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Sunday, February 21, 2016

HMCS Windsor Needs New Battery: Docked in Norfolk

By: David Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen 

HMCS Windsor has docked at the Norfolk naval base in Virginia after the Canadian submarine ran into mechanical issues while at sea.

The submarine was heading towards Halifax on Monday when an issue emerged with its battery. Royal Canadian Navy officers ordered the sub to Norfolk.

Commodore Craig Baines told the Canadian Press news service that the sub arrived at that U.S. Navy base on Thursday.

It is unclear when the problem will be dealt with and when the diesel-electric submarine will be back on its way to Halifax.

The RCN noted the problem started when crew members found that a battery cell was leaking.

The submarine’s battery is around five years old and has an expected lifespan of up to six years, according to the RCN.

The batteries were to be replaced by the end of the year.

HMCS Windsor recently completed in December the longest deployment of any Victoria-class submarines. The RCN noted that it had spent more than 100 days at sea in support of NATO and on various exercises.

In December 2012, a defect was identified with one of HMCS Windsor’s two diesel generators during sea trials, according to the RCN. These diesel generators are part of the main submarine battery-charging system.

Details from the RCN on Windsor’s propulsion system:

Main Motor: One 86.36 ton General Electric Company 4.028 MW dual armature electric motor

Diesel Generators: 2 x 2,035 horsepower Paxman Valenta 1600 RPA SZ

Main Battery: 8800 Ah battery divided between 2 compartments