Canada's Leading Defence Magazine


Canada Awards Seaspan Performance-Based Contract for Construction of JSS

Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the Government of Canada is equipping members of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) with modern, built-in-Canada ships and equipment needed to carry out their important work now and into the future, while supporting and creating jobs right across the country. The NSS contributes over a billion dollars to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) every year, while creating and maintaining more than 15,000 jobs annually in our shipbuilding industry and with Canadian suppliers of the marine sector.

Canada has taken an important step toward delivering the RCN’s future fleet, by awarding a performance-based contract to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards for the full construction of two joint support ships (JSS). Valued at $2.4 billion (including taxes), this contract will allow the transition to full-rate construction of the first ship, the construction of early blocks for which began in June 2018, and then the second ship.

The JSS will deliver fuel and other vital supplies to vessels at sea, offer medical and dental services, and provide facilities for helicopter maintenance repair. The presence of replenishment ships increases the range and endurance of operations at sea, allowing Canadian combat ships to remain at sea for significant periods of time without going to shore for resupply.

“We continue to work closely with the Canadian shipbuilding industry and its associated sectors during this unprecedented time for our country and the world. I commend the dedicated workers across the country for their continued perseverance in delivering on critical federal shipbuilding projects. This contract award is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is supporting a strong and sustainable marine sector in Canada.” The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Our government continues to deliver on Strong, Secure, Engaged, with this contract marking an important milestone for our women and men in uniform. These new ships will provide a necessary capability for our Royal Canadian Navy, while providing significant economic benefits and jobs to Canadians, including thousands of jobs created or sustained right here in Vancouver and across Canada. An impressive amount of work has already gone into the construction of these new ships, and I look forward to their arrival in the coming years.” The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“The National Shipbuilding Strategy is generating more jobs and a strong domestic shipbuilding industry for our economy. As we work through this unprecedented time, it is good to know that Canadians working at Seaspan will have good jobs building these vital ships, along with those who work for their suppliers and in supporting industries.” The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“I am pleased to see yet another milestone happen this year for our future joint support ships. With these warships, the Royal Canadian Navy will be able to operate with even greater flexibility and endurance. These ships will not only form part of the core of our naval task groups, they also represent a vital and strategic national asset that will enable the Navy to maintain its global reach and staying power.” Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy



As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada has committed to acquiring two JSS designated as the Protecteur-class to replace the RCN’s decommissioned auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels. This project is part of a broader effort to revitalize the RCN’s surface fleet of ships.

The design contract for the JSS project was awarded in February 2017, and early build construction began in June 2018.

The first JSS is expected to be delivered in 2023, and the second in 2025.

The total JSS budget includes $3.1 billion for the purchase of the two ships and initial spares, as well as $1 billion for design and production engineering work, project management and associated contingency costs, resulting in a total value of $4.1B.

Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. was competitively selected as a strategic source of supply under the NSS in 2011. Its work package includes the construction of the RCN’s JSS.

The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy applies to this contract, ensuring that Seaspan will invest 100% of the value of the contract in the Canadian economy.

NSS contracts issued between 2012 and December 2019 are estimated to contribute over $17.04 billion ($1.54 billion annually) to GDP, and create or maintain more than 15,521 jobs annually, through the marine industry and its Canadian suppliers from 2012 to 2022.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Please fill out the following information to be added to our newsletter distribution list.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.