Other navy ships could get longer lives

Re: “Submarines get life extensions from Navy,” Jan. 23.

The life extension of our four submarines into the 2030s is encouraging. They will thus not rust out like the four Iroquois-class destroyers and the three replenishment ships.

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The loss of 12 more ships of the Kingston class, known as Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, is imminent. These ships were commissioned in 1996-1998, are 55 metres in length and 970 tonnes and were designed primarily to provide a mine counter-measures capability for the country.

Manned by both reservists and regular-force sailors, they show the flag around the world, patrol the Caribbean and east Pacific Ocean areas for drug smugglers, assist West African navies in the art of surface surveillance of their coastal areas and participate in the NATO mine counter-measures squadron. Their designed life is 25 years, and thus will be rusting out in the early 2020s, without any replacement.

With a life extension of 15 years, the ship could be improved by making it 15 metres longer and harmonizing the weapons system and command management system with the Arctic patrol vessel. The updates and work could be handled by small shipyards on both coasts, Quebec and the Great Lakes area and provide hundreds of good jobs.

Robin Allen

Victoria

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