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Canada Awards $450M Contract to Thales Canada for ISS on Minor Warships and Auxiliary Vessels


Image: HMCS NANAIMO, a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel, departs the RCN port in Esquimalt, BC and heads out on Exercise Trident Fury 13 Credit Sgt Norm McLean

At the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a $450-million contract to Thales Canada Inc., in a joint venture with Thales Australia Limited, to provide in-service support for the CAF Minor Warships and Auxiliary Vessels (MWAV) fleet for 5 years, with options to extend the contract for up to 19 years. This contract will begin in July 2023.

The CAF MWAV fleet comprises approximately 100 vessels from 24 different classes, including the Kingston class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, Orca-class training vessels, tugs, dive tenders, research vessels, range vessels, and auxiliary support barges and vessels. This contract is essential for ensuring the CAF fleet remains operationally fit and includes the flexibility to increase or reduce the number of vessels serviced in response to changing operational needs.

This procurement process was conducted under the repair, refit and maintenance pillar of the NSS. The contract will provide significant economic benefits to the Canadian marine sector. Thales Canada Inc., in a joint venture with Thales Australia Limited, will subcontract work to small and medium shipyards and enterprises across Canada, including in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Quebec.

The NSS is creating jobs in Canada’s shipbuilding industry and marine sector, and providing members of the CAF with the equipment they need to continue their important work. Contracts under the NSS are estimated to have contributed approximately $21.26 billion ($1.93 billion annually) to Canada’s gross domestic product, and created or maintained over 18,000 jobs annually between 2012 and 2022.

“The National Shipbuilding Strategy continues to provide important economic opportunities for shipyards across Canada. This in-service support contract will ensure that the members of the Canadian Armed Forces have the ships they need to carry out their important work for Canadians, while supporting jobs and economic growth.” The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Through our National Shipbuilding Strategy, we’re strengthening Canada’s shipbuilding industry and generating economic benefits all across Canada. This investment will provide our Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment they need, while ensuring that small and medium-sized businesses from coast to coast to coast can play a key role in our shipbuilding industry and create high value jobs for Canadians.” The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry



•This contract, known as MWAV IV, is the fourth contract that has been awarded for in service support of the MWAV fleet.

• Between 2017 and 2019, the Government of Canada issued 2 Requests for Information to collect information and feedback from industry on the procurement strategy for the MWAV IV procurement.

• Between 2020 and 2021, the Government of Canada published 2 Invitations to Qualify (ITQ). These ITQs invited potential bidders to pre-qualify for the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage. The ITQ stage resulted in a list of 6 pre-qualified suppliers.

• On May 13, 2022, the Government of Canada issued an RFP to the pre-qualified suppliers.

• The MWAV IV in-service support contract will be in place for an estimated period of up to 19 years.

• Starting in 2024, this contract will contribute $1.2 million annually through direct and indirect contributions to Indigenous businesses and communities.

• Approximately 100 vessels in 24 classes will be serviced by this contract at the outset.

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