Prologue by Glen - This thread is composed of posts by TheMann copied from WI Canada retains CV capability started by RogueBeaver to facilitate TheMann's timeline entry in the Turtledove Awards. The timeline proper begins in the next post. Ive looked at this a few times and found a few assorted problems. A new carrier costs a pile of $$$ to build, an old carrier requires a pile of $$$ to operate. Hence, the problem of funding comes up either way. I would say the best bet is to have the new carrier to replace Bonaventure arrive in the mid to late 1960s. Best way to do that is to somehow keep a Conservative government, or perhaps a more moderate Liberal one. Uniting the forces could actually help - the Navy fell to pieces afterwards, and it could easily be said that a crisis somewhere could convince Canada to keep a carrier capability, just so they can throw some weight around in international affairs. (It woulda been useful in Cyprus, for example.) The Essex class crew is too much for Canada - it requires 3500 crew - but something about halfway is much more doable. I thought of the idea of Canada buying the decommissioned HMS Eagle, after it was mothballed in 1972. It would be a perfect fit IMO - about twice the crew of the Majestic class, but its big enough to operate real fixed-wing aircraft, small enough that the biggest Canadian dry docks can take it fairly easily, requires 1000 less crew than the Essex class. And with its 1972 condition being fairly rough as I understand, it woulda been bought for peanuts, but then gone into an extensive refit - which woulda been done in a Canadian shipyard, in turn helping the local economies (which were being battered at the time). HMCS Eagle, or whatever you want to call it, enters into service in 1974ish, and probably becomes a helpful asset supporting the guys on Cyprus, and would probably be deployed to help out operations elsewhere. I never quite understood the point of Canada basing forces in Germany, with the Germans and Americans already there in big numbers and Britain and France able to move much more quickly. Remove those and you make finding money easier, too. The Eagle carried among other aircraft the F-4 Phantom II and the Blackburn Buccaneer, both considerably bigger than the CF-18, so it is conceivably that Canada's fighters could have some directed to the Navy. (Canada's CF-18s still have carrier arresting gear, FYI.) This remains true if Canada buys Iran's F-14s, because the Hornet is a bigger aircraft than the Hornet, it is about the same size as the Buccaneer in everything but wingspan, which can be folded easily enough. Say that the Cyprus operation and the 1973 oil crisis hits a more moderate Trudeau government, giving it a graphic vision of the need for Canada to be at least able to have some weight. (In OTL, that was part of the reason why Canada began investigating replacing its CF-101/CF-104/CF-116 fleets.) HMS Eagle, the largest British carrier, has been decommissioned, a fact which is well known to Canada, and Trudeau goes to buy it, and gets it for cheap. It goes to Saint John Shipbuilding for a major refit while Canada buys a loadout for it. This comes from the USA, which is retiring the Essex class ships and has excess aircraft as a result, and the carrier gains complements of F-4 Phantom II and A-7 Corsair II fighters. The ship also gains complements of S-2 Tracker ASW aircraft and CH-124 Sea King helicopters. As equipped, HMCS Eagle enters service in August 1974 at Halifax. Bonaventure retires in March 1975, but becomes a museum ship instead. Canada's New Fighter Program happens as in OTL, but the forces at the same time ask for 30-40 naval fighter aircraft as part of the program, a fact which is answered by the American aircraft makers blowing the dust off of the Sea Eagle and Naval F-16 ideas. In the end, however, Canada wants aircraft that are proven platforms. The F/A-18 is chosen for the job in 1980, and is scheduled to enter Canadian Service in 1982, with the Eagle gaining a full loadout early on to keep it at full strength. Shortly thereafter, Canada made an offer to Iran to buy Iran's fleet of 79 F-14A Tomcat fighters for a big discount, offering to buy the lot for $1.1 Billion. As Iran's economy floundered in the post-Shah chaos, the Iranians accepted. All of the Tomcats were moved in 1980, and the US gave the one Tomcat not delivered to Iran. Eager to keep the Canucks happy and to help Canada's reworking its military to keep up with NATO problems, most of Iran's gear that hadn't been delivered goes right to Canada, including a supply of AIM-54 Phoenix missiles for the Tomcats and the Shah's four new air-warfare destroyers, all for a fraction of the prices of their costs new. Canada, sensing