Babcock Canada has entered into an agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to develop Canada’s next-generation patrol submarine.
The deal was signed during the International Maritime and Defence Exhibition in South Korea on Wednesday.
As part of the agreement, the two companies will share their respective capabilities in shipbuilding and submarine sustainment.
The South Korean firm reportedly has excellent submarine construction experience, while Babcock is known for providing in-service support for Canada, Australia, and the UK’s underwater vehicles.
HHI chief executive Young-seuk Han stated that the collaboration will produce an “optimal submarine” best suited for the Canadian Patrol Submarine Project.
He further revealed that the vessel will be equipped with the latest technologies in both Seoul and Ottawa.
Earlier this year, the Ottawa Citizen reported that the Royal Canadian Navy is pressing the government to support a program to develop 12 new submarines.
The vehicles will replace the country’s aging fleet of Victoria-class submarines.
Sources estimate the cost of the new fleet to be at least 60 billion Canadian dollars ($45 billion).
The Navy has created the Canadian Patrol Submarine Project (CPSP) to examine all conventional options available, gathering information, and conducting an analysis of potential submarines that meet the Royal Canadian Navy’s requirements.
Canadian defence industry sources point out that the program to build 15 new surface combatants for the Canadian Navy has seen costs climb from $25 billion to more than $80 billion.
However, the procurement of new submarines faces several obstacles. In the past, the Navy has struggled to train enough submariners to crew its current fleet of four boats, let alone 12.
The Victoria-class submarines, which were originally known as the Upholder-class, were purchased second-hand from the Royal Navy and delivered between 2000 and 2004.
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