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HMCS Okanagan

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3 Oberon Subs Halifax Harbour Dartmouth 2010 April 21.JPG
HMCS Ojibwa, HMCS Okanagan and ex-HMS Olympus docked in Halifax
History
Canada
NameOkanagan
NamesakeOkanagan First Nations people
BuilderChatham Dockyard, Chatham
Laid down25 March 1965
Launched17 September 1966
Commissioned22 June 1968
Decommissioned14 September 1998
Motto
  • Ex imo mari ad victoriam
  • ("From the depths of the sea to victory")
FateScrapped in 2011
BadgeBlazon Or, issuing out of a base barry wavy of four azure and argent, a marine monster "Ogopogo" gules, langued of the second. the first Parliament of Upper Canada in 1792, both proper.[1]
General characteristics
Class and type Oberon-class submarine
Displacement
  • Surfaced: 2,030 t (2,000 long tons)
  • Submerged: 2,410 t (2,370 long tons)
Length295.25 ft (89.99 m)
Beam26.5 ft (8.1 m)
Draught18 ft (5.5 m)
Propulsion2 diesel electric engines
Speed
  • Surfaced: 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
  • Submerged: 17.5 kn (32.4 km/h; 20.1 mph)
Range9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi)
Endurance56 days
Test depth120–180 metres (390–590 ft)
Complement69
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Type 187 Active-Passive sonar
  • Type 2007 passive sonar
Electronic warfare
& decoys
MEL Manta UAL or UA4 radar warning
Armament8 × 21 in (533 mm) tubes (6 bow, 2 stern), 18 torpedoes

HMCS Okanagan (S74) was an Oberon-class submarine that served in the Canadian Forces (CF). She entered service in 1968 and spent the majority of her career on the east coast. The ship was paid off in 1998 and sold for scrap in 2011.

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Oberon-class submarine

Oberon-class submarine

The Oberon class was a ship class of 27 British-designed submarines operated by five different nations. They were designed as a direct follow-on from the Porpoise class: physical dimensions were the same, but stronger materials were used in hull construction, and updated equipment was fitted.

Submarine

Submarine

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. The term is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated vehicles and robots, as well as medium-sized or smaller vessels, such as the midget submarine and the wet sub. Submarines are referred to as boats rather than ships irrespective of their size.

Ship breaking

Ship breaking

Ship-breaking is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for either a source of parts, which can be sold for re-use, or for the extraction of raw materials, chiefly scrap. Modern ships have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years before corrosion, metal fatigue and a lack of parts render them uneconomical to operate. Ship-breaking allows the materials from the ship, especially steel, to be recycled and made into new products. This lowers the demand for mined iron ore and reduces energy use in the steelmaking process. Fixtures and other equipment on board the vessels can also be reused. While ship-breaking is sustainable, there are concerns about the use by poorer countries without stringent environmental legislation. It is also labour-intensive, and considered one of the world's most dangerous industries.

Design

The Oberon class were considered an improved version of the preceding Porpoise-class submarines, with a different frame of the pressure hull[2] and constructed from a better grade of steel.[3][4] These build differences allowed the Oberons to have a deeper diving depth at roughly 1,000 feet (300 m).[4]

The submarines displaced 2,030 tonnes (2,000 long tons) surfaced and 2,410 tonnes (2,370 long tons) submerged.[4][2] They measured 295 ft 14 in (89.922 m) long with a beam of 26 ft 12 in (7.938 m) and a draught of 18 ft (5.5 m).[2][note 1]

The boats were powered by a two shaft diesel-electric system. The Oberons were equipped with two ASR 1 16-cylinder diesel engines creating 3,680 brake horsepower (2,740 kW) and two English Electric motors creating 6,000 shaft horsepower (4,500 kW). This gave the submarines a maximum surface speed of 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) and a submerged speed of 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph). The boats carried 258 tons of oil giving them a range of 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 12 knots.[2][5]

