Deployment of Canadian navy submarines on hold due to COVID-19

VICTORIA — What was meant to be a “milestone” return to sea for Canada’s military submarines in 2020 is now on hold amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Two Royal Canadian Navy submarines were due to embark this spring and summer after a nearly two-year deployment gap for the sub fleet. But now, the submarines HMCS Victoria and HMCS Windsor will remain in port for the foreseeable future as work to return the vessels to sea is put on hold.

“Further maintenance is required before they can be deployed,” said National Defence spokesperson Jessica Lamirande on Monday. “However, in order to ensure the health and safety of our Defence team, work on board submarines was put on pause during this pandemic.”

HMCS Victoria

HMCS Victoria undergoes testing in Esquimalt, B.C. on Feb. 24, 2020, ahead of its planned deployment (CTV News)