Canada touts shipbuilding program

Aug. 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM   |   0 comments

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Canada will see nearly $2 billion in annual economic benefits in the next 30 years as a result of the government's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

Minister of Public Works and Government Services Diane Finley made the comment in announcing contract awards for modernizing the Royal Canadian Navy's Halifax-class frigates.

"We made the decision to build these ships right here at home and create more than 15,000 jobs across the country -- and infuse $2 billion in annual economic benefits to Canada over the next 30 years," she said. "Investments like the Halifax Shipyard Modernization Program will create jobs and long-term economic benefits in Nova Scotia and across the country."

The announcement coincided with one from Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, Nova Scotia, of a $287.6 million infrastructure investment under the NSPS to ensure its Halifax Shipyard is ready to undertake production when steel is scheduled to be cut for the Arctic-offshore patrol ships and the Canadian surface combatant vessels.

The Halifax Shipyard Modernization Program will boost Canadian gross domestic product, create about 1,700 full-time equivalent positions across Canada and generate $154.3 million worth of employment income in the country over the two-year period, Irving Shipbuilding said.

Canada has 12 Halifax-class frigates, which were commissioned between 1992 and 1995. Canada's Halifax-class Modernization/Frigate Life Extension project includes upgrading ship systems, acquisition and installation of new capabilities such as enhanced radar, changes to the platform and integration of all aspects of the ships' operations into an upgraded command-and-control system.

The Halifax upgrades are expected to be completed in the 2017 timeframe.

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