National Shipbuilding Strategy milestones and progress

Learn about the progress we’re making on our 30-year goal to renew the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard fleets.

In 2010, the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) was launched to meet Canada's requirements for much-needed ships, including the construction of both large and small ships, as well as ship repair, refit and maintenance.

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Large ship construction

At Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards, the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel, the first large vessel under the National Shipbuilding Strategy was launched in December 2017. The future Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Sir John Franklin is a 63-metre research vessel that will be used by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) to gain a better understanding of the health of fish stocks and the ocean environment.

On Canada's East Coast, at Irving Shipbuilding's Halifax Shipyard, the first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, the Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf, was assembled at land level in early December 2017. A steel-cutting event for the third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, the future HMCS Max Bernays was also held at Irving Shipbuilding in December. This marked the beginning of production on the third of these vessels that will provide armed, sea-borne surveillance of Canadian waters, including in the Arctic.

Another large ship milestone was the close of the bidding period for the Canadian Surface Combatant Request for Proposals on November 30, 2017. This was the largest, most complex procurement undertaken by the Government of Canada. Evaluation is underway and a winner is expected to be announced in 2018. The start of ship construction is targeted for the early 2020s.

View enlarged image of the launch of the Offshore Fisheries Vessel
View enlarged image of Minister Qualtrough and Kevin McCoy

Small ship construction

For small vessels, 2017 saw the first 2 of a dozen new CCG search and rescue lifeboats launched from producers in Ontario and Quebec. Also, the last of the 7 hydrographic survey vessels for the CCG was delivered on-time and on-budget last spring.

View enlarged image of a hydrographic survey vessel from Kanter Marine
View enlarged image the search and rescue boat from Chantier Naval Forillon

Repair, refit and maintenance

Under the repair, refit and maintenance portion of the NSS, work was completed on over 60 contracts with a value of over $90 million. Work varied from repairs on the national historic vessel HMCS Haida, to various contracts in support of operational requirements of the CCG and the Royal Canadian Navy, such as the dry-dock of the CCGS Pierre Radisson, a medium-sized icebreaker based in Quebec. In August, 2017, the government announced the award of an in-service support contract for the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships. This contract, at an estimated $5.2 billion, will create and maintain over 2,000 middle-class jobs across Canada over 35 years.

Finally, last year saw the publication of the 2016 National Shipbuilding Strategy: Annual Report detailing the work completed in 2016, as well as the economic benefits of rebuilding of Canada's shipbuilding industry.

With so many achievements last year, it's clear that the NSS is working and doing what it was intended to do: equip Canada's navy and coast guard, create and sustain jobs and learning opportunities for Canadians, and re-invigorate a world-class shipbuilding industry in Canada. Learn more about how the National Shipbuilding Strategy is strengthening our communities and follow the progress of shipbuilding projects.

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