As the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) continues its growth phase, they’ll soon be adding the first of its six new Arctic patrol ships to its fleet and to accommodate those ships, the Department of National Defence unveiled the new Jetty NJ, a 247-metre platform that will act as the docking point for the vessels.
It was during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the CFB Halifax Thursday morning, where the Jetty NJ (November-Juliet) was officially revealed.
The $113-million infrastructure project took nearly four years to complete and will allow the RCN to anchor upto four of its Arctic offshore patrol ships – and other vessels – which they say will allow the navy to conduct missions not only to the Arctic but around the world.
Minister of Rural Economic Development Bernadette Jordan was on hand for the announcement and was representing national Defence Minister Harjit Sajan. Jordan said the new Jetty NJ will ensure the RCN can meet the changing security demands and accommodate ships of the 21st century.
“Our defense policy ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged,’ ensures that our navy will have the flexibility to conduct a wide variety of missions around the world and ensures that you will have the right equipment to do so,” said Jordan, “and it ensures you will have the right infrastructure to house and care for that equipment.”
The final cost of the Jetty NJ was nearly $30 million more than the original $82.6-million construction contract that was awarded to a pair of Halifax companies, including Dexter Construction and McNally International.
The Department of National Defence said the final value includes costs of studies, design, administration, and final taxes that weren’t part of the tendered contract.
Minister Jordan said the construction project was an economic driver for the region and helped create more than 400 jobs in the region.
“The Jetty NJ is fitted with modern fendering systems so the ships can berth safely and securely,” said Jordan. “It also has a utility tunnel to house services running to the jetty such as refueling services, freshwater supply, waste product removal and more.”
These are all vital services to the Jetty NJ and the naval ships it will harbour, but for the Canadian Navy, this infrastructure means they can patrol our vast coastline and the Arctic.
There are currently four Arctic patrol ships in different stages of construction and being built within plain site and just north of the jetty at the Irving Shipbuilding Yard.
“The location for one is very important for us, we can put multiple vessels here,” said Commodore Richard Feltham, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet of the Royal Canadian Navy. “There are many facilities on the Jetty NJ that allows us to connect to it and modern infrastructure. We don’t have to worry about what kind of ships we put here. Everything here is new and strong and able to support large ships with our partner allies from around the world.”
It’s anticipated the first Arctic patrol ship, the Harry DeWolf, will be ready for deployment by fall or early winter. The ship was due for completion this summer but has been hampered by construction delays.