FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS IN CANADIAN NAVY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS

Commander W.J. Poole of Maritime Command Headquarters kindly provided some information that reflects the state of the radio art in the Canadian Navy in 1994 and its future direction. "We are no longer considered to be communicators but rather Command and Control, Communications and Information Systems (C3IS or CIS) Officers and Men. Believe it or not, we have just recently become comfortable with our new role in life when others are trying to fit in another "C" (C4IS) to cover computers".
 

Commander Poole outlined some upcoming changes:

CW TRANSMISSIONS

As of September 1, 1993 the navy ceased all CW related services including training. A special plaque was presented to HMCS HAIDA to denote this event and here is the reproduction of that message:

NAWS
C13L001
R 312300Z AUG 93
FM MSAX MILL COVE
TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS C13L
BT
UNCLAS

1. SEPTEMBER 1, 1993, HAVING BEEN DESIGNATED AS THE DATE IN WHICH REGULAR CW SERVICE CEASES IN THE CANADIAN NAVY, THIS IS THE FINAL OCCASION WHEN SPARKERS WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PUT THIS DYING ART TO USE

2. FOR THOSE WHO CAN RECALL QUOTE BENS BEST BREAD UNQUOTE WILL ALWAYS BE RHYTHM ON THE TIPS OF THE FINGERS

3. AS WE ENTER INTO THIS NEW ERA THE MEMBERS OF THE OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT AT MILL COVE WISH TO SAY ONE LAST TIME R R C U L OM QRU QRU AR BT

6 MHz TOR 2310Z W.O.

The message was composed by Willie Neal who was the Chief at SSO Comm then sent by Wayne Oliver.
 
On October 1 1996, station VCS, Halifax Coast Guard radio, ceased all high frequency services forever. This included radio telegraphy, radio telephony and radio telex. VCS will continue as a MF/VHF radiotelephone only station for a while longer. In 1998, the station is scheduled to closed and the operators will be relocated to the Vessel Traffic Services building in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Sad as it seems, there is not much that anyone can do in the face of progress.

CRYPTO SERVICES

The KWR-37 crypto receiver was replaced by a far superior, solid state unit known as the KW-46. The KW-46 offers operational flexibility, advanced keying concept, traffic flow security and nuclear survivability. It also features automatic synchronization, community segregation of receiver sites, remote electronic keying, advanced key distribution and a high rate of data processing.

HANDHELD RADIOS

A new family of handheld radios offer a much wider frequency range, higher power output, and above all, 72 pre-programmed channel selection capability. This will supersede the current system which only uses four channels.

HF BROADCAST

Stations C11L and C11E still continue to operate as our national shore to ship broadcasts. Broadcast speed varies and is dependent upon the user's receive capabilities. Normally, the broadcast operates at 110 baud, a speed restriction imposed by the requirement to simulcast it in the LF portion of the spectrum. When operations allow for exclusive use of HF for the broadcast, the speed is raised to 300 baud. NATO has stated that 300 baud is the minimum required and 600 baud is the preferred speed for broadcasts. Efforts are currently underway to divorce HF from LF in order that the speed of the broadcast be increased.

KEYMAT

By 1996 or 1997, there will be little or no requirement for sea units or authorities to hold high grade keymat. All keymat requirements will be fulfilled via 'Over the Air Transfer' (OTAT) or 'Over the Air Rekey' (OTAR). As the name implies, all keymat will be transferred via the secure broadcast or another secure radio link.

LOW FREQUENCY CAPABILITY

RCN ships no longer have low frequency transmit capabilities. Some broadcast is still transmitted on LF so receiving capability must be maintained.

MF/HF

There is a variety of MF/HF transmitters capable of various modes of operation. The capabilities include: frequency shift keying (FSK), phase shift keying (PSK), voice, radioteletype (RATT), data, FAX and video. Power outputs range from extremely low up to five kilowatts.

PAPER CODES

Virtually all paper codes (low grade), presently in wide use, should be eliminated by 1996 and replaced by machine encryption devices (MED's).

SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS (SATCOM)

Permanent SATCOM fits were installed in HMC Ships during the early and mid-eighties. Since then, SATCOM systems have been upgraded to a 'Demand Assigned Multiple Access System' or what is commonly is referred to as a DAMA FIT. This system increases the capacity of the available communications channels by employing the TD-1271B/U multiplexor.

SECURE VOICE

The means to communicate via secure voice has been readily available since the mid-seventies. With new improved equipment, ninety percent of all voice circuits (HF/UHF/SATCOM) are now secure.

VHF

The primary shipboard system in use today is the Sealand 66, a 100 channel, FM, marine band radio. It will soon be replaced with a system that offers AM/FM modes, a much wider frequency range and 121.5 MHz guard capability.

UHF

A new family of UHF equipment is being fitted on ships. This gear will guard 243 MHz, will have auto/pre-tune capability and operate in a multi-mode environment. These modes include: Voice (AM/FM), RATT, data, etc. Some of this gear is modified for satellite communications - both NATO and Allied.


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Aug 9/08