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Seaspan Hosts Ceremonial Keel Laying for JSS

Today, Seaspan Shipyards and its more than 2,800 employees hosted the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, and Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, for a ceremonial keel laying event for the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) future Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Protecteur.

The keel laying event is a significant milestone in a ship’s construction during which a newly minted coin is placed near the keel where it will remain for the duration of the ship’s life. The coin is said to bring good luck for the builders and all those who sail in the vessel.

The future HMCS Protecteur, the first of two joint support ships to be built by Seaspan as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), will be able to conduct a full range of military operations in high-threat environments. The fourth vessel to be designed and built by Seaspan under the NSS and the largest naval ship by length ever built in Canada, the future HMCS Protecteur is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

In 2019, Seaspan delivered the Sir John Franklin and the Capt. Jacques Cartier Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSVs) to the Canadian Coast Guard. These were the first two large vessels built and delivered under the NSS. Seaspan will deliver a third OFSV to the Coast Guard – the future John Cabot – in summer 2020.

In addition to building and delivering state-of-the-art ships Seaspan is also delivering significant socio-economic benefits as a result of the NSS. Seaspan has helped to rebuild a marine industrial sector, creating thousands of jobs, leveraging a supply chain of more than 600 suppliers and generating more than $1 billion in economic activity across Canada.

“Today’s keel-laying ceremony represents another milestone in our commitment to provide modern, safe and effective vessels to members of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Coast Guard. The hard work of the dedicated individuals at Seaspan ensures that the National Shipbuilding Strategy delivers on its mandate to rejuvenate Canada’s shipbuilding industry. We are proud to celebrate the symbolic birth of Canada’s first Joint Support Ship,” commented the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada

Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards stated, “We are incredibly proud to reach this important milestone on the first of two Joint Support Ships that will be built by Seaspan. At Seaspan, we know that building ships requires you to build more than ships. You need to build a workforce, an industry, a supply chain, and strong partnerships. The JSS will be the largest naval ship ever built in Canada – a tremendous accomplishment for all the skilled and committed men and women involved in her design and construction.”

QUICK FACTS

  • With a length of 173.7 metres and a breath of 24 metres, HMCS Protecteur will be the largest naval ship by length ever built in Canada.
  • HMCS Protecteur and HMCS Preserver will replace the former Protecteur-class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels. As a warship, it will include sophisticated damage control and self-defence systems that will allow it to conduct a full range of military operations in high-threat environments. In addition to providing critical at-sea replenishment, these multi-purpose warships will also be capable of seamlessly integrating with any Canadian or allied naval task group, and will significantly extend the range and endurance of these groups through the provision of fuel, ammunition, aviation support, food, spare parts, exercise and gym facilities, and medical and dental care.
  • HMCS Protecteur will have a cruising speed of 15 knots, a top speed of 20 knots and a range of ~10,800 nautical miles.
  • The jointly developed design for the keel coin features the crest of the future HMCS Protecteur on one side, and the crests/logos of the JSS project team on the back.

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