"....many officers in the navy quietly say that they would be very surprised to see it at sea again."
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/st ... ax008.html
one photo of HMCS Chicoutimi on a heavy-lift ship in Halifax harbour on April 1.
Dry-docked sub Chicoutimi can be made seaworthy again, admiral says
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | 4:36 PM AT
A Canadian admiral believes HMCS Chicoutimi can be made seaworthy again with a "Herculean effort," according to documents obtained by CBC News under an access to information request.
Badly damaged in a 2004 fire, the submarine is sitting on a ship in Halifax harbour waiting to be transferred to Victoria.
"There can be no question that the task to refit and modify HMCS Chicoutimi will require a Herculean effort on the part of the larger navy community as fiscal and human resources accompany the transfer," Rear Admiral Tyrone Pile, commander of Maritime Forces Pacific, wrote in a 2008 Maritime Forces Pacific capability plan.
"However, I have complete confidence that as we move to renew and enhance the operational capability of the fleet, HMCS Chicoutimi will take her rightful place in patrolling the [sea]."
A fire that broke out aboard the submarine during a voyage from Scotland to Canada in October 2004 led to the death of Lt. Chris Saunders.
HMCS Chicoutimi was one of four submarines Canada leased from the British Navy in 1998.
Navy officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but at least two experts disagreed with Pile's view.
"It is certainly my opinion that, no, she will not go to sea again," said Peter Kavanagh, a retired submarine captain in Ottawa.
He pointed to the example of Chicoutimi's sister sub, HMCS Victoria, which has been undergoing a retrofit since sailing to B.C. six years ago.
"She still hasn't gone to sea from the time that she went out there. Delay after delay after delay. So the capacity just isn't there, in my opinion. We can say the sky is purple, but it's still blue," Kavanagh said.
A defence analyst at Dalhousie University, who has had financial briefings with military officials, said the navy doesn't appear to have the $100 million or more needed to fix the sub.
"I've had many officers in the navy quietly say that they would be very surprised to see it at sea again," said Dan Middlemiss.
It was unclear when Chicoutimi will leave Halifax.