The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, along with the Honourable Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, announced the awarding of the build contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. for the construction of six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). This contract, valued at $2.3 billion, marks the start of the construction phase under the NSPS (Source: Public Works and Government Services Canada).
The contract has been designed to ensure best value for taxpayers and sets out the plan for the delivery of six ships within a ceiling price.
The AOPS build contract will sustain approximately 1,000 jobs at Irving Shipbuilding as well as many jobs at suppliers across Canada. For example, today, Member of Parliament, Bryan Hayes, highlighted that the majority (60 per cent) of steel plate for the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship will be produced at the Essar Steel Algoma rolling mill in his riding of Sault Saint Marie in Ontario. To date, 197 companies in Canada have already benefited from NSPS work.
Construction of an initial block for the first AOPS is scheduled for the summer, while full production will commence in September 2015. Delivery of the first HMCS Harry DeWolf class ship is expected in 2018.
It was also confirmed that Irving Shipbuilding will be the Prime Contractor for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project. As outlined in the NSPS RFP (Request For Proposal) and the resulting umbrella agreement with the selected shipyards, Canada retains the right to determine if the shipyard will be designated as the Prime Contractor. After discussions with industry and review by an independent third party, it was determined that Irving is best positioned to manage the contracts associated with the three decades of work to design and build these ships.
The $3.5 billion budget for the AOPS includes acquisition costs (for vessel design and build), project office operations, a provision for infrastructure costs (e.g. for jetties), as well as initial spares and support.
The build contract, valued at $2.3 billion, is a cost reimbursable incentive fee-based contract that provides incentives for Irving Shipbuilding to deliver 6 ships to the Royal Canadian Navy within a pre‑determined and not-to-exceed ceiling price.
The new DeWolf class Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will be equipped with state of the art sensors and will also be able to operate and support the new Cyclone naval helicopters. Operating in conjunction with other capabilities of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard, the DeWolf class ships will play a critical role in protecting Canada’s offshore sovereignty in the Atlantic, the Pacific as well as in the Arctic.
Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships
Canada defends more coastline than any other country, as it is bounded by three oceans. Canada protects its maritime approaches from smuggling, trafficking and pollution, and also provides life-saving search and rescue as well as opportunities for scientific research. The fleets also act internationally to meet our commitments and protect our interests.
In June 2010, the Government of Canada announced the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Through this strategy, Canada will replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard, which are reaching the end of their operational lives. First in line will be the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy in the combat package. These will be followed by the Canadian Surface Combatant. The Joint Support Ships (JSS) will be built for the Royal Canadian Navy under the non-combat work package.
The AOPS project will deliver six ice-capable offshore patrol ships that will conduct sovereignty and surveillance operations in Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone, including in the Arctic. The Royal Canadian Navy will also use the AOPS to support other units of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the conduct of maritime-related operations and to support other government departments in carrying out their mandates, as required. The AOPS project will also deliver associated jetty infrastructure in Esquimalt (BC), Halifax (NS) and Nanisivik (NU).
The AOPS are key to the Government of Canada’s ability to deliver on three of our guiding strategies – the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Northern Strategy, and the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
Proposed Ship Capabilities
The AOPS will have a number of capabilities that will allow the ships to assist the Royal Canadian Navy in carrying out missions. The following high-level draft requirements are examples of these capabilities, and will be studied and refined during project definition. AOPS will:
- Be capable of performing independent open ocean patrols on the east and west coasts of Canada, and in the Canadian Arctic during the navigable season.
- Designed to a Polar Class 5 international ice classification standard, which will allow for operations in first year ice up to one meter in thickness.
- Have a capability to manoeuvre in ice, however AOPS will not provide icebreaking services to others.
- Be able to sustain operations for up to 4 months.
- Have a range of at least 6,800 nautical miles/12,593.6 km at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h.
- Have a sufficient command, control and communication capability to exchange real-time information with the Canadian Armed Forces Maritime Security Operations Centres.
- Have a cruising speed of at least 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h and a maximum speed of at least 17 knots/19.5 mph/31 km/h.
- Have a gun armament.
- Remain operational for 25 years beyond Initial Operational Capability (IOC).
- Be capable of embarking and operating a variety of helicopter types up to and including the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Cyclone helicopter be capable of embarking and deploying a variety of boat types to support activities such as boarding operations and transfer of cargo and personnel for ship-to-shore transfer as well as arrangements for cargo and container storage to support CAF and Other Government Departments operations.