The federal government awarded two contracts Monday worth a total of $900 million to shipyards in Halifax and Victoria to maintain and upgrade 's 12 frigates - considered the workhorses of the navy.
The contract for the Halifax Shipyards is worth $549m, while the contract in is valued at $351m.
The contracts are the first in a series that are expected to be awarded from $3.1b that is being made available for a mid-life refit of the Halifax-class frigates.
The government announced last year that it would spend the $3.1b on weapons upgrades, enhanced command-and-control centres, and alterations needed to accommodate the navy's new helicopters.
J.D. Irving, president of the Halifax Shipyards, a division of Irving Shipbuilding Inc., called the contract a major shot in the arm for an industry that's been struggling for some time. will work on seven ships while the remaining five will be upgraded in .
The contract for the Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. is expected to create up to 100 jobs and help maintain 450 others.
Additional contracts are expected to be awarded later this year including the largest, at $1.1 billion, for an upgrade of the command and control systems, a redesign of the operations room and the reconfiguration of the ships' masts to accommodate a new radar suite.
A $300 million contract will also be let for the provision of long term in support service for the command and control system.
Source: Canadian Press