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.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria is a tough market, even for former homeowners

Seniors often squeezed out of the housing market due to limited income

Garry Oak Meadow Marathon underway at Cattle Point

Every Sunday in February and March Friends of Uplands Park is seeking volunteers

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read