On August 17th, the Honourable Jim Carr, Acting Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced the award of a contract to the joint venture of Thales Canada Inc. and Thales Australia Ltd. for in‑service support, including refit, repair and maintenance and training for the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and Joint Support Ships (JSS). The contract award is part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This investment will ensure that the Royal Canadian Navy can operate as a true blue-water force, creating and maintaining more than 2,000 middle-class jobs across Canada over a 35-year period, growing the Canadian economy.
The contract award follows an open and transparent procurement process that employed many modern approaches including regular and ongoing engagement with industry. The announcement will ensure Canada is ready to support the vessels once they are delivered, while supporting the long-term growth of the marine sector in Canada.
The contract is for an initial service period of 8 years, estimated at $800 million (excluding taxes), with options to extend services for up to 35 years, for an estimated total of $5.2 billion (excluding taxes) for the life cycle of the vessels.
Under this contract, Thales is required to compete this work amongst subcontractors. For ships delivered in the East, work will be conducted in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec or Ontario, resulting in regional economic benefits. For ships delivered in the West, work will be conducted in the Western provinces and Territories, resulting in regional economic benefits. It is anticipated that more than 2,000 jobs will be created or maintained across Canada over this 35-year period.
The in-service support work required to support and maintain the AOPS and JSS under this contract is to be carried out in Canada, unless a ship requires work maintenance while overseas. Under the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, an amount equal to the amount of this contract will be invested in Canada.
The AJISS contract will benefit Canadian workers and industry by offering job stability and investments in skills development and innovation, and benefit Canadians by reducing costs through economies of scale. This best practice in shipbuilding and in-service support demonstrates the good planning that is in place under the NSS.