naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 542

NAC News – Edition 542


Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of  December 8th, 2023


Edition: 542  Quote: “China’s private sector, previously the growth engine of the Chinese economy, is paying the consequences of Xi’s ideological rigidity and lust for control.”  9 September 2023, Ryan HASS, CNBC

Rod Hughes: Editor NAC News  (Comments welcome to help improve this service.)  Links to keep in touch with the NAC and RCN can be found at the bottom of this email.  Contact Kevin Goheen if you wish someone to be added to the NAC News email distribution. (Influencer or good candidates to become a NAC member, and note the first year’s NAC/Branch membership dues are waived)


11 December 2023.  NATO Industry Conference 2023, 8:00 – 15:30  Ottawa time, Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place Ottawa, ON K1A 0M8 To Register.

27 February 2024 7:30 – 18:00 Ottawa time, ShipTech Forum 2024.

NEW Editor – NAC is a member of the Conference of Defence Association, and their Institute (CDAI).  Established in 1932, CDAI is an umbrella organization for 36 member associations who represent over 400,000 active and retired members of the CAF.  CDAI has requested to know if any NAC members would like to get involved with either their youth mentorship programme, or to be a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and speak to the media on naval matters.  NAC sees this as a first-rate opportunity to bringing naval affairs to the forefront.  If you are interested in the youth mentorship programme please contact the NAC ED Kevin Goheen, and for the potential maritime SMEs contact either our President Bruce Belliveau or our Naval Affairs Director Tim Addison.



Halifax International Security Forum: One-on-one with Canada’s chief of the defence staff (Editor – in case you missed it, the CDS’s clarion call…is anyone listening?)

Defence minister says plan in talks for ‘significant’ military investments (Editor –worthwhile embedded 10:27 min video)

Number of sexual assaults reported in military spiked last year, StatsCan survey says then a new review board Defence Minister Bill Blair makes an announcement on Canada’s military colleges – December 6, 2023 we are not alone in this cultural failure CNN Reveals Culture of Abuse and Cover-Up in the US Coast Guard



Canada’s Role in Maritime Security (Editor – if you missed the 42:55 min interview of VAdm Topshee CSIS video last week, the first link is to the transcript)

HMNZS Te Mana successfully conducts Initial Test Firing with new capability (Editor – note the Canadian element)

Canada re-elected to IMO Council  (Editor – see Europe section – Russia not re-elected)

Largest spill-response ship being readied at Ogden Point to work off B.C. coast and tying it all together the Transport Canada What We Heard Report : Marine Pollution Preparedness Response and Recovery Discussion Paper

The Naval Experience Program: Sailor Third Class Iain Rickard (Editor – RCN 3:20 min video)

Does the noise of live-fire training harm marine life? A new study says there are still many unknowns

Air Force plane to be completely scrapped after collision with French aircraft

Seaspan and Genoa Partner on CCG’s Future Polar Icebreaker

Canada embarks on Green Shipping Corridor Program to help cut shipping pollution and why Air Pollution & Marine Shipping

Editor – an interesting week for important historical events below in the “THIS WEEK IN RCN/MARITIME HISTORY” section.

Lookout: Volume 68, Issue 48, December 4, 2023

NAC Naval Affairs Programme Briefing Note #36 Naval Interoperability (Editor – please share to anyone you think may benefit from the knowledge, after all, that’s what our naval affairs programme is all about – educating Canadians)



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Dec. 4, 2023

Congress OKs selling subs to Australia, bars some warship retirements details Defense Bill Approves $1B for New Amphibious Warship, Blesses Attack Sub Sale to Australia (Editor – “the bill includes language that allows the transfer of two Virginia-class nuclear attack boats to the Royal Australian Navy as part of the overall AUKUS construct”)

MULTIMEDIA RELEASE: Coast Guard crew offloads more than $239 million worth of cocaine in San Diego

