The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

French pitch new warships as potential design for next Canadian navy vessels

  • Print

HALIFAX - France showcased its latest warship to the federal defence minister Saturday in Halifax, as the Royal Canadian Navy considers options for designs of its next generation of combat vessels.

Peter MacKay toured the 142-metre Fremm-class vessel Aquitaine, viewing the command-and-control systems on the bridge, as well as its engine rooms and missile systems.

MacKay said he came away impressed with the way the ship had centralized consoles for communications, sonar detection and navigation in the bridge area.

"I have never seen ... such an impressive vessel," he said.

The vessel built by French-based DCNS was launched last fall and is being tested with a crew of 94 — less than half the complement of the French navy's previous generation of destroyers.

The publicly owned firm is pitching the vessel as a cheaper design due to a higher level of automation, reducing the need for crew during missions and allowing space for more comfortable living and working quarters than prior French ships.

Capt. Benoit Rouviere, the warship's commander, said the ship costs less to operate and has a crew that performs at a higher level due to the design changes.

"We put a bit more money into buying the ship, but over the life cycle we are trying to save a lot of money," he said in an interview.

MacKay said he's viewing the latest in foreign vessels as Ottawa decides what designs it will use for Canada's next combat vessels.

"The ... reason we are taking the time to tour ships such as the Aquitaine is to look at the capabilities of partners, serious navies like the French, to determine the best fit for Canada," he said.

The federal government has chosen Irving Shipyard in Halifax and Seaspan Marine in British Columbia to build vessels for its 20-year, $35-billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

Representatives for DCNS told reporters that the publicly owned firm is interested in bidding on designs and components of Canada's new combat vessels once the federal government provides details on what it is looking for.

Olivier Casenave-Pere, Canadian director for DCNS, said an adapted, off-the-shelf design may save Canadian taxpayers money.

"You will benefit from ships for which studies and developments have already been paid by the French government," he said.

However, he said it's difficult to estimate what the potential cost savings would be without knowing the Canadian navy's design specifications.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Lauren Bacall 'loved' working in Canada

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A red squirrel peaks out of the shade in a tree in East Fort Garry, Sunday, September 9, 2012. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of the new Blue Bombers uniforms?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google