MarineLog is reporting that Canada is planning to build 18 additional ships for the Canadian Coast Guard including two additional Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS, a type previously built for the Royal Canadian Navy).
They will also add a third shipyard to the national shipbuilding strategy.
The cost may appear out of line. The total for the 18 ships, C$15.7 billion (about US$11.7 billion) averages US$650M per ship. That is more than the average cost of the contract with options for three USCG Polar Security Cutters ($1.9B for three ships or $633M on average), but the price is not final and it appears it may include extended support.
The C$15.7 billion funding for the 18 large ships in represents early estimates of project budgets including construction, logistics and support, contingency, project management and infrastructure costs. The costs of each ship will be announced following contract negotiations.
Still there is likely to be some criticism.
There is also mention of an intention to also build some smaller vessels,
The Government of Canada will also proceed through a competitive process with the design of a new class of smaller ships, the new Mid-Shore Multi-Mission Ship, which would complement the work of the large fleet in shallow areas and deliver mid-shore science activities.
All in all, good news for the Canadian Coast Guard and an investment in ship building in Canada, assuming it actually happens. Like the US Coast Guard, they have had their problems.
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Among these are six new icebreakers, apparently in addition to the large icebreaker Diefenbaker already planned. Note some of these might actually be similar to large USCG buoy tenders that can also break ice. https://www.marinelink.com/news/canada-build-six-coast-guard-icebreakers-469216
To my understanding, the six icebreakers that were announced last Friday will not be part of the 18 vessels announced earlier, meaning that the “CCG rebuilding program” will now consist of the following hulls:
– sixteen multipurpose vessels with light icebreaking capability for Seaspan;
– two Arctic offshore patrol vessels for Irving (on top of the six being built for RCN); and
– six (medium?) icebreakers for the yet-unnamed third shipyard.
Also, the Diefenbreaker might also get reassigned to the third shipyard which pretty much everyone knows will be the Quebec-based Davie because there aren’t really other shipyards in Canada, but they have to play by the book and select it officially.
While there’s no information about the design, to my understanding these six vessels will replace the existing medium-heavy fleet on one-on-one basis. Thus, I’d expect them to be of the same design which probably won’t be anything exotic; I’d bet my money on a twin-azimuth propulsion configuration and a displacement of 10,000 tons or so, give or take a few thousand tons. Definitely bigger than the Mackinaw, but smaller than the Healy.
A bit more information about why the Canadians need icebreakers, otherwise much the same as info above. Obviously Canada’s definition of “Heavy Icebreaker” is not the same as that the USCG uses. The USCG would classify their heavy icebreakers as medium. https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2019/08/six-new-icebreakers-to-be-built-for-canadian-coast-guard/
Canadian Coast Guard forced to decommission its oldest cutter, a research ship, after a catastrophic failure. No replacement until 2025. https://www.marinelink.com/news/canadian-coast-guard-decommissions-oldest-493672