Babcock Canada has signed two Technical Cooperation Agreements with South Korea’s Hanwha Ocean and HD Hyundai Heavy Industries to collaborate on the Canadian Patrol Submarine Project (CPSP).

The CPSP programme was established by the Canadian Department of National Defence to research procurement options for its next generation submarine, intended to replace the existing in-service Victoria-class boats.

The Technical Cooperation Agreements enables all companies to share their respective capabilities in shipbuilding and submarine sustainment in support of the CPSP and the current Victoria In-Service Suppport Contract, according to a 7 June release.

South Korea’s Hanwha Ocean, formerly known as DSME, will leverage its design, construction, and logistics support capabilities while Babcock will contribute its experience in providing in-service support and sustainment of Canada’s Victoria-class submarines, which it has been doing since 2008.

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The agreement follows an MoU signed between Babcock and Hanwha Ocean in 2022 to collaborate on systems integration programmes for future vessels.

In April this year, Canadian national newspaper outlet the Ottawa Citizen reported that the Canadian Government was considering a purchase of up to 12 new submarines in a programme that could be worth up to CAN$60bn.

Canadian submarine capabilities

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) currently operates four Victoria-class submarines purchased from the UK in 1998 and delivered to Canada over a four-year period from 2000 to 2004. The first three submarines—Victoria, Windsor and Corner Brook—were commissioned into RCN service shortly after their arrival in Canada.

The fourth, Chicoutimi, was delivered to Canada in 2004, but was not commissioned into RCN service until 2015, due to a fire in 2004 and subsequent work required. The Government of Canada has previously committed to modernising and operating the Victoria-class into the mid-to-late 2030s.

Any replacement of the Victoria-class will be conventionally powered, typically known as diesel-electric, which sees a propulsion combination of diesel motors and electric battery technology to power the submarine.