by David J. Bercuson
May 6, 2019
In early February, the federal government finally announced that it has chosen a British warship design, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, to replace the current fleet of Halifax-class frigates and the now-defunct fleet of Iroquois-class destroyers. Fifteen of these ships will be built in Halifax in accordance with the $60-billion Canadian Surface Combatant program.
When placed alongside the two replenishment vessels that will be built in Vancouver and the four Victoria-class diesel electric submarines purchased, used, from the British in the late 1990s, Canada will have 21 capital ships to put to sea by 2020 or so.
As defence correspondent David Pugliese pointed out in the National Post, Canada originally considered purchasing the Type 26 as far back as 2011 but rejected it due to the belief that the ship did not adequately meet Canadian needs. Now, according to Pugliese, Canada will join Australia and the United Kingdom in deploying the Type 26, although each nation will modify the basic design to suit national requirements.