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The Royal Canadian Navy is launching its long-anticipated push to replace Canada’s beleaguered submarine fleet, setting the stage for what will almost certainly be an extremely controversial debate around the need for such vessels. Defence officials revealed to The Canadian Press this month that a dedicated team is being created to start figuring out what Canada needs in new submarines as the sunset on the military’s existing fleet draws steadily closer. The move responds to a growing sense of urgency within defence and industry circles about the need to start work on such a project given the age of Canada’s existing submarines and the amount of time needed to design and build such vessels. “The CAF is establishing a Canadian patrol submarine project to inform timely governmental decision-making about a potential replacement class of submarines, and avoid any gap in submarine capability,” navy spokesperson Lt.-Cmdr. Jordan Holder said. “In order to enable timely decision-making at some future point regarding a replacement class of submarines and the avoidance of a gap in submarine capability, the CAF required a replacement project to be initiated this year.”

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