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RCN Frigates Return to Davie Shipyard for Mid-Life Refit

Davie makes history with the return of the Royal Canadian Navy frigates. (CNW Group/Davie Shipbuilding)

Davie has made history with the official launch of the long-term naval frigate maintenance and upgrade program.

A welcome ceremony for HMCS St. John’s was hosted by James Davies, President and CEO of Davie Shipbuilding, Honourable Jean Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, Marie-Eve Proulx, minister for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions, and Captain Andrew Forbes from the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) at Davie’s Lévis, Québec facility.

The event was a key milestone in Davie’s near 200-year history marking the return of Canada’s primary surface combat ships to Québec. Three of the 12 frigates in Canada’s fleet were built at Davie in the 1990s (HMCS Ville de Quebec, HMCS Regina and HMCS Calgary).

The $500 million performance-based contract to carry out an extensive mid-life refit on the Royal Canadian Navy’s patrol frigates is for an initial five-year period. It is expected to increase in duration and value as new work packages are added.

Over the past 12 months a major facility upgrade program was completed at the West end of the shipyard and in the historic Lorne drydock to provide a long-term maintenance home for Canada’s surface combat fleet and its supporting naval staff.

The program will have a major impact on the Québec and Canadian economies. It is expected that up to 400 well-paid jobs will be directly created or sustained at Davie, as well as supporting thousands of the company’s suppliers and partners across Canada.

Docking maintenance work periods are critical to ensure the RCN has at least 8 of its 12 patrol frigates ready for deployment at all times until the class is replaced by the Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) in the early 2040s.

The frigate program will create an essential baseload of work for Davie in its transition to becoming Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) partner. Davie also recently launched the National Icebreaker Centre (NIC) reflecting its leadership role in the renewal of Canada’s entire icebreaking fleet under the NSS.

“Today we’ve made history with HMCS St. John’s becoming the first frigate in a generation to return to Davie for major works. Davie, our people and our suppliers are proud to partner with Canada over the next 20 years. We will maintain these ships to the highest standards as they conduct essential domestic and international naval duties. This program shows Davie’s future is bright. We will grow as an economic engine for Québec and Canada, delivering well-paid jobs and world-class ships for generations to come.” James Davies, President & CEO, Davie Shipbuilding

“The creation of 400 jobs in Lévis, in addition to all jobs for regional suppliers, is excellent news for Quebec and Canada. The frigate contract, which could reach close to $2 billion in the long term, will make all the difference in the durability of this industrial jewel that continues to mark the history of Lévis. I am proud to support Davie Shipbuilding and its workers in becoming one of the world leaders in its field.” Gilles Lehouillier, Mayor of Lévis

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