Canada’s Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates are the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Making sure that these ships have and maintain modern equipment is key to ensuring our navy can continue its important work.

Today, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan announced an in-service support contract with Thales Canada, of Ottawa, Ontario, to support the SMART-S MK2 radar system used on Canada’s Halifax-class frigates, starting in fall 2020. Valued at $4.6 million (including taxes), this contract will provide critical engineering, in-service support, and repair and overhaul services to ensure the radar remains operationally capable of detecting the location and range of possible air and surface threats up to 250 km away.

The SMART-S MK2 radar is the primary tactical radar used on the Halifax-class frigates, and was installed as part of the Halifax-class Modernization Project. It is a medium-to-long-range 3-D radar that provides air and surface surveillance capabilities to the RCN’s Halifax-class frigates. Keeping our Halifax-class frigates operational and at the height of modern technology is critical for maintaining the combat readiness of the RCN until the arrival of the Canadian Surface Combatant ships.

“The continued support of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigates is an important aspect of Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. The Halifax-class frigates are considered to be the backbone of the RCN. As maritime threats continue to evolve, this investment in equipment will provide our people in uniform with the tools they need, to continue protecting Canadians and supporting peace and security missions at home and abroad.” The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“We are providing the members in uniform with the equipment they need to carry out their important work. This in-service support contract is another example of our commitment to provide the Royal Canadian Navy with the technology it needs to continue protecting and serving Canadians.” The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Investing in our local industry is now more important than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic. By supporting companies like Thales here in the National Capital Region, our government is continuing to grow local Ottawa-based industry, while also providing the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces with the resources they need.” Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence



Halifax-class frigates monitor and control Canadian waters, defend Canada’s sovereignty, facilitate large-scale search and rescue activities, and provide emergency assistance when needed. The frigates operate with and integrate into the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and coalitions of allied states in support of international peace and security operations. Introduced into service in the 1990s, the Canadian-built Halifax-class frigates were recently modernized to remain operationally effective and relevant until the Canadian Surface Combatants enter into service.

This contract will provide in-service support and repair and will overhaul parts for the SMART-S MK2 radar for one year, beginning this fall. There is also an option for an additional four, one-year extensions, in order to maintain support during the transition to future in-service support contracts. Should all options be exercised, the entire contract has a potential value of up to $19 million (including taxes).

This contract is fully compliant with the Government of Canada’s Sustainment Initiative, which helps us ensure performance, value for money, flexibility, and economic benefits.

This in-service support contract for the radar is an interim measure that will ensure services until a new contract for the Halifax-class Combat System has been awarded and a transition has been completed in 2021. This future in-service support contract will combine five current contracts for the frigate’s combat systems under one long-term contract managed by a single prime contractor, helping to ensure continued service and best value.

Through the Halifax-class Modernization Project, the Government of Canada successfully modernized the RCN’s fleet of 12 frigates to ensure they continue to meet evolving operational needs. Valued at $4.3 billion, this project provided state-of-the-art upgrades, including a new combat management system, new radar capability, new electronic warfare systems, and upgraded communications and missile systems. Final delivery was on November 30, 2016, with full operational capability achieved by January 31, 2018.