Annex A—Status of large vessel projects—National Shipbuilding Strategy: 2016 annual report

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Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships

The Arctic and 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. Project includes funding for jetty infrastructure in Halifax and Esquimalt, and berthing and fuelling facility in Nunavut.

  • Shipyard of build: Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard
  • Client department: Department of National Defence
  • Status: Construction in progress
  • Scope: 5 or 6 vessels
  • Project budget: $3.5 billion

Given that the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships are complex vessels and Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyards are using new equipment and processes, there were initial start-up issues and delays to production. However, the implementation of improvements has yielded very positive results. Full production of the first vessel began in September 2015, as scheduled. By August 2016, the shipbuilder had made significant progress on the construction of the future Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf and had cut steel on the second vessel, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke.

The year ahead

Work continues on the construction of the first 2 Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships. The construction of the third vessel will commence in 2017.

Canadian Surface Combatant

The Canadian Surface Combatant fleet will be capable of meeting multiple threats in both the open ocean and the highly complex coastal environment. These ships will ensure that Canada can continue to monitor and defend its waters and make significant contributions to international naval operations. This fleet will replace the Royal Canadian Navy's Iroquois class destroyers and the Halifax class frigates.

  • Shipyard of build: Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard
  • Client department: Department of National Defence
  • Status: Definition phase
  • Scope: 15 vessels
  • Project budget: Under review

In June 2016, the government announced a streamlined approach designed to accelerate the delivery of the Canadian Surface Combatant ships. The new approach will competitively select an existing warship design and design team and, to a large extent, the original systems and equipment as the starting point. The design will be modified it to the extent necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Royal Canadian Navy, and maximize the opportunity for Canadian content.

The year ahead

In October 2016, Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard issued the Request for Proposals to the bidders which have qualified to participate in the solicitation process for the selection of the starting point design and design team. Given the scope and complexity of the solicitation and the corresponding work involved in preparing and evaluating bid responses, it is expected that the announcement of the selected bid team will be made in 2018. Canada will then award the prime design contract to Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard who will subsequently issue the design sub-contract to the successful bidder. The Canadian Surface Combatant project will then commence work with the entire design team to complete the design work necessary to optimize the bid design to meet the Royal Canadian Navy’s requirements and to incorporate Canadian content in accordance with the winning bid's Value Proposition proposal.

Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels

The Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels will provide an important platform from which scientific research and ecosystem-based management can be performed. These "floating laboratories" will contribute to Canada’s stewardship of fishery and ocean resources and will replace the aging Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Teleost, CCGS Alfred Needler and CCGS W.E. Ricker on Canada’s west and east coasts.

  • Shipyard of build: Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards
  • Client department: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Status: Construction in progress
  • Scope: 3 vessels
  • Project budget: $687 million

The Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels are being built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and will be the first large vessels delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The non-combat package, with its short production runs and 2 government clients, represent an extraordinary challenge for any shipyard, especially one that has had to expand and reconfigure to the extent that Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards has done over the past few years. Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards has undertaken significant work to upgrade its infrastructure, hire staff and establish key systems and processes. Construction of the first two ships is well underway, having commenced in June 2015 and March 2016, respectively.

The year ahead

The third and final Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel began construction in February 2017. Construction on all 3 Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels is expected to continue throughout the year ahead.

Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel

The Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel will support oceanographic, fishery, geological, and hydrographic survey missions, contributing directly to our understanding of the oceans and the impacts of climate change. It will be outfitted for scientific research on ocean currents and on the seabed. This ship will replace the oldest vessel in the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet, CCGS Hudson, which operates on Canada’s east coast.

  • Shipyard of build: Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards
  • Client department: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Status: Basic design development underway
  • Scope: 1 Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel
  • Project budget: Under review

In November 2015, Canada awarded the initial construction engineering contract to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards to commence the work required for the preparation of construction. In February 2016, Canada awarded the long lead items/material contract to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, which enables the shipyard to initiate early discussions with potential suppliers and to purchase required material and equipment.

The year ahead

Over the coming year, the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel project will continue with construction engineering, including the functional and production design stages. A construction contract will be negotiated with Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards once the required engineering work has been initiated.

Joint Support Ships

The Joint Support Ship 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. They will also provide a home base for helicopter maintenance and operation, a limited sealift capability and support to operations ashore. They will replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s retired Protecteur-class auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels.

  • Shipyard of build: Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards
  • Client department: Department of National Defence
  • Status: Definition phase
  • Scope: 2 Support Ships (with option to build a third)
  • Project budget: Under review

The Joint Support Ship are being built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards based on the TKMS Bonn/Berlin design and will include Canadian modifications. The initial design review work is now complete, and procurement activity has started on competitively selecting the major equipment and systems to be installed in the first ship.

The year ahead

With the awarding of the Joint Support Ship design and production engineering contract in December 2016, the design work on the Joint Support Ship project will move into high gear in 2017. Concurrently, the Government of Canada will engage in contract negotiations with Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards for the construction phase, presently scheduled to start in 2019.

Advanced procurement of major equipment identified as long lead items and required for the construction phase will also commence in 2017. Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and its subcontractors will be procuring the long lead items from various suppliers in Canada and abroad.

Polar Icebreaker

The Polar Icebreaker will replace Canada's current largest and most capable icebreaker, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. It will become one of the most powerful conventional icebreakers in the world. Expected to be Canada’s “flagship” in the Canadian Arctic, the Polar Icebreaker will significantly enhance on-water capability in the Arctic on a year-round basis. It will be able to consistently operate farther north, in more difficult ice conditions, and for longer periods than is currently the case.

  • Shipyard of build: Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards
  • Client department: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Status: Contract design stage (completed)
  • Scope: 1 Vessel
  • Project budget: $1.3 billion

Canada has committed to keeping CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent in service at least until the delivery of the Polar Icebreaker. The project has successfully completed necessary initial design work and will transition to construction engineering once work on preceding projects has advanced.

The year ahead

Negotiations on a construction engineering contract are planned to begin in 2017.

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