Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 29, 2011 10:00 ET

Canada Invests in Nova Scotia Technology Firm

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - June 29, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a $7 million contract to Ultra Electronics Canada Defence Inc. of Dartmouth, N.S. The contract is in support of a larger Department of National Defence (DND) initiative to renew the Halifax-Class frigates, called the Halifax-Class Modernization / Frigate Life Extension Project (HCM-FELEX).

Canada's 12 Halifax-Class frigates serve as the backbone of the navy fleet. Ultra Electronics will supply each frigate with an automated degaussing system, which minimizes or eliminates a ship's magnetic field, preventing the triggering of anti-ship mines. The Degaussing Geomagnetic Map Control System (DGMCS) system is automatically controlled, accurate, and reliable, enabling Canadian Forces members to do their work at sea in greater safety. The contract is anticipated to support jobs for up to six and a half years in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).

"This contract award is a great example of a win-win scenario for Canadian small business and the Canadian Forces," said Minister MacKay. "This government is committed to providing the men and women of Canada's Navy with the modern, world-class equipment they need, while supporting skilled jobs right here at home, in Nova Scotia."

The HCM-FELEX project recently achieved a significant milestone. In June 2011, HMCS Calgary entered its work period at Victoria Shipyards, as the first of the five west coast frigates. In September 2010, HMCS Halifax entered its work period at Halifax Shipyards, as the first of the seven east coast frigates. The program represents Canada's commitment to renewing the navy fleet with the robust, modern vessels it needs to effectively monitor and defend Canadian waters, and to make significant contributions to international operations.

The modernization of the frigates includes a new command and control system, new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system, and upgraded communications technologies and missiles. The frigates will also undergo a mid-life refit to ensure that they continue to operate at their most effective. The full program is expected to take approximately six-and-a-half years, as currently planned.

Notes to editor / news director: For more on the HCM-FELEX project, please consult the information available online at: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?cat=00&id=2369

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