Fire damaged submarine returns to Canadian navy after nearly a decade - InfoNews

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Fire damaged submarine returns to Canadian navy after nearly a decade

HMCS Chicoutimi rests on the syncrolift after being removed from the harbour in Halifax, N.S., Canada on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2006. A newly rebuilt HMCS Chicoutimi is set to rejoin the Canadian navy's submarine fleet, nearly 10 years after a deadly fire aboard the second-hand warship effectively crippled the program.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
January 06, 2014 - 12:55 PM

OTTAWA - A newly rebuilt HMCS Chicoutimi is set to rejoin the Canadian navy's submarine fleet, nearly 10 years after a deadly fire aboard the second-hand warship effectively crippled the program.

The navy's top commander says the British-built boat, which became a symbol of the sorry state of Canadian military equipment in 2004, has been fully repaired and upgraded.

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman says the submarine is in the process of being turned over to the military and the crew is expected to begin sea trial in the coming weeks in the waters off Esquimalt, B.C.

Norman tells The Canadian Press the navy is on the cusp of achieving what it set out to do when the four boats were purchased from the Royal Navy in 1998.

It has been a long, excruciating journey since Jean Chretien's Liberal government announced it would buy the surplus diesel-electric boats in what was heralded at the time as a great bargain for Canadian taxpayers.

The poor condition of the submarines tarnished their reputations, but the program was nearly scuttled by a fire aboard Chicoutimi in October 2004 that killed Lt. Chris Saunders and sent two other sailors to hospital.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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