Feds Considering Purchase Of Nuclear Subs

Canadian federal government is mulling options to purchase nuclear submarines to replace the old-fashioned fleet of second-hand diesel-fueled subs bought in 1998 from the British navy. Most of the subs are permanently in state of major repair burdening the federal budget. The submarines were purchased for $750 million but the overall cost of the deal exceeded $1 billion due to continuous technical issues with the subs.

Nuclear Subs

HMCS Chicoutimi, one of the diesel-powered submarines, is in the repair yards for 13 years, having only two days of active service. The total cost to repair the submarine is expected to reach $400 million. By 2013, Canadian taxpayers will pay some $3 billion for the submarines bought in 1998, a sum large enough to finance the purchase of brand new ships.

The government is considering the purchase of nuclear submarines to replace the old ones, which are not able to patrol under the Arctic ice, Defense Minister Peter MacKay hinted. However, the high price of nuclear submarines, which cost some $3 billion each, may prevent the government in Ottawa from replacing its old subs with modern nuclear ones.


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