Seaspan receives contract for Joint Support Ship construction

The first of the RCN’s two new Joint Support Ships is currently under construction at Seaspan’s Shipyard in Vancouver.

Seaspan receives contract for Joint Support Ship construction

By Trident Staff

A federal contract recently awarded to Seaspan Shipyards in Vancouver will ensure that construction continues apace on the Royal Canadian Navy’s new Protecteur-class Joint Support Ships (JSS).

The announcement was made on June 15, and includes $2.4 billion to complete the full-rate construction on the first ship, which began in June 2018, as well as to build the second JSS. The ships are being built to replace the Navy’s decommissioned auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels, and will allow for better flexibility in delivering fuel and other vital supplies to vessels at sea. The JSS project is part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the effort to revitalize Canada’s naval surface fleet.

“I am pleased to see yet another milestone happen this year for our future joint support ships,” said VAdm Art McDonald, Commander RCN,in a press release. He added that the ships will form the core of future naval trask groups, and said supply ships represent a vital strategic and national asset that will enable the Navy to maintain global reach and staying power.

Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand credited Seaspan for continuing construction on the project despite disruptions due to COVID-19, with the shipyard operating in new ways to allow employees to practice social distancing and other public health recommendations.

“We continue to work closely with the Canadian shipbuilding industry and its associated sectors during this unprecedented time for our country and the world. I commend the dedicated workers across the country for their continued perseverance in delivering on critical federal shipbuilding projects,” she said.

The new ships will take the name of the RCN’s most recently decommissioned supply ships, HMCS Protecteur and HMCS Preserver, with the first JSS expected to be delivered in 2023, followed by the second in 2025.