The Government of Canada has awarded a $500-million contract to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to carry out maintenance work on the Halifax-class frigates.

This initial five-year contract guarantees a minimum of three frigates for the shipyard, with work planned to begin in the early 2020s. The contract is expected to rise in value as additional work packages are added.

This contract is expected to result in up to 400 jobs at the shipyard, plus hundreds of related jobs for marine sector suppliers and subcontractors across the country.

The government is investing more than $7.5 billion in the Royal Canadian Navy’s 12 Halifax-class frigates to provide necessary ongoing maintenance until they are retired in the early 2040s.

On July 16, 2016, the Government of Canada awarded similar contracts to Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards Limited in Victoria, British Columbia, and Chantier Davie in Lévis, Quebec.

The Royal Canadian Navy requires that at least 8 of the 12 frigates are able to deploy at all times to meet the Navy’s commitment to the Government of Canada. Of the current fleet of Halifax-class frigates, 7 have their home port in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while the 5 others are based in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

The Canadian Surface Combatants will replace the Halifax-class frigates and the retired Iroquois-class destroyers. With them, the Royal Canadian Navy will have modern and capable ships to monitor and defend Canada’s waters, to continue to contribute to international naval operations for decades to come and to rapidly deploy credible naval forces worldwide, on short notice. Construction on the Canadian Surface Combatants is scheduled to begin at Irving in the early 2020s.