The design was armed with eight 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, six in the bow and two in the stern. They carried 24 reloads for a total of 30 torpedoes.[2][6] Canadian boats differed from the original design by being equipped for the US Mark 37C torpedo.[7] The longer, wire-guided Mod 2 version was carried in the forward tubes and the non-guided Mod 0 for the rear tubes.[8]

The Oberons were equipped with Type 187 active-passive sonar, Type 2007 passive sonar and Type 2019 sonar.[4]

Submarine Operational Update Program (SOUP)

By the late 1970s, the Oberons in Canadian service had become obsolete and were in need of an update. Planning was done in 1978 and the program approved in February 1979.[9] In an effort to take the subs from anti-submarine warfare training to frontline service, Maritime Command developed a refit program that included new sonars, periscopes, communications and fire-control systems. They also had their armament upgraded with the fitting of torpedo tubes capable of firing the Mark 48 torpedo. This would allow the submarines to be deployed by NATO in the North Atlantic to monitor Soviet submarines.[10][11]

The SOUP refits comprised a new US fire control system, a digital Singer Librascope Mark I, and new Sperry passive ranging sonar with the Type 719 short range sonar removed. The new sonar was placed in the upper casing on the pressure hull. New communications and navigational systems were installed.[9] The submarines were fitted with new torpedo tubes for Mark 48 torpedoes, however the torpedoes themselves were considered a separate procurement program, which was only finalized in 1985.[12]

Between 1980 and 1986, one of the Canadian Oberons was out of service undergoing the refit. SOUP came in on time and on its budget of C$45 million in 1986.[13][14] SOUP kept the Canadian Oberons operational until the end of the 1990s when they were replaced by the British Upholder-class submarines.[15]

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British Porpoise-class submarine

British Porpoise-class submarine

The Porpoise class was an eight-boat class of diesel-electric submarines operated by the Royal Navy. This class was originally designated patrol submarines, then attack. They were the first conventional British submarines to be built after the end of World War II. Their design was, in many ways, influenced by the German World War II-era Type XXI U-boats.

Displacement (ship)

Displacement (ship)

The displacement or displacement tonnage of a ship is its weight. As the term indicates, it is measured indirectly, using Archimedes' principle, by first calculating the volume of water displaced by the ship, then converting that value into weight. Traditionally, various measurement rules have been in use, giving various measures in long tons. Today, tonnes are more commonly used.

Length overall

Length overall

Length overall is the maximum length of a vessel's hull measured parallel to the waterline. This length is important while docking the ship. It is the most commonly used way of expressing the size of a ship, and is also used for calculating the cost of a marina berth.

Beam (nautical)

Beam (nautical)

The beam of a ship is its width at its widest point. The maximum beam (BMAX) is the distance between planes passing through the outer extremities of the ship, beam of the hull (BH) only includes permanently fixed parts of the hull, and beam at waterline (BWL) is the maximum width where the hull intersects the surface of the water.

Draft (hull)

Draft (hull)

The draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel). The draught of the vessel is the maximum depth of any part of the vessel, including appendages such as rudders, propellers and drop keels if deployed. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. The related term air draft is the maximum height of any part of the vessel above the water.

Diesel engine

Diesel engine

The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel, is an internal combustion engine in which ignition of the fuel is caused by the elevated temperature of the air in the cylinder due to mechanical compression; thus, the diesel engine is called a compression-ignition engine. This contrasts with engines using spark plug-ignition of the air-fuel mixture, such as a petrol engine or a gas engine.

Knot (unit)

Knot (unit)

The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, exactly 1.852 km/h. The ISO standard symbol for the knot is kn. The same symbol is preferred by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), while kt is also common, especially in aviation, where it is the form recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The knot is a non-SI unit. The knot is used in meteorology, and in maritime and air navigation. A vessel travelling at 1 knot along a meridian travels approximately one minute of geographic latitude in one hour.

British 21-inch torpedo

British 21-inch torpedo

There have been several British 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes used by the Royal Navy since their first development just before the First World War.

