Irving Shipbuilding gets $500M warship maintenance contract

Irving Shipbuilding has been awarded a $500-million contract to do maintenance on the country’s warships.

The initial five-year contract with the federal government guarantees work on a minimum of three Halifax-class frigates, with the value of the contract expected to rise as more work is added.

The contract is part of a $7.5-billion commitment to maintain the Royal Canadian Navy’s 12 Halifax-class frigates until the end of their lifespan, which is expected to be in the 2040s.

Last month, Ottawa announced it was spending $500 million at both the Chantier Davie shipyard in Quebec and Seaspan Victoria Shipyards in B.C. for equal portions of the maintenance work.

The Irving contract is expected to create or sustain 400 jobs at the shipyard, plus hundreds of related jobs for suppliers and subcontractors across the country. Work on the frigates is scheduled to begin in the early 2020s.

Halifax is home port to seven of the 12 frigates and the other five are based in Esquimalt, B.C.

Eventually, the Halifax-class frigates, which were introduced into service in the 1990s, will be replaced by Canadian Surface Combatants. Work on those ships is expected to begin at Irving in the early 2020s.

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