US Navy To Deploy Anti-Ship Missiles on Subs

Pentagon Grounds All V-22s for ‘Potential Materiel Failure’ After Crash off Japan and U.S. Airman Recovered from U.S. CV-22 Osprey Crash off Japan

US Navy Christens Amphibious Assault Ship Bougainville

Opinion: Reloading vertical missile tubes at sea is within a crane arm’s reach

How this Ship changes America’s future Wars in the Pacific (Editor – a what a flexible capability 13:30 min video)

Senate Confirms Hundreds of Military Noms After Tuberville Releases Holds, Four Navy Flag Billets Still Stalled

Inside the Crazy Construction of Newest US Navy $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier (Editor – 15:12 min video)

HMS Trent deploys to hunt drugs smugglers

Panama Chaos Grows as US Diesel Shipper Takes the Long Route and Panama Canal Restrictions Hit US East and Gulf Coast Port Volumes

Low Water on the Amazon Strands Tanker Near Manaus



Plans for Nuclear-Powered 24,000 TEU Containership Unveiled in China (Editor – game changer.  I wonder what nations would say about a nuclear ship entering their ports? Remember the NS Savannah)

North and South Korea are taking their missile race underwater. Here’s how their new missile-launching submarines stack up

China, Vietnam vow to maintain South China Sea as a sea of peace and cooperation (Editor – we will wait to see if actions match the words) while Philippines builds new coast guard station on island in South China Sea and Philippines accuses China of swarming reef in South China Sea then PLA slams US Navy ship for illegally intruding into water near Ren’ai Jiao, violating Chinese sovereignty, regional stability (Editor – hard to keep track who owns/claims/occupies what)

How The Philippines makes the Invasion of Taiwan so difficult: The Bashi Channel (Editor – useful explanation that was pointed out to me in a 15:46 min video) and Stand-off Offensive Sea Mine Capability Needed, Former Vice Chairman Said

Passage of US Navy ship near Ayungin Shoal violates China’s sovereignty — command and Kremlin critical of provocations, including violation of China’s sovereignty by US ship

New Chinese Naval Base in Cambodia Receives First PLA Navy Warships

INS Vikramaditya, INS Vikrant to anchor in Vizag for Multinational Naval Exercise

A first: Woman officer to take over command of warship INS Trinkat as part of a bigger goal Indian Navy ranks to be renamed as per Indian culture: PM Modi during Navy Day Celebrations

PODCAST: Unpacking the concept of the ‘Balanced Fleet’, with Jennifer Parker, ANU National Security College (Editor – 25 min podcast)

Two Years After AUKUS, Australia and France Reach Base-Sharing Agreement

BAE Systems Adding VLS cells on The New Type 26 Super Frigate Australian Navy (Editor – this came idea up in the excellent NAC-O’s fire-side chat with VAdm Topshee last Monday – an 8:03 min video)

First US submarine repairs in Australia scheduled for summer

GRSE delivers India’s ‘largest-ever’ survey vessel to navy: Official

NZ Navy to get renewable-powered uncrewed vessel (Editor – 3 :22 min audio article)

5 Airman Recovered from U.S. CV-22 Osprey Crash off Japan

Navy, Marine Team Recover P-8A from Hawaiian Bay

Electrical fire aboard Navy destroyer hospitalizes 12 sailors in Japan

Dark Fleet Tanker Runs Aground Near Singapore (Editor – inevitable)




Russia trials sea drones in attempt to close tech gap with Ukraine, says MOD

Black Sea Demining Shows Path to Stronger Alliance

Ukrainian Navy receives USVs from Norway for maritime security

US Issues Fresh Sanctions Over Russian Oil Price Cap Violations and The Shadow Fleet Fueling Russia’s War | Bloomberg Investigates (Editor – explanatory, shocking, and disheartening explanation of this murky part of shipping 24:01 min video) and then IMO Adopts Tougher Resolution to Tackle ‘Shadow’ Tanker Fleet.  Not directly linked to these articles this 6:39 min video gives a look at the problem of tracking ships Did A Load of Russian Oil Just Sail Past the Atlantic Fleet and Offload in Norfolk, VA?

