AUGUST 2, 2015 — The Government of Canada has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with shipbuilder Chantier Davie Canada Incorporated and an entity called Project Resolve Incorporated to continue discussions on pursuing an at-sea support services contract, Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced Saturday.
As we reported last month, Canada is looking for "an interim supply ship capability" — in other words a commercial ship retrofitted to serve as a fleet oiler — to provide much needed fleet support capabilities until Canada's first newbuild Joint Support Ship (JSS) becomes operational in 2021.
The two vessels in the RCN's legacy refueling fleet just could not struggle on to reach what now appear to have been hopelessly over extended retirement targets.
The last of them, HMCS Protecteur was retired after sustaining serious damage in a fire in February 2014.
An extensive assessment concluded that the ship was damaged beyond economical repair.
The Canadian Government says that the LOI provides Chantier Davie and Project Resolve with the ability to start limited activities to advance the schedule. It will also provide some financial protection to the shipyard for these expenses, should a contract not be awarded. Any proposed costs would be pre-approved by the government, which will require Davie to provide a rationale in every instance.