Mark 37 torpedo

Mark 37 torpedo

The Mark 37 torpedo is a torpedo with electrical propulsion, developed for the US Navy after World War II. It entered service with the US Navy in the early 1950s, with over 3,300 produced. It was phased out of service key with the US Navy during the 1970s, and the stockpiles were sold to foreign navies.

Mark 48 torpedo

Mark 48 torpedo

The Mark 48 and its improved Advanced Capability (ADCAP) variant are American heavyweight submarine-launched torpedoes. They were designed to sink deep-diving nuclear-powered submarines and high-performance surface ships.

NATO

NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two North American. Established in the aftermath of World War II, the organization implemented the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington, D.C., on 4 April 1949. NATO is a collective security system: its independent member states agree to defend each other against attacks by third parties. During the Cold War, NATO operated as a check on the perceived threat posed by the Soviet Union. The alliance remained in place after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and has been involved in military operations in the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. The organization's motto is animus in consulendo liber.

Canadian dollar

Canadian dollar

The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, there is no standard disambiguating form, but the abbreviation Can$ is often suggested by notable style guides for distinction from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents (¢).

Acquisition

A Canadian Oberon-class submarine alongside in Roosey Roads for Operation Springboard; Jan 1969
A Canadian Oberon-class submarine alongside in Roosey Roads for Operation Springboard; Jan 1969

In March 1962, the Cabinet recommended the purchase of three Oberons and eight frigates, on the condition that the cost of acquiring the submarines from the United Kingdom would be offset by British defence purchases in Canada.[16][17] On 11 April 1962, the purchase was announced in the House of Commons of Canada by the Minister of National Defence, Douglas Harkness.[18][19]

However, the Conservative government postponed the acquisition of the Oberons due to the slow speed of the United Kingdom's attempt to offset the acquisition.[20] The Conservative government was defeated in 1963 and the incoming Liberal government suspended all major defence procurement projects upon taking power.[21][22] The final price of C$40 million for the entire contract was agreed upon in 1963.[23] However, due to Canadian modifications to the design, that number climbed to C$51.4 million.[24]

Since Onyx was already under construction, the boat was finished to Royal Navy specifications. All three boats received modifications to the original Oberon design, which included the enlargement of the snort de-icer, a different weapons fit, a larger air conditioning unit, active sonar and different communications equipment.[23] The second and third hulls were built to Canadian specifications, which moved the galley forward of the control room to make room for the sonar equipment. This led to the removal of three crew bunks, a problem that was never rectified in the submarines and led to an accommodation issue for the crew.[25] The three submarines were acquired for service as "clockwork mice", submarines used to train surface vessels in anti-submarine warfare.[26][27]

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Construction and career

The badge of Okanagan
The badge of Okanagan

The submarine, built at Chatham Dockyard in England, was laid down on 25 March 1965, and launched on 17 September 1966 by Monique Cadieux, the wife of the Associate Minister of Canadian National Defence.[28][29] She was commissioned on 22 June 1968 at Chatham.[28][26] She was also the final submarine constructed at Chatham Dockyard.[30] The submarine was named after the Okanagan First Nations people, and was assigned the pennant number S 74.[28]

Okanagan was assigned to the First Canadian Submarine Squadron, joined by her sister boats and served her entire career with Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) in the North Atlantic.[31] Okanagan spent time training with the Royal Navy after an exchange program was instituted in the 1960s that would see submarines from both the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy spend time with each other's forces. This allowed Canadian submarines on intelligence-gathering missions. Beginning in the 1970s, Canada began underwater surveillance patrols in the western Atlantic, tracking Soviet sub and surface fleet vessels, especially the ballistic missile submarines, usually in concert with an Argus or Aurora patrol aircraft.[32]

In July 1973, Okanagan collided with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Grey Rover while exercising in British waters off the coast of Scotland. The submarine was running submerged off the mouth of the River Clyde when the tanker hit Okanagan. There were no injuries to the submarine's complement. However, the submarine suffered damaged to her fin and mast. The submarine returned to Faslane to effect repairs.[33][34]

