Canada Starts Pre-Construction of Six Multi-Purpose Coast Guard Vessels

Ottawa has signed agreements with local shipbuilder Seaspan for the pre-construction phase of six future multi-purpose coast guard vessels (MPVs) under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Costing 490.6 million Canadian dollars ($361 million), the combined contracts will see the selection of specific parts, design refinement, data consolidation, and procurement of associated components to begin the fleet’s production.

About 310.2 million Canadian dollars ($228 million) will be set aside for the MPV design’s finalization, while the remaining funds will be used for corresponding materials to advance the manufacturing phase.

Once completed, the new systems will sail for offshore security, emergency towing, maritime search and rescue, icebreaking, buoy deployment and maintenance, and scientific and environmental missions.

“This milestone demonstrates the tremendous capabilities in marine design and engineering that have been developed through the National Shipbuilding Strategy,” Seaspan Shipyards CEO John McCarthy stated.

“Our team, along with our partners from coast to coast, are excited to move to the next phase of this program, and ultimately provide the Canadian Coast Guard with the vessels they need to manage and safeguard Canada’s coastlines.”

“A long run of ships like the MPV program enables Seaspan to continue to drive improvement and generate greater efficiencies, while ensuring we have stability for the next generation of shipbuilders, marine engineers and designers and supply chain in Canada.”

Expanding Offshore Security Assets

The initial contract for the fleet’s early concept design was awarded to Seaspan in 2020.

Per the project announcement in 2019, Ottawa aims to develop approximately 16 platforms to replace the service’s aging ships on a “multi-year” basis.

The overall MPV production cost will be 14.2 billion Canadian dollars ($10.4 billion), according to the government.

“The Canadian Coast Guard saves lives at sea, keeps waterways open and safe for the movement of goods and services, protects the marine environment, and supports Canadian sovereignty and security,” Canadian Parliamentary Secretary Mike Kelloway commented on the latest contract.

“The Multi-Purpose Vessels will be key assets for the Canadian Coast Guard’s future fleet, giving our personnel the modern, reliable tools they need to continue their vital work from coast to coast to coast.”

Including the MPVs, Canada’s broader National Shipbuilding Strategy plans to employ over 50 new vessels in its coast guard and naval fleets.

Ottawa received its latest Arctic and offshore patrol system ordered under the framework in September 2023.

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