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The Globe and Mail

Navy waits on U.S. OK for $125-million submarine torpedo refit

The Canadian submarine HMCS Corner Brook prepares to get underway after taking Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper onboard for a visit in Frobisher Bay in the Canadian Arctic August 19, 2009. The Corner Brook is a long range patrol submarine.

ANDY CLARK/Andy Clark/Reuters

Canada's navy is waiting to hear back from the U.S. regarding the purchase of $125-million worth of torpedo refit kits so it can properly arm its four Victoria-class submarines.

At the moment, none of the British-built diesel boats is capable of firing the navy's stock of torpedoes.

Any sale of American made military equipment to a foreign government must be approved by Congress.

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Paul Ebner of the Defence Security Co-operation Agency, the office that oversees clearance for such sales, says if there are no objections over a 30-day study period the sale can proceed.

In a news release issued March 23, the agency noted that Canada would have no difficulty absorbing the conversion kits into its inventory.

Of the four Canadian subs, purchased at a cost of $750-million, only HMCS Corner Brook is currently operational as the others undergo various levels of repair.

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