The company responsible for building Canada’s next fleet of warships says it remains on schedule to cut steel in two years — as long as Ottawa gives it more cash to upgrade its Halifax shipyard.
Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin Mooney says the shipyard needs several upgrades that were not originally anticipated when the company was selected to build 15 new vessels for the navy back in 2010.
Mooney says that is because the warship envisioned today is bigger and more complex than originally planned when Irving agreed to upgrade the shipyard at its own cost as a condition for winning the contract.
Mooney says Irving is now waiting for Ottawa to respond to its latest proposal, but that the company needs “hard funding” by the end of the year or early next year in order to start work on the first vessel by 2024.
Irving is expected to build 15 new warships based on a British design to replace the navy’s frigate and destroyer fleets over the next two decades.
Ottawa originally earmarked $26 billion for the new vessels, but that figure later rose to $60 billion, and Mooney says the cost is now under review again as a result of skyrocketing inflation and supply-chain issues.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2022.