Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Navy used eBay to keep HMCS Preserver operational

The Ottawa Citizen's Defence Watch learned recently that Royal Canadian Navy personnel went to extreme lengths to keep HMCS Preserver operational over the last few years. 

The Canadian Press, who supplied the information to Navy Commander Vice-Admiral Mark Norman showed that technicians were fighting a loosing battle to keep Preserver on duty. 

Despite the fact that the Canadian Armed Forces announced in 2014 that Preserver  and her sister ship Protecteur would be retired in 2015, personnel fought to keep them operational as long as possible, in several cases even using eBay to purchased used parts to repair the ship. 

This extreme step was taken as the original manufacturers long ago stopped making spare parts - which led to a disproportionate amount of time being used to find replacements. In many cases when the military requires a part that is no longer produced, they upgrade the equipment in question, or find a manufacturer to produce a specified amount of the required part for the remaining lifespan of the equipment. In the Navy's case - for Preserver that was not an option because of its impending retirement. 

An exact date for Preserver`s "Paying Off" (retirement) has not been set. 

Many critics are calling for an interim solution to be found for the Royal Canadian Navy's supply gap - construction on the new supply vessels are not set to begin until 2017 - and will not be ready before 2019/2020.