Duty Calls

Canadian Navy Ships experience series of technical issues

Royal Canadian Navy Ships have been experiencing a series of technical issues that have been affecting deployed RCN ships. There have been two fires in gas turbine enclosures, power failures, and a loss of propulsion. 

Preliminary investigations into each incident revealed no conclusive evidence linking these events. These issues have taken place in two separate classes of ships on both coasts. As the technical community continues to investigate to determine if there are any systemic issues that may me be attributed to these issues. 

“The safety and security of our sailors is paramount to everything we do, and we are investigating each of these issues so that our sailors continue to have complete confidence in our ships and procedures. In each of these situations, the respective ship’s companies immediately dealt with the issues, all of which were resolved safely and without injury. This speaks to the outstanding training our sailors receive and their ability to problem solve and deal with challenging situations,” says Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander Royal Canadian Navy.

On October 26, a fire broke out in the starboard gas turbine enclosure in the forward engine room of HMCS Halifax while the ship was deployed off the coast of Norway on Exercise Trident Juncture. The engine was repaired and is functioning normally.

Three days later, HMCS Toronto experienced a total loss of power while conducting operations and Anti-Ship Missile Defence Training in the Hebrides Sea off the coast of the UK. The ship was able to restore power and sail to Belfast. Upon arrival, a fire started in the forward engine room, the same location as the fire on board HMCS Halifax, and was quickly extinguished. 

HMCS Edmonton experienced loss of electrical power on November 5, conducting routine operations at sea on Operation Caribbe. It was determined that two blown fuses were the cause.

More information will be released in the completion of the investigations.

“There are currently 11 ships at sea conducting operations around the world. Royal Canadian Navy ship systems are constructed with multiple layers of redundancy, and routine ship maintenance and repairs are an expected part of business at sea. The investigations into these technical issues will include examining pre-deployment checks and maintenance routines. Although a challenge, the technical issues have had a minimal impact on operations; missiles were still fired, interdiction operations were completed, and the ships continued with their programs. This is a testimony to the tremendous training and the skills of our sailors to rectify these deficiencies at sea and alongside,” says, Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander Maritime Component Command.

Fortunately, no military personnel were injured in the incidents, and all three ships were able to continue their operations.

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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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