Submarine, Maritime Patrol: can Canada become a privileged partner for France?

CS6500 Maritime patrol Bombardier e1684766231789

While Canada has just launched 2 major programs in the field of submarines and maritime patrol, obvious possibilities for cooperation with France are emerging.

Despite their cultural proximity, France and Canada have very rarely collaborated in the field of armaments. Traditionally, Ottawa has tended to turn to its American neighbor, but also to Great Britain for its equipment programs, while in terms of international cooperation, Paris has for several decades favored its direct neighbors such as Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium or the United Kingdom.

This is how the Canadian air forces once again turned to an American aircraft, in this case the F-35A, to replace another US aircraft, the CF-18 Hornet, as part of the modernization of its fighter fleet, and towards the British Type 26 to replace its Halifax-class frigates.

However, two major programs recently announced by Ottawa could constitute a very promising framework for collaboration with Paris. A few weeks ago, the Royal Canadian Navy announced its intention to acquire 12 submarines with conventional propulsion and ocean capabilities , in an approach close to that which saw the success of Naval Group in Australia in 2015.

If Canberra ultimately turned to the United States and Great Britain to acquire nuclear-powered rather than conventional submarines, Ottawa has repeatedly said that such an option was not considered. by the Royal Canadian Navy.

barracuda shortfin attack class
Derived from the French Navy's Suffren class SSN, Naval Group's Marlin offers unique performance in the field of conventionally powered attack submarines.

Naval Group's Marlin submarine

In fact, and even if the competition will undoubtedly be fierce against the Type 212CD from the German TKMS, the Spanish S80, the Japanese Taigei as well as the South Korean Dosan Aah Changho, the Merlin from Naval Group, also called Shortfin Barracuda and derivative of the Suffren class nuclear attack submarines which are entering service within the French Navy, will have serious arguments to put forward in this competition.

This is particularly the case of the unrivaled capacity of the Marlin submarine to operate at a speed of 12 to 14 knots while remaining perfectly silent linked to the use of a Pump-jet, a ducted propeller used on several models. of SSN, but on no conventional submarine to date, which significantly increases the discretion of high-speed ships by reducing cavitation noise.

For France and Naval Group, the Canadian competition represents a strategic issue which would allow, in the event of success, the French group to finalize the design of its Marlin and to have a very significant reference as to its effectiveness, which will constitute, without the slightest doubt, a major asset for tackling future international competitions while the ship will not be in service with the French Navy.

The 2 Chilean Scorpene played a similar role in the success of this model, which is none other than the most exported submarine by France to date. In addition, this potential partnership could be extended to another key program, the replacement of Canadian CP-140M Aurora maritime patrol aircraft but also of French Atlantique 2s.

The 2 Scorpene ordered by the Chilean Navy allowed Naval group to demonstrate the effectiveness of its model. This contract was the starting point of the greatest French commercial success in the field of military submarines.

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