IRVING SHIPBUILDING'S WORK ON AOPV TO BRING IMPRESSIVE NEW CAPABILITY FOR CANADA'S NAVY
Irving Shipbuilding is currently in the process of completing the first AOPV (Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel) for Canada’s Navy at its Halifax Shipyard in Nova Scotia and as you will read in our very informative Cover Story written by Senior Staff Writer, Joetey Attariwala, in this issue, the new Harry DeWolf Class Ship will bring a whole new capability to Canada’s Navy.
This is the second in a series of reports on Canada’s major Naval Shipbuilding projects that CDR has been preparing and to date we have had excellent cooperation from both, Chantier Davie, which is building Asterix, the Resolve Class interim AOR ship, and Irving Shipbuilding where our reporters have been given access to the work being done right down on the shipyard floor as well as being granted interviews with senior company executives and even labor union reps and naval officers.
However, for the report we have planned on Seaspan Marine, which is scheduled to build the Royal Canadian Navy’s JSS supply ships, we have had no such cooperation. Unfortunately, despite reaching out to senior Seaspan executives like Tim Page and company president and CEO, Brian Carter, we have had no response to our requests for interviews and information on the status of the JSS project.
Of course, we are aware that this company is extremely nervous about reports of escalating costs and delays in the JSS project, all while Chantier Davie has already designed, built and launched its own AOR ship. There were originally four JSS ships to be built but that number is now down to two but with the rapidly rising cost of JSS there are fears that even that number could be cut back to only one JSS ship. In February of this year the government announced it was giving Seaspan a $230 million contract to “help finalize the design” of the JSS ship and construction of the JSS ship is now scheduled to begin at Seaspan in 2018.
HAS SEASPAN BECOME THE WEAK SISTER OF NAVAL SHIPBUILDING IN CANADA?
So, given the bloated cost of the JSS project (it will cost at least 3 times as much as the Davie-built Asterix supply ship) and ongoing delays while the navy remains without a supply
ship capability of any kind, we wanted to offer Seaspan the chance to respond to the criticisms and give us an honest assessment of the JSS program as it stands today.
As it stands now, with the obvious success of Davie in launching what will be the RCN’s largest naval vessel (the Asterix AOR ship) and Irving’s progress with the navy’s AOPV ship, Seaspan is looking like the weak sister of naval shipbuilding in Canada. After all, what has Seaspan really accomplished to date since its win under the NSPS program? Aside from starting work on the 3 OFSV ships for the Canadian Coast Guard, it has dragged its heels on JSS while the cost seems to
CDR has already talked to senior naval officers about the JSS program and what it will mean to the navy when completed and those comments will be included in our JSS report but why is Seaspan, the builder of the JSS ships, so reticent to talk about what it’s doing on the program? Again, we say to Brian Carter at Seaspan, if you want to tell your company’s side of the story our offer remains open, and you know where to reach us. If you still choose not to open up we will let our very savvy CDR readers decide whether you have something to hide or not.
$3 BILLION IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY FROM AOPV CONSTRUCTION
But, getting back to the success story of Irving Shipbuilding and the 2 new AOPV ships that are already under construction there where Irving is building an impressive new capability at its Halifax Shipyard, it is very important to note that there will be over $3.17 billion of forecasted economic activity in Canada between 2013-2022
that will flow from the Halifax Shipyard’s facility modernization and AOPS
Also, as you will read in our Cover Story, in order to carry out its remit to build Canada’s next combat vessels, Irving Shipbuilding invested more than $350 million to build infrastructure at its Halifax Shipyard. According to the company, the new assembly and ultra-hall is the largest single building for constructing ships in North America.
So, for much more on the work Irving Shipbuilding is doing to bring the Harry DeWolf Class ship to Canada’s Navy, we urge you to read our Cover Story in this issue.