Canadian Surface Combatant Land-Based Testing Facility

Frequently Asked Questions

↓ Public Update (March 3, 2023) 

Upcoming project activity: Early site preparation

The first phase of site preparation, brush clearing and tree removal, will begin at Hartlen Point in early March 2023 and will conclude no later than April 15, 2023. Work is being conducted within this time period to ensure that these particular site preparation activities avoid the bird and bat breeding and migratory windows, as per the recommendation outlined in Canadian British Consulting Limited’s (CBCL) Bird and Bat Assessment report. This early site work will take place within the designated project area which includes the area within the future Land-Based Testing Facility fence line as well as the roadway leading to the site. See the map below (Figure 1) for reference. 

Safety reminder: We ask that members of the public avoid any areas where site preparation activities are underway for their safety and that of the work crews. Signage, snow fencing and rope lines have been placed to indicate the construction zone perimeter. Safety teams will monitor all activities. 

Figure 1 Early site preparation activities to occur in the area within the
future Land-Based Testing Facility fence line (orange) and access road (green).

Studies, reports and other documentation

  • The Environmental Effects Determination for the Land-Based Testing Facility project is now finalized and is available here
  • The following, full-length reports* will be posted on this webpage in mid to late March 2023:
      • Soil Characterization by SNC Lavalin (SNCL)
      • Wetland Assessment by Canadian British Consulting Limited (CBCL) 
      • Bird and Bat Assessment by Canadian British Consulting Limited (CBCL) 
      • Traffic Impact Statement (Stantec)  

*Please note, the summary of results from these draft reports were shared publicly at the January 31, 2023 Community Engagement Session. The full-length reports are in their final review phase and we expect to post them publicly in mid to late March. 

The work remaining to finalize the full-length reports is administrative in nature and does not involve further technical assessment or investigation. As such, the results noted in the draft reports and summaries presented to the public on January 31, 2023 will not change. The reports have determined that this project is not likely to cause significant adverse traffic or environmental impacts and the project can proceed with the mitigation measures specified. The Department of National Defence will ensure the mitigation measures recommended in the reports to minimize traffic and environmental impacts are followed.  

    • The presentation from the first community engagement session held on March 3, 2022 can be found here.
    • The presentation from the second community engagement session held on January 31, 2023 can be found here. A transcript of this session will be posted on this webpage in mid to late March once the French translation is complete. 

Project inquiries

Contact us! We welcome questions on this project at:

About the Canadian Surface Combatant Project

The Government of Canada is procuring 15 new Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) ships for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). This new fleet will upgrade and replace the capabilities of the current Halifax-class frigates and retired Iroquois-class destroyers.

The new CSC ships will be built in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Irving Shipbuilding

Lockheed Martin Canada will lead the team that will design the ships and integrate the combat management system.

The new CSC ships will be tested and trialed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

About the Land-Based Testing Facility 

To help bring the new CSC ships into service and support them throughout their lifecycle, the Department of National Defence (DND) will be building a Land-Based Testing Facility (LBTF) on a portion of DND-owned land at Hartlen Point in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. This project will test and integrate the ships’ capability systems before being installed on the actual vessels. The LBTF is critical to ensuring the new ships are ready to support members of the Canadian Armed Forces as they protect the sovereignty and security of Canadian waters and contribute to international operations on behalf of all Canadians.

Canada is a maritime nation, and the LBTF is an important, one-of-a-kind facility that will foster innovation and support sustainable growth in Canada’s marine industry. During construction and operation, the LBTF will contribute to the economy and to jobs and growth in the region. It is estimated that more than 10,000 Canadian jobs will be created or maintained throughout the 25-year construction period of the CSC ships, and the LBTF project is expected to sustain almost 350 jobs in the Halifax region throughout the various construction phases. Once complete, the facility will accommodate 120 full-time staff, including members of the RCN, DND employees and contractors.

DND is committed to doing its part to leave a healthy environment for future generations of Canadians and to meet the targets set in the Greening Government Strategy and the Defence Energy and Environment Strategy (DEES). The LBTF project at Hartlen Point will also follow DND’s Green Building Directive which targets net-zero carbon emissions.

DND is committed to ensuring stakeholders and the community are kept informed about this important project as it progresses.

Project Schedule 

Design-Build procurement process launched June 2021
Design contract awarded to PCL Construction September 2021
First community engagement session March 2022
Completion of environmental and traffic studies March 2023
Second community engagement session January 2023
Future Community engagement sessions 2023 onwards
Building design 2022 – 2023
Building construction Late 2023 – 2026