Wednesday, April 17, 2024

French nuclear submarines in Canada?

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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An important file on the office of the new Defense Minister Anita Anand. Last summer, Ottawa launched a study to purchase patrol submarines. France is on its way to winning this contract. Emmanuel Macron hopes to interview Justin Trudeau on this topic by the end of the year.

The French are looking for buyers for their submarines after the refusal of Australia, which decided not to buy 12 French submarines, preferring American nuclear submarines.

The Canadian Navy wants to replace its four submarines purchased from the British in 1999 under the command of Jean Chretien. The British gave us wreckage, barely floating wreckage that had been rusting in the dry dock since 1993. Pakistan, Portugal and Chile didn’t want that. They forced us to pay them $750 million. They ended up costing us nearly $4 billion, even if they spent more time in the dry dock than at sea.

Do you buy French Ottawa?

One of these ancient submarines caught fire on their maiden voyage across the Atlantic in 2004, killing one person and injuring several crew members. It was only released in 2015. A British MP said Canada had been duped and should demand a refund. No one had to respond to this stupid, disastrous, ill-advised purchase.

If you really want to have a fleet of operational submarines quickly, then France is the best choice for Canada. Selling submarines in Canada would be a way for the French to give the Americans and English an honorary arm.

Specialists believe that Paris will be able to deliver submarines to us 10 years ahead of potential competitors, offering the latest generation of silent submarines whose development has already been largely funded by the Australians. Discounts in perspective.

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Nuclear submarines: Do you dare Trudeau?

Quebec could benefit from the economic benefits of such a contract. French submarines must be equipped with equipment to make them conform to Canadian Navy specifications.

As they did with the Australians, could France provide nuclear-powered submarines to Ottawa? Already in 1988, Canada considered acquiring French nuclear-powered Ruby-class submarines to patrol the Arctic waters.

To persuade Ottawa to buy their submarines, the French had considered providing them with an “ice pickaxe” so that they could be more easily deployed to the polar seas.

The project, which faced significant opposition, was abandoned. The media and the public were uncomfortable with the word “nuclear” and the exorbitant acquisition costs. More importantly, Washington told then-Secretary of Defense Beren Petty that Canada’s nuclear submarine program was “unnecessary and even intrusive.”

Only the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, India and soon Australia have nuclear-powered submarines.

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