Waiting to see the Unseen

Forgive people for not waiting with bated breath for the re-launch of the HMCS Victoria.

Canada’s first operational submarine in more than a decade is expected to finally take to the waters this spring and begin active deployment sometime this year.

Even non-military buffs have to be impressed by the technological marvel represented by state-of-the-art submarines. The trouble is, we’re still not sure what to make of this vessel.

HMCS Victoria began life in Britain as the HMS Unseen in Birkenhead in 1987, the same year Canadians were being introduced to the dollar coin that would come to be known as the loonie.

Britain gave up on this class of submarine shortly after the Cold War ended.

In 1998 Canada made a $750 million deal with the U.K. to lease-to-purchase the four Upholder vessels, renaming them as Victoria class. They were considered among the stealthiest submarines in the world.

Powered by a diesel-electric engine and outfitted with anechoic tiles, the boats are deserving of their motto “Expect no warning.”

Originally, HMCS Victoria was expected to be serving off the coast of Esquimalt relatively soon after arriving in Halifax in 2000.

Victoria did end up sailing to the West Coast in 2003, after undergoing repairs in Halifax to fix a dent in its hull and other systemic defects.

At the time, there was much written about how the Victoria was the first submarine to patrol Canada’s West Coast since the HMCS Rainbow was decommissioned in 1974. The enthusiasm didn’t last long though as the submarine was hung up in dry dock and quickly faded from the public’s eye.

Now we’re hearing that the repairs and modernization will be completed within months. Once again, military buffs are anxious to take pride in a thoroughly rebuilt old boat.

We do hope they’re not disappointed, but, based solely on the ever-expanding history of HMCS Victoria’s planned deployments, we’ll believe it when we see it.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds of wax figures find new life in Saanich man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

UPDATED: Hit and run results in damaged fire hydrant, flooding on Richmond Road

Registered owner issued $360 ticket, responsible for repair costs

Peninsula Eagles will host Midget T2 provincial championships

Provincial championships will take place at Panorama Recreation March 15 to 19

Saanich’s senior race car driver not slowing down

Bill Okell kicks off 2020 season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California on Feb. 21

UVIC to host brain health presentation at IdeaFest 2020

Integrative Lifespan Lab will teach residents brain health for free at IdeaFest 2020

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Most Read