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Federal government awards Irving Shipbuilding Inc. $500M contract to maintain navy fleet

The Irving Shipbuilding facility is seen in Halifax on June 14, 2018.
The Irving Shipbuilding facility is seen in Halifax on June 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The government of Canada announced Thursday that it has awarded a $500-million contract to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. of Halifax to carry out maintenance work on its Halifax-class frigates.

The federal government also said it is investing more than $7.5 billion in the Royal Canadian Navy’s 12 Halifax-class frigates to provide necessary ongoing maintenance until they are retired in the early 2040s.

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According to the government, the initial five-year contract guarantees a minimum of three frigates for the shipyard, with work planned to begin in the early 2020s. The contract is expected to rise in value as additional work packages are added.

On July 16, 2016, the government of Canada awarded similar contracts to Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards Limited in Victoria, B.C., and Chantier Davie in Lévis, Que.

These awards are part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which seeks to modernize the Royal Canadian Navy “by providing them with safe, reliable ships to carry out their important work,” said Carla Qualtrough, minister of public services and procurement, in a press release.

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The Royal Canadian Navy requires that at least eight of the 12 frigates are able to deploy at all times to meet the navy’s commitment to the government of Canada.

“Of the current fleet of Halifax-class frigates, seven have their home port in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while the five others are based in Esquimalt, British Columbia,” the government said in a press release.

The Canadian surface combatant ships will replace the Halifax-class frigates and the retired Iroquois-class destroyers with the construction on the Canadian surface combatants scheduled to begin at Irving in the early 2020s.

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