According to the shipyard, the event was a key milestone in Davie’s near 200-year history marking the return of Canada’s primary surface combat ships to Québec. Three of the 12 frigate fleet were built at Davie in the 1990s (HMCS Ville de Quebec, HMCS Regina and HMCS Calgary).
The $500 million performance-based contract to carry out an extensive mid-life refit on the Royal Canadian Navy’s patrol frigates is for an initial five-year period. It is expected to increase in duration and value as new work packages are added. Davie Shipyard, alongside Seaspan Victoria Shipyards in British Columbia and Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia are all participating in the $1.5-billion maintenance and upgrade program.
Over the past 12 months a major facility upgrade program was completed at the West end of Davie shipyard and in the historic Lorne drydock to provide a long-term maintenance home for Canada’s surface combat fleet and its supporting naval staff.
Davie Shipyard added in a statement that docking maintenance work periods are critical to ensure the RCN has at least 8 of its 12 patrol frigates ready for deployment at all times until the class is replaced by the Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) in the early 2040s.
According to Timothy Choi, naval analyst at the University of Calgary in Canada, the mid-life refit work will focus on the hull, mechanical, and electrical works that were not included as part of the FELEX upgrades. “The only substantial new component that I’m aware of are the four .50cal remote weapons system” Choi added.
Raytheon Canada Limited was awarded in March 2016 a contract to install up to 58 Naval Remote Weapon Stations (NRWS) on Royal Canadian Navy surface vessels. The NRWS are .50 cal Mini typhoon RWS by Israeli company Rafael, modified and adapted by Raytheon.
About Halifax-class Frigates
The 12 Canadian-built Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates are considered the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy. They can deploy anywhere in the world in support of the Government of Canada. Under the Halifax-class Modernization / Frigate Life Extension project, the frigates received a number of upgrades to ensure they have the capabilities to meet the new threats and changing operating environments of today. Enhanced capabilities include:
- new Combat Management System (CMS 330)
- 57mm Mk3 naval gun system
- MASS decoy launchers
- new Integrated Platform Management System
- CH-148 Cyclone helicopter capability
- Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System
- new ESM
- Smart-S Mk2 radar
- CEROS 200 fire control radar
The first modernized Halifax-class frigates were delivered in late 2014, and the last ship in 2018.
Length: 134 metres
Beam: 16 metres
Complement: 225 personnel