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Ottawa awards $72.6M contract for Halifax-class frigate maintenance to Irving company

HMCS Fredericton leaves Halifax on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009.
HMCS Fredericton leaves Halifax on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. FILE - Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

The Government of Canada has awarded a six-year, $72.6-million contract to a Halifax-based company for the maintenance of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigates.

Ottawa announced the decision to award the contract to Fleetway Inc., a company of J.D. Irving Ltd.,  on Monday.

The contract, award as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, can be extended up to 22 years for a total of up to $552 million.

Read more: Irving lays off workers, shuts down Halifax Shipyard for three weeks

It will support 140 jobs in the region and is meant to ensure the Halifax-class frigates remain operational until the construction of the Canadian Surface Combatant vessels is complete, expected in the early 2040s.

“Our Halifax-class frigates remain the backbone of our Navy, enabling us to maintain our presence at sea both at home and abroad,” said Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, in a press release.

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“As we continue to transition to our future fleet, it is essential that we continue to foster an environment that enables the (Royal Canadian Navy) to keep our frigates floating, moving, and fighting.”

The contract will provide a “full range of technical data management and systems engineering support services” for the 12 vessels used by the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Glace Bay and Shawinigan depart Halifax
HMCS Glace Bay and Shawinigan depart Halifax

Fleetway will be expected to secure a team of workers that will store and manage thousands of critical ship documents, ensuring that key information is up to date to support maintenance teams, the federal government said in a press release.

“By investing in our fleet of Halifax class frigates, we will be able to provide our members in uniform what they need to continue advancing peace and security around the world,” said National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan in a press release.

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Work for the contract began earlier this year and it will replace an existing contract provided by Fleetway Inc., which will expire in October 2020.

Read more: Job cuts possible as Irving considers buying fully-assembled components for Arctic patrol ships

The new contract was awarded through the federal procurement process.

Irving Shipbuilding, another company based in Halifax and owned by J.D. Irving, has been awarded the contract to build the 15 Canadian Surface Combatant vessels that will replace the 12 Halifax-class frigates and the three already-retired Iroquois-class destroyers.