JANUARY 16, 2015 — Canadian media report that the federal government has now signed a build contract with Irving Shipbuilding for the AOPS (arctic/offshore patrol ships) program.
Irving is the prime contractor for the ships, which are to be built at its Halifax Shipyards under Canada's National Shipbuilding Procurement strategy.
As widely expected, the government will get fewer ships than initially projected and will pay more for them.
Construction costs are pegged at C$2.3 billion, up from the expected C$2.1 billion.
The total cost of the AOPS ships and their support infrastructure is projected at C$3.5 billion and the number of ships will be five or six, rather than the six to eight originally foreseen. Whether the sixth ship gets built will depend on how well Irving succeeds in squeezing costs in what's described as an "incentives laden" contract.
The first ship is scheduled to be completed in 2018, with each subsequent ship being delivered every nine months until 2022.
Design of the vessels is said to be 90 percent final. They will be 103.6 m long with a beam of 19 m. The top speed in open water will be 17 knots while the top speed in one meter of ice will be 3 knots.