The Canadian standing senate defence committee has released a new report recommending that the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) should purchase 12 new submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP).
The report has been titled ‘Reinvesting in the Canadian Armed Forces: A plan for the future’, and suggests procurement of the vessels should begin before the end of 2018.
It also specifies that the 12 submarines should be positioned equally across both coasts, with six on each.
The recommended capability enhancement would allow Canada to effectively defend any sea and air approaches to its territory, as well as protect the country’s maritime sovereignty, including in the Arctic.
Members of the committee have also noted that the defence spending will increase to 2% of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2028.
Additionally, the report calls for the navy to acquire a second Resolve-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessel by next year in order to meet an urgent capability gap on each Canadian coast.
The report also outlines that sufficient funding must be provided for the purchase of 18 new surface combatant vessels through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, with nine vessels deployed on each of the two coasts.
Further, it advises the RCN to integrate an adequate number of the surface combatant vessels with the Aegis battle system or a similar solution.
The senate report also suggests speeding up the replacement of maritime coastal defence vessels with minesweepers and destroyers that are more readily capable of protecting the Canadian seas.
In addition, the Canadian committee has expressed concerns about the capabilities of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) that are currently under construction.
The report states that these vessels cannot operate in ice more than a metre thick and move at a slower speed than a BC Ferry.
It also suggests they can only operate in the arctic from June to October and will need a coast guard escort when in the northern waters.