er­a­tions to train sub­mariners. How­ever, as it is op­er­at­ing with one gen­er­a­tor, the sub­ma­rine is un­der tem­po­rary re­stric­tions on the range and en­durance of these op­er­a­tions,” she wrote in an email. “The ex­act pa­ram­e­ters of these re­stric­tions are clas­si­fied, and will re­main in place un­til the af­fected diesel gen­er­a­tor is re­placed.”

She said the diesel gen­er­a­tors are large com­po­nents at­tached to the sub­ma­rine’s diesel en­gines, and are used to charge the sub­ma­rine’s bat­tery. She also es­ti­mated the cost of in­stalling a re­place­ment would be about $1.5 mil­lion.

The navy’s four sub­marines were once her­alded as a great bar­gain for tax­pay­ers, but the poor con­di­tion of the Bri­tish-built, diesel-elec­tric ves­sels have since tar­nished their rep­u­ta­tion. Prior prob­lems with the fleet in­clude ex­ten­sive rust, flood­ing and hull dents.

HMCS Vic­to­ria -- based on the West Coast -- is now the navy’s only fully op­er­a­tional sub­ma­rine, hav­ing com­pleted the test fir­ing of a live tor­pedo. Wind­sor was in oper­a­tion but re­mained un­der dive re­stric­tions and wasn’t cer­ti­fied to fire its weapons. HMCS Cor­ner

Brook is in dry dock for life ex­ten­sion and re­pairs af­ter hit­ting the ocean floor off Van­cou­ver Is­land. The navy re­cently said HMCS

Chicoutimi -- which was dam­aged in a fire 10 years ago that killed a

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