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Irving Shipbuilding Begins Construction of the Production Test Module for the Canadian Surface Combatant and Cuts Steel on AOPS 8

Today, Irving Shipbuilding began construction of the Production Test Module for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) and cut first steel for the eighth and final Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS). The Government of Canada announced the class name of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Canadian Surface Combatant fleet, the future River-class destroyers.

Celebrated at the Halifax Shipyard with the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence; Members of Parliament; Nova Scotia Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Kent Smith; Vice-Admiral Topshee, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; Canadian Coast Guard Deputy Commissioner, Shipbuilding and Materiel, Andy Smith; Rear Admiral Kurtz, Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA) Commander; representatives from Unifor; and Canada/Industry partners from Department of National Defence, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Lockheed Martin, and BAE Systems. This milestone event once again recognizes the significant progress being achieved at the Halifax Shipyard.

Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), Irving Shipbuilding is constructing six AOPS for the Royal Canadian Navy, two AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard and 15 River-class destroyers for the Royal Canadian Navy.

The start of construction on the Production Test Module is an important step toward full rate production of the River-class destroyers, on schedule to begin in 2025. The River-class will be comprised of 15 destroyer ships built in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The program will engage suppliers from coast-to-coast-to-coast, while revitalizing the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet and seeing economic benefit across Canada.

The River-class destroyer will be an advanced and modern combat ship, forming the backbone of Canada’s future naval combat capability. These ships are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to support and protect the sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy as they fulfill their missions.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s AOPS variants will be tasked with a wide range of missions. Both ships will operate as the Canadian Coast Guard’s primary platform with increased capabilities to support fisheries enforcement on Canada’s east coast, support search and rescue and icebreaking operations, while strengthening Canada’s presence in the Arctic.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy has put an end to the boom-and-bust cycles that characterized Canada’s shipbuilding industry for decades previous. Halifax shipbuilders have been able to focus on building back critical supply chains and developing their advanced skills to produce the cornerstone of the naval fleet which will keep Canada’s sailors safe, protect Canadians, and confidently deliver on our international security responsibilities abroad.


“Today, we launch construction on the largest Canadian shipbuilding project since the Second World War, marking an historic milestone for the Royal Canadian Navy. The River-class destroyers will provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the tools that they need to defend our national interests for decades to come – ensuring that Canada can deploy a state-of-the-art, combat-ready fleet of warships to defend our country and support our allies. As we invest in this new fleet, we are also supporting Canada’s shipbuilding industry and thousands of well-paying, skilled jobs. Bravo Zulu to everyone who has helped us reach this important day.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

“The River-class destroyer project is at the core of our government’s commitment to revitalize Canada’s marine industry through the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The start of construction activities marks a significant milestone in the efforts to re-build Canada’s shipbuilding industry, bringing highly skilled jobs and economic benefits to Canadians during construction and throughout the operational life of the class. These modern ships will be critical to ensuring the ongoing ability of the members of the Royal Canadian Navy to continue their important work protecting Canadians.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

"Today's start of construction for the River-class destroyers marks a pivotal moment for Canada's maritime defence sector. This significant investment not only strengthens our national security but also supports thousands of jobs and fosters growth in Canada's marine supply chain, demonstrating our commitment to sustainable economic development and leadership in the shipbuilding industry."

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Today we recognize the performance of our entire team, whose dedication and hard work has enabled these significant achievements. We are incredibly proud of our more than 2,400 Canadian shipbuilders who have risen to the challenge of maintaining the Halifax-class frigates, constructing Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, and who now look to the future with the River-class destroyers.”

Dirk Lesko, President, Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

“As the steel is cut for the final Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, I’m thrilled to see construction underway to build the Production Test Module for the advanced Canadian Surface Combatants. Thank you to the over 2,400 Nova Scotian shipbuilders who work hard building these ships. Ships start here and Nova Scotian shipbuilders will continue building ships here.”

Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament, Dartmouth—Cole Harbour


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