Ottawa-headquartered Federal Fleet Services (FFS) reports that the Government of Canada has confirmed a two-year extension to its at-sea support services contract for the combat support ship, M/V Asterix. Converted from a containership by FFS sister company Davie Shipbuilding, the ship has been providing worldwide service to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) since her deployment in 2018.
Over the past five years, says Federal Fleet Services, Asterix has performed flawlessly in NATO and allied operations from the Arabian Gulf to East Africa and the Korean peninsula supporting a variety of missions from counterterrorism to sanctions enforcement. The vessel has not experienced a single day of unscheduled downtime.
Given Canada’s long-defined requirement for up to four permanent replenishment vessels, and the current plan for the delivery of two Protecteur-Class supply ships, extending the Asterix contract ensures the RCN can maintain essential replenishment-at-sea capabilities now and into the future.
“Locking in Asterix’s capability for Canada and the NATO alliance is smart business. Its strategic capability is critical to Canada maintaining a capable, deployable, blue-water navy. The RCN can deploy anywhere in the world in response to crises, conflicts or to support humanitarian missions. Everyone at FFS, seafarers and civilians, is proud that we will continue to provide this critical capability. Asterix has rightly become a permanent and well-integrated component of the RCN fleet,” said Rear Admiral (retired) Gilles Couturier, CEO of FFS.
The total optional lease period for Asterix is 10 years although Canada can declare its contractual purchase option at any time.
Asterix was converted at Davie in just 18 months from a containership to a military specified support vessel at a cost far below that of a comparable newbuilding. Uniquely in Canada, Asterix is operated with a combination of FFS and the Royal Canadian Navy crew.