Russia Fails to Get Re-Elected to IMO Council (Editor – many ways to deal with an outcast)


Sweden and the US sign historic defence deal (Editor – huge implications)

Silent And Massive – Russia’s Newest Underwater killer (Editor – impressive boats explained in a 9:03 min video.  Last week NAC News highlighted the fifth Yasen-M boat being delivered)

Danish Armed Forces Contributes to Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) Activity

UK decides not to follow French steps anonymising warships

Navy Ready to Recover Army Black Hawk in Eastern Mediterranean

MU90 Lightweight Torpedo: Operational superiority and growth potential (Editor – 6:46 min video)

German Navy NH90 Sea Tiger performs maiden flight

Germany – MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes

Navantia Commissions S-81 Isaac Peral Submarine in the Spanish Navy

UK to Equip Poseidon Maritime Aircraft with Enhanced Sting Ray Torpedo

Turkiye Is Working On Multipurpose Mini Submarine Project

Royal Navy offering £500 bounty to help boost Navy and Royal Marines recruitment (Editor – Canada is doing the same)

Finland Demands Investigators On Vessel That Broke Gas Pipeline

Lawmakers in Norway make a deal opening up for deep sea mining in Arctic Ocean



Suez Canal…Again! ONE Orpheus Grounds And Blocks One Lane of the Canal (Editor – 12:05 min video.  I believe this is/was the Martyr Ahmed El-Mansy Floating bridge.) thankfully Containership ‘ONE ORPHEUS’ Refloated in Suez Canal After Grounding and Suez Canal Northbound Traffic Resumes After ONE Containership Hits Bridge

Maersk Settles Lawsuit Over Ever Given’s Suez Canal Shutdown

U.S. in Talks to Form New Red Sea Task Force to Guard Commercial Ships in the Red Sea, Says White House and Britain, US Blame Iran for Enabling Red Sea Shipping Attacks

Destroyer USS Carney Downs 3 Drones in Red Sea; Commercial Ships Attacked then Guided-missile Destroyer USS Mason Shoots Downs Drone in Red Sea and then another one Guided-missile Destroyer USS Mason Shoots Downs Drone in Red Sea

How the USS Carney Is Fighting Off Iranian Attacks in the Middle East | WSJ Equipped (Editor 5:56 min video)

White House Aide Says Iran Helping Plan and Execute Red Sea Shipping Attacks then US Imposes Sanctions Over Red Sea Shipping Attacks

EDEX 2023: China’s CSIC promotes JARI-USV-A in Egypt well this looks familiar US Navy takes first step towards large unmanned surface vessel

Israel is Bringing its Sa’ar-Class Missile Boats to the Gaza Fight

Egypt Yet to Allow Indonesian Hospital Ship to Enter Gaza, Says Prabowo

Hijacked Car Carrier’s Crew Treated “As Well As Can Be Expected”

Israel Shipyards Launches First Shaldag Mk V Vessel For Israeli Navy

Israel’s Gigantic Underwater Weapon to Ensure Victory (Editor – 8:41 min video)

Navantia Delivers 4th Avante 2200 Corvette To Saudi Arabia



Moscow aims for another grab: Navy Chief says Russia will expand into Arctic Ocean and TASS reports US, NATO countries intensify military activity in Arctic — Admiral Yevmenov

The Great Suez Canal Renaissance (Editor – strategic implications)

Op-Ed: China Enslaves People at Sea and We Don’t Have a Way to Stop It

Largest Support Vessel to Facilitate the Construction Process (Editor – impressive vessels in a 10:07 min video)

Attenborough ship encounters mammoth iceberg



The Ship That Went on a Rampage of Total Revenge (Editor – HMCS Haida in a 13:58 min video)

The Wreck of USS Indianapolis – In the Blackness of the Deep Sea (Editor – 19:41 min video)



10 December 1939  The first Canadian troop convoy of 7,400 soldiers sails for Britain escorted out of Halifax by HMC ships Ottawa, Restigouche, Fraser, and St. Laurent.

