Ship overhaul, JSS replacement project, and the visit of the Albion
The only supply ship on Canada’s East coast may be back in service shortly. HMS Preserver is currently in for refit but will likely be late and over budget. As noted last month in the blog, the Joint Support (Supply) Ship project is in its early stages and a long way from signing a contract – let alone cutting metal.
Now a example of what Canada might we looking for floated in to Halifax harbour this week with the arrival of the HMS Albion. While a full amphibous assault ship might be an optimistic goal for a military that is still trying to balance its checkbook, the Albion is a close enough comparision. The fact that it is also nice and new makes the contrast even more stark.
Their is an open question on whether Canada still has the capacity to build ships of the type proposed for the JSS. Well I’m sure the folks that produced the HMS Albion and her sister Bulwark would like to talk about a deal, the only problem is we still have an issue with those submarines that still needs to be sorted out.
It should be noted that the contract for Albion was signed in 1996 and the shipped launched in 2001. Ships like these are very seldom purchased ‘off the shelf’