On 30 June 1983, Okanagan was deployed on a 19-day anti-Soviet submarine patrol.[35] Okanagan underwent her SOUP refit beginning in 1984, being handed over to HMC Dockyard at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 2 April. The refit began on 12 June 1985 and lasted until 7 April 1986.[36] Following the SOUP refit and the introduction of the Mark 48 torpedoes, the Oberons were considered fully operational and counted the same as other offensive fleet units in Maritime Command (MARCOM).[32]

In October–November 1990, Okanagan cruised the Great Lakes, the first Canadian submarine to do so.[26] Following the end of the Cold War, the Oberons were retasked, performing patrols on behalf of federal institutions such as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Solicitor General of Canada between 1991 and 1994. The delay of the introduction of the Victoria-class submarines led to the Oberons working past their life expectancy.[32] During the Turbot War, the Oberons were tasked with monitoring European fishing fleets off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Their presence served as a deterrent in the escalating crisis.[37]

In early September 1998, Okanagan was used to search the ocean floor for the flight recorders of the crashed Swissair Flight 111 off the coast of Nova Scotia.[38] She was paid off from MARCOM on 12 September 1998.[26]

In May 2005, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald announced that MARCOM was looking to sell Okanagan for scrap metal, along with three other Canadian Oberons laid up at CFB Halifax. MARCOM stated that the submarines were not in suitable condition to be used as museum ships and predicted that each submarine would sell for between C$50,000 and C$60,000.[39] Okanagan was towed to a scrapyard in Port Maitland, Ontario in August 2011.[40]

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Chatham Dockyard

Chatham Dockyard

Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent. Established in Chatham in the mid-16th century, the dockyard subsequently expanded into neighbouring Gillingham.

Keel laying

Keel laying

Laying the keel or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction. It is often marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship.

Ship commissioning

Ship commissioning

Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to placing a warship in active duty with its country's military forces. The ceremonies involved are often rooted in centuries-old naval tradition.

Pennant number

Pennant number

In the Royal Navy and other navies of Europe and the Commonwealth of Nations, ships are identified by pennant number. Historically, naval ships flew a flag that identified a flotilla or type of vessel. For example, the Royal Navy used a red burgee for torpedo boats and a pennant with an H for torpedo boat destroyers. Adding a number to the type-identifying flag uniquely identified each ship.

Maritime Forces Atlantic

Maritime Forces Atlantic

In the Canadian Forces, Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) is responsible for the fleet training and operational readiness of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Atlantic Ocean and Arctic Ocean. It was once referred to as Canadian Atlantic Station.

Ballistic missile submarine

Ballistic missile submarine

A ballistic missile submarine is a submarine capable of deploying submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with nuclear warheads. The United States Navy's hull classification symbols for ballistic missile submarines are SSB and SSBN – the SS denotes submarine, the B denotes ballistic missile, and the N denotes that the submarine is nuclear powered. These submarines became a major weapon system in the Cold War because of their nuclear deterrence capability. They can fire missiles thousands of kilometers from their targets, and acoustic quieting makes them difficult to detect, thus making them a survivable deterrent in the event of a first strike and a key element of the mutual assured destruction policy of nuclear deterrence.

Canadair CP-107 Argus

Canadair CP-107 Argus

The Canadair CP-107 Argus is a maritime patrol aircraft designed and manufactured by Canadair for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). In its early years, the Argus was reputedly the finest anti-submarine patrol bomber in the world. The Argus served throughout the Cold War in the RCAF's Maritime Air Command and later the Canadian Force's Maritime Air Group and Air Command.

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora

The Lockheed CP-140 Aurora is a maritime patrol aircraft operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The aircraft is based on the Lockheed P-3 Orion airframe, but mounts the electronics suite of the Lockheed S-3 Viking. "Aurora" refers to the Roman goddess of dawn who flies across the sky each morning ahead of the sun. Aurora also refers to the Aurora Borealis, the "northern lights", that are prominent over northern Canada and the Arctic Ocean.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is a naval auxiliary fleet owned by the UK's Ministry of Defence. It provides logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. The RFA ensures the Royal Navy is supplied and supported by providing fuel and stores through replenishment at sea, transporting Royal Marines and British Army personnel, providing medical care and transporting equipment and essentials around the world. In addition the RFA acts independently providing humanitarian aid, counter piracy and counter narcotic patrols together with assisting the Royal Navy in preventing conflict and securing international trade. They are a uniformed civilian branch of the Royal Navy staffed by British merchant sailors.

