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Backgrounder: The Ships to be Built

For the Department of National Defence

Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships (6 to 8 vessels)

The Arctic/offshore patrol ships will conduct armed sea-borne surveillance in Canada's waters, including in the Arctic. They will enhance the government's ability to assert Canadian sovereignty and provide surveillance and support to other government departments. Further information is available on the arctic offshore patrol ships website.

Joint Support Ships (2 vessels with the option of 1 additional)

The joint support ships are a critical component for achieving success in both international and domestic Canadian Forces missions, as laid out in the Canada First Defence Strategy. The ships will increase the range and endurance of naval task groups, permitting them to remain at sea for significant periods of time without returning to port for replenishment. The joint support ships will replace the two existing protecteur class auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels. Further information is available on the joint support ships website.

Canadian Surface Combatants (15 vessels)

These warships will replace Canada's destroyers and frigates. While the ships will be based on a common hull design, the frigate and destroyer variants will be fitted with different weapons, communications, surveillance and other systems. These new ships will ensure that the military can continue to monitor and defend Canadian waters and make significant contributions to international naval operations. This project is in the options analysis phase and will proceed to government for approval to enter the definition phase in due course.

For Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Canadian Coast Guard

Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (1 vessel)

The offshore oceanographic science vessel project will build a replacement ship for the Canadian Coast Guard's largest science vessel—the CCGS Hudson. This vessel was built in 1963, and its replacement is critical to the fulfillment of the department's science mandate, as well as the mandates of other government departments and agencies. The vessel currently operates on the east coast of Canada. The new ship should be in service by 2014.

Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (3 vessels)

The offshore fisheries science vessels project will build three ships for the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. The project will replace four aging Coast Guard ships on the east and west coasts of Canada that provides a platform from which critical scientific research and ecosystem-based management can be performed. The new ships should be in service by 2015.

Polar Icebreaker (1 vessel)

The polar icebreaker is one of the centerpieces of Canada's Northern Strategy, which focuses on strengthening Canada's Arctic sovereignty, northern economic and social development, and protecting the North's environmental heritage. The new icebreaker will provide the Canadian Coast Guard with increased coverage in the Canadian Arctic and adjacent waters and will be able to operate during three seasons in the Arctic, over a larger area and in more difficult ice conditions than is currently possible. The polar icebreaker will be 120 to 140 metres in length and will carry a complement of 100 personnel and accommodation for 25 additional people. The polar icebreaker will also be able to accommodate two helicopters when required and will have cargo-carrying capacity. Further details are available from the polar icebreaker website.