Navy seeks to extend lives of Canada’s four submarines into the 2030s

HMCS Windsor, one of Canada's Victoria-class long range patrol submarines, returns to port in Halifax on June 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

OTTAWA – The Department of National Defence is pushing ahead with plans to extend the lives of Canada’s four submarines, with the head of the navy hoping some work will start soon.

Royal Canadian Navy commander Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd says the fact one submarine was recently in Asia while another was in the Mediterranean is proof the fleet has turned a corner after a troubled start.

Lloyd says defence officials are now working through the details to extend the lives of the submarines and make sure they can continue to operate into the 2030s.

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More extensive work is expected to start in three or four years, but Lloyd says efforts are underway to start some minor upgrades before the end of the fiscal year in March.

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The plan comes as countries around the world have stepped up investments in their submarine and antisubmarine fleets to protect their waters – and operate in waters not under their control.

WATCH: HMCS Windsor returns to Halifax after five-month deployment

Click to play video: 'HMCS Windsor returns to Halifax after five-month deployment'
HMCS Windsor returns to Halifax after five-month deployment

NATO has specifically raised concerns about Russian submarines in the North Atlantic, while Canadian frigate commanders patrolling in the Atlantic and Mediterranean have reported detecting more foreign submarines.

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