Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea formalized the package that was part of the 2007 federal budget, and said the first of the patrol ships will be ready in the fall of 2011 and the rest by 2013, The (Halifax) Chronicle-Herald reported.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc. won the contract, which will add 150 jobs to the 350 people now employed at the Halifax Shipyard, the report said.
Coast Guard officials said the ships will be 140 feet long and self-sustainable at sea for two weeks, with a range of 2,300 miles and a top speed of 28 mph. The vessels will have a crew of eight and can also accommodate up to six fisheries officers or Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers.
Four of the ships will be deployed in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and the rest in the Atlantic provinces and in the Pacific Ocean off British Columbia, officials said.