built for the Canadian Coast Guard, with the first of
those ships in service by 2015.
For the RCN, Vancouver Shipyards will build a new
fleet of supply ships. Two of these Joint Support Ships
(JSS) will be constructed, with an option for one additional vessel if the budget allows.
The support ships are considered essential for the
RCN since they will be used to supply a maritime task
group at sea with fuel, ammunition and food. The service currently operates two vessels, HMCS Protecteur
and HMCS Preserver, to do those roles, but those vessels are more than 40 years old.
The RCN also requires the JSS to be capable of providing helicopter support and be equipped with a
small hospital. The ships would have a limited ability
to operate in Arctic areas.
The first JSS is to be delivered in 2017, according to
Sing. The RCN is looking at an in-house ship design,
as well as the Cantabria-class design from Spain’s
Navantia and the Berlin-class from Germany’s
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, for the JSS.
The winning design is expected to be selected in
2012, according to Sing. Full operational capability for
the ships is slated for 2019.
The other major project for Vancouver Shipyards
will be the construction of a polar icebreaker for the
Coast Guard. That ship will be 120 to 140 meters in
length, and carry a complement of 100 personnel with
accommodation for 25 additional people. The polar
icebreaker also will be outfitted to accommodate two
helicopters when required.
The Coast Guard’s heavy icebreaker, CCGS Louis S.
St-Laurent, is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2017.
The service hopes that a contract will be awarded to
Vancouver Shipyards in 2013, with construction starting that year. Delivery and sea trials of the new icebreaker would take place in 2017, with final acceptance
also happening that year.
The new ship is expected to have a service life of
around 40 years.
Because of Canada’s close maritime cooperation with
the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, interoperability
among Canadian and U.S. ships is desired and will be
factored into systems as much as possible, according to
Canadian naval officers and defense analysts.
The JSS would be capable of being integrated into
allied battle groups, in particular with the U.S. Navy.
Plans also are being examined for the potential inclusion of theater missile defense systems onboard the
Canadian Surface Combatants, similar to those operated by the U.S. Navy.
U.S. firms are preparing to offer various systems and
weapons to the Canadian naval building programs.
Raytheon has made a presentation to Defence Depart-
The Royal Canadian Navy auxiliary oiler replenishment ship
HMCS Protecteur refuels the amphibious dock landing ship
USS Comstock Feb. 27 in the Pacific Ocean. The 40-plus-
year-old Protecteur and its sister ship, HMCS Preserver, will
be replaced by two new Joint Support Ships as part of
Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
ment officials about outfitting the Surface Combatants
with the most up-to-date generation of Tomahawk cruise
missiles. Any such installation of cruise missiles onboard
a Canadian warship would be a first for the RCN.
L- 3 Communications also is positioning itself to bid
on the Surface Combatant program. Peter Gartenburg,
vice president of L- 3’s Canadian operations, said the
firm can contribute in a number of technology areas,
including power generation and distribution systems
and integrated communications throughout the ship.
Lockheed Martin, which already is overseeing the
Halifax-class frigate combat systems integration project — a major modernization of the command and
control system, radar and tactical data links — expects
to play a similar role on A/OPS and the Surface
Don McClure, Lockheed Martin Canada’s vice president of business development, said the company is
aligned with Irving Shipbuilding, although exact details
about what role it will play in A/OPS and the surface
combatants still has to be worked out.
The NSPS process has received praise from opposition parties in the House of Commons, who have
pointed out how smoothly the selection of the shipyards was run.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay said that with the
longest coastline in the world, the Canadian government is serious about dealing with maritime threats to
the nation. And as the NSPS breathes new life into the
country’s shipbuilding industry, it also will revitalize
the Canadian sea services, he added.
“This is about rebuilding our Navy, our Coast
Guard,” MacKay said. ;