12 December 1942 – Destruction by fire of Knights of Columbus Hostel, St. John’s, Nfld.  Ninety-nine people died (80 of whom were Service personnel) and a further 109 were critically injured.  Sixteen RCNVR / RCNR sailors were lost in the fire.  Stoker 2nd Class Goodwin was posthumously awarded the Albert Medal: “notwithstanding the fact that he could have saved his own life and that he himself was very badly burned, this rating assisted in removing two girls from the building, thereby saving their lives.  He was then overcome by flames and lost his life.”  All sixteen RCNVR/RCNR sailors are buried in the St John’s (Mount Pleasant) Cemetery in St John’s, Newfoundland.  This tragedy was felt in eight Canadian cities with the largest loss felt at HMCS Chippawa in Winnipeg.

12 December 1969  RCN retires aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure after 12 years of service; “Bonnie” never saw combat, but was scram­bled dur­ing the Octo­ber Mis­sile Crisis; later sold for scrap.  Her departure closed out 26 years of Canadian operation or ownership of aircraft carriers…and the loss of a wonderful capability for combat, peacekeeping, and humanitarian operations.

13 December 1940  HMCS Royal Roads is commissioned as a training establishment for Volunteer Reserve Probationary Sub-Lieutenants.  Five classes were instructed there, each containing between 100 and 125 men.  This programme came to an end in September 1942 when the naval college took over the buildings.  The three establishments, Stone Frigate, Royal Roads, and Kings, trained about 3,800 executive officers, and at the peak the navy’s strength there were roughly 4,000 executive officers in the R.C.N.V.R.

14 December 1812   HMS Plumber, a gun brig, under command of Lieutenant Josias Bray had successfully captured three small American privateers in the Bay of Fundy.  However, in a raging snowstorm, at 0400 hours on the morning of 5 December 1812, en route to Saint John from Halifax, with about 75 crew and passengers aboard, Plumper hit a ledge of rock off Dipper Harbour, since named Plumper Head, and sank.  Although Bray was among the survivors, forty-two others perished.  Of note, Plumper carried at least 36,000 pounds sterling (£3M+ today) in gold and silver specie to pay the British garrison.  Records show that the British authorities recovered about half the money immediately after the sinking.  The wreck is a protected provincial historic site.

14 December 1915   Flight Sub-Lieutenant A.S. Ince, RNAS while flying as observer in a Viewpoint aircraft shot down in flames a German two-seater.  The victory, the first confirmed success credited to a Canadian airman, won for Ince the DSC, the first decoration awarded a Canadian in the RNAS.

SIGNIFICANT RCN DATES – If you see any omissions or errors please inform me, and any more modern significant dates are also welcomed.  The list draws primarily from the Directory of History and Heritage’s comprehensive “Significant Dates in Canadian Military History”, the now defunct “Canada Channel”, “Legion Magazine”, The Naval Service of Canada, Its Official History Vol 1-3, NAC member Roger Litwiller’s excellent web site, encyclopedic guidance from NAC member Fraser McKee, the site, and anywhere else I can find credible information.  For the merchant ship history, a special thanks to NAC member Bill Dziadyk for his able assistance and detailed work.  The RCN lost 1,965 men and 24 ships during the War, most of them in the Atlantic.  A comprehensive list of the staggering merchant losses – sunk, damaged, or lost – Canadian Merchant Ship Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1945 by Rob Fisher {Revised June 2001}, and for the loss of individual personnel RCN Ship Histories, Convoy Escort Movements, Casualty Lists 1939-1947)

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