OTTAWA—The Canadian sub HMCS Windsor is back at sea following engine repairs and navy commanders are confident the maintenance woes won’t imperil its participation in NATO exercises later this month.
The sub had embarked on its trans Atlantic crossing just over a week ago when problems with an engine supercharger forced areturn to port in Halifax for repairs.
Rear-Adm. John Newton, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, praised maintenance crews for the quick turnaround and said the cause of the supercharger failure remains under investigation.
“It is not like other failure modes we have witnessed over the years,” Newton told the Star in an email Sunday.
But he said in the repair and engine trials, crews took a “hard look” at related equipment to assure themselves that there were not other problems with the sub before heading back to sea.
|HMCS Windsor departs from a Halifax port on May 26. The sub is bound for the North Sea to join “Dynamic Mongoose,” the annual anti-submarine warfare exercise organized by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (ANDREW VAUGHAN / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO)|
Because of the slow pace of the ocean crossing, it’s not certain that Windsor will arrive in time for the start of the exercise but Newton expressed confidence that the sub would not miss much.
“Most of the boat’s planned program will be recovered,” Newton said.
“The submarine will be interacting with NATO forces as one would expect whenever our fleet sails east into European waters. It will be exercising and patrolling,” Newton said.
He said that military planners are accustomed to adjusting exercises to accommodate the comings and goings of naval assets.
“Everybody who plans and executes submarine operations in an alliance structure works to adjust their parts to accommodate boats, ships and aircraft arrivals, departures and changes as necessitated by national arisings,” Newton said.
At the moment, HMCS Windsor is Canada’s lone operational sub. The three other Victoria-class subs are in dock for maintenance work.