Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 14, 2010 12:01 ET

Government of Canada to Acquire New Joint Support Ships

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - July 14, 2010) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, together with the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada and Minister for Status of Women, and the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced the Government is moving forward with procurement of new Joint Support Ships (JSS).

The new ships will be built in Canada and will be an important part of our Navy's work at home and abroad, as part of the Canada First Defence Strategy.

"This government is providing our men and women in uniform the tools and equipment they need to do the jobs asked of them," said Minister MacKay. "The Joint Support Ship will be a new vessel for our Navy that better enables our sailors to protect Canadian coastlines and sovereignty, and support international operations."

The Government will acquire two support ships, with the option to procure a third. The JSS project represents a total investment by the Government of Canada of approximately $2.6 billion. The presence of a JSS increases the range and endurance of the Canadian Navy, permitting it to remain at sea for significant periods of time without going to shore.

The primary role of the JSS will include supply of fuel, ammunition, spare parts, food, and water. The JSS will also provide a home base for the maintenance and operation of helicopters, a limited sealift capability, and logistics support to forces deployed ashore.

"As part of Canada's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, this announcement will lead to the creation of long-term, skilled jobs for Canadians and will reinvigorate Canada's marine industry, allowing it to compete on the world stage," added Minister Ambrose.

"Today's announcement will mean jobs for Canadian workers, as shipyards across the country produce elements of this fleet," said Minister Clement. "When all is said and done – we are beginning the process to build these ships, and that is great news for our Navy, for our Shipbuilding industry, and for Canada."

This first step in the replacement of the Navy's current Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels, known as the definition phase, will involve the assessment of both new and existing designs. Existing ship designs are those already built, operating, and meet key specific Canadian requirements.

A new ship design is being developed by government and industry officials working side-by-side. The selected ship design will be based on the best value in terms of capability and affordability, ensuring the successful delivery of the JSS. The design is expected to be available in approximately two years, at which time a Canadian shipyard, selected as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, will be engaged to complete the design of and build the Joint Support Ships.

The Government of Canada will ensure both value for taxpayers' dollars and opportunities for Canadian communities and the Canadian marine industry. The Government is committed to getting the right equipment for the Canadian Forces, at the right price for Canadian taxpayers, with the right benefits for Canadian industry.

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