the deal they just couldn't pass up, takes the works. Between 1982 and 1986, Canada takes delivery of 134 CF-18 Hornets, which allows the retirement of the CF-101 and CF-104 aircraft. The Tomcats fit on Eagle - barely. Canada's Tomcats do three cruises on Eagle in 1981 and 1982 before the first Hornets arrive, allowing the Tomcats to be assigned to air patrol duty. In celebration of Canada's constitution repatriation of April 1982, in October 1982, the first sailing of the Canada Squadron sails from Halifax, an all-Canadian carrier battle group. Eagle, Province-class missile destroyers (OTL's Kidd-class) Ontario and Alberta, destroyers Huron, Athabaskan and Annapolis and submarines Ojibwa and Okanagan departed Halifax and met up with USS Forrestal for a series of exercises, before steaming to Britain, France and Germany for visits. Canada's 1980s rebuild does in fact help those repsonsible for it, as Canada's level of respect and influence within NATO rises dramatically throughout the 1980s, as does the size and and ease of recruiting within the Canadian Forces. Support for Canada's military among Canadians also rises in the 1980s, sensing that Canada could indeed holds its own on just about any stage. A milestone is reached when Brian Mulroney seeks - and gets - former PC leader Robert Stanfield to be chosen as NATO's Secretary General in 1988, the first time the post had been given to a non-European. In 1982, Canada joins the United States in offering to help Britain through the back door if Britain needs help beating Argentina during the Falklands War. Britain declines, but the Canadian Forces grows in terms of public visibility and range throughout the 1980s. In 1986, the Snowbirds finally retire the CT-114s in favor of the CF-116 Freedom Fighters, and also give a number of high-profile shows abroad, including for the first time appearing at the International Air Tattoo that same year. Riding the support, Canada's Navy announces another major upgrade in 1987, this time to repalce the Oberon class submarines with six modern nuclear submarines. The plan was amibitious, even for Mulroney, but the Canadian support for the now powerful Forces proves to be enough for Mulroney to get the idea across. In 1987, Canada and the UK begin negotiations over the submarines, only to have the US block the sale over American involvement in the design. General Dynamics instead offers Canada the Los Angeles class nuclear submarine, which the Canadians, to the happiness of the French, veto out of hand. Canada's Minister of National Defense at the time, Perrin Beatty, indignantly tells the US "You make it impossible for us to buy our first choice of submarines from the UK, and then try to sell us one of your own? It's more than a little indignant, is it not?" With the memories of the problems of the LRPA and Eagle acquisitions still fairly recent, the French Rubis class becomes the only option. The French are quite co-operative, however. HMCS Victoria, the first of Canada's Rubis-class Submarine, is commissioned in 1990, in time to deploy as part of Canada Squadron again. When Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces invaded the small nation of Kuwait in 1990, the world responded with anger and a resolve to shove the Iraqis out. Canada sent the Canada Squadron out again, though this time HMCS Victoria went out with the squadron instead of the aging Oberon class submarines, and Eagle left the ASW aircraft at home, allowing her to go out with 24 CF-18 Hornets, 18 CF-75 Corsair IIs and a handful of CH-124 Sea King helicopters. The Air Force also came, bringing a squadron of CF-18s themselves. Canada's Hornets and Corsair IIs flew 267 sorties during Desert Storm with one loss, a CF-75 hit by 57mm flak fire over Basra. The Navy in the 1990s inducts many new vessels - the 12 Halifax-class patrol frigates being the chief among them. The patrol frigates allow the retirement of the St Laurent, Restigouche, Mackenzie and Annapolis class destroyers and destroyer escorts, dramatically reducing the Navy's personnel costs. The 12 Halifax class frigates were considered among the world's best. The Iroquois class destroyers, with their ASW work taken over by the Halifax class, gain the electronics from the American Spruance class destroyers, two 3-inch guns and two sets of 29-cell Mk-41 Vertical Launch Systems, with SM-2 missiles. They are all refitted between 1992 and 1997. All of the nuclear subs are commissioned between 1990 and 1998, the last of five (the sixth is not built), HMCS Edmonton, being commissioned in May 1998. The Halifax class patrol frigates first arrive in 1992 and the last is commissioned in 1996, completing what is one of the world's most modern Navies.