Scotland

Scotland

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154-kilometre) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and east, and the Irish Sea to the south. It also contains more than 790 islands, principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. Most of the population, including the capital Edinburgh, is concentrated in the Central Belt—the plain between the Scottish Highlands and the Southern Uplands—in the Scottish Lowlands.

River Clyde

River Clyde

The River Clyde is a river that flows into the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. It is the ninth-longest river in the United Kingdom, and the third-longest in Scotland. It runs through the major city of Glasgow. Historically, it was important to the British Empire because of its role in shipbuilding and trade. To the Romans, it was Clota, and in the early medieval Cumbric language, it was known as Clud or Clut. It was central to the Kingdom of Strathclyde.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax is the capital and largest municipality of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, and the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada. Halifax is one of Canada's fastest growing municipalities, and as of 2022, it is estimated that the CMA population of Halifax was 480,582,with 348,634 people in its urban area. The regional municipality consists of four former municipalities that were amalgamated in 1996: Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, and Halifax County.

Source: "HMCS Okanagan", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Okanagan.

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References

Notes

  1. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley state that the dimensions were 241 ft (73 m) between perpendiculars, 290 ft 3 in (88.47 m) long overall with a beam of 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m) and a draught of 18 ft 3 in (5.56 m)

Citations

  1. ^ Arbuckle, p. 78
  2. ^ a b c d e Cocker, p. 108
  3. ^ Brown, p. 285
  4. ^ a b c d Gardiner and Chumbley, p. 530
  5. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley, p. 529
  6. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley, pp. 529–530
  7. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley, p. 48
  8. ^ Perkins, p. 148
  9. ^ a b Ferguson, p. 298
  10. ^ Gimblett, p .179
  11. ^ Milner, p. 273
  12. ^ Ferguson, pp. 298–299
  13. ^ Ferguson, p. 299
  14. ^ Milner, p. 287
  15. ^ Gimblett, p. 192
  16. ^ Ferguson, p. 249
  17. ^ Hadley et al., p. 150
  18. ^ Ferguson, p. 250
  19. ^ Hadley et al., p. 152
  20. ^ Ferguson, p. 251
  21. ^ Ferguson, p. 259
  22. ^ Milner, p. 237
  23. ^ a b Ferguson, p. 260
  24. ^ Ferguson, p. 264
  25. ^ Ferguson, p. 263
  26. ^ a b c d Macpherson and Barrie, p. 268
  27. ^ Milner, p. 265
  28. ^ a b c Moore, p. 63
  29. ^ Boniface, Patrick (April 2021), "A Century of Submarines at Chatham Dockyard", Ships Monthly: 48–52
  30. ^ Perkins, p. 143
  31. ^ Ferguson, pp. 265
  32. ^ a b c Craven, Michael (Winter 2006). "A Rational Choice Revisited – Submarine Capability in a Transformational Era". Canada Military Journal. 7 (4). ISSN 1492-0786.
  33. ^ "Tanker, submarine collide". Daily News. Associated Press. 29 July 1973. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  34. ^ "Tanker Rams Canadian Submarine". The Bulletin. Associated Press. 28 July 1973. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  35. ^ Tracy, p. 175
  36. ^ Macpherson and Barrie, p. 269
  37. ^ Tracy, p. 249
  38. ^ Crary, David (6 September 1998). "Search continues for flight recorders". The Daily Gazette. Associated Press. p. A9. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  39. ^ "For sale: 4 submarines, not shipshape". CBC News. 25 May 2005. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  40. ^ Jeffrey, Davene (19 July 2011). "Former HMS Olympus en route to scrapyard". The Chronicle Herald. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2011.

Sources

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