Irving Shipbuilding welcomed Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, and Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defense, to Halifax Shipyard to mark the start of the Definition (Design) phase of work for the first set of new naval combat vessels for Canada, the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS).
Under the Definition Contract Irving Shipbuilding will refine and complete the AOPS vessel design to the high degree of detail for Canada and for those who will cut steel, assemble, complete and test the ships, as well as complete various phases of design review, analysis and testing, plan how to integrate all of the complex systems and equipment on the ship and do detailed cost estimates for the build phase of the project; all tasks required in order to be ready to start the build of the AOPS vessels in 2015 and to meet Canada’s specifications.
“Our focus over the next 30 months is on producing a detailed ship design that delivers best value to Canada, while ensuring we meet the government’s 2015 deadline to cut steel for the first ship – this is vital to our customer, our current workforce and their families,” said Ross Langley, Vice Chairman of Irving Shipbuilding.
The Definition Contract will be managed by a team of professional positions located in Halifax, developing combat shipbuilding design and planning capacity and experience in Nova Scotia. This team will manage the many specialist subcontractors and material suppliers, as well as the integration of the various complex systems that make up each ship. Recruitment for this team of engineers, supply chain leaders, program managers and technical specialists has been underway for some time now. It is anticipated this team will reach a peak of 90 professionals in the Spring of 2014.
Completion of a test production module to verify design, engineering and systems integration plans will allow for more efficient production of the ships and employ an estimated 110 additional workers, bringing the Irving Shipbuilding AOPS team to 200. Roughly 80% of the high-value jobs associated with the AOPS design contract will be in Canada (including Tier 1 suppliers).
As Canada’s Prime Contractor for the AOPS project, Irving Shipbuilding has selected a team of experienced subcontractors to fulfill the mandate of the design phase including Lockheed Martin Canada as Command and Surveillance Systems Integrator, GE Canada as Integrated Propulsion System Integrator, Lloyd’s Register Group as Classification Society, Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) as Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture Provider and Fleetway Inc. as Integrated Logistics Support Provider. Together these companies employ almost 8,000 people across Canada, and an estimated 75 professionals from these suppliers will be dedicated to the AOPS project.
The signing of the AOPS Definition Contract allows contracts to be finalized with these individual organizations and work to begin on the competition and selection of the subsequent subcontractors and businesses required to fulfill the mandate of the AOPS design phase.
“Together with our experienced partners, we are committed to maximizing opportunities and benefits for Canadians and Nova Scotians through additional subcontracting, employment and the generation of investment and benefits within the broader marine industry,” said Langley. “We will be looking for qualified Canadian suppliers of goods and services that deliver best value to Canada while meeting the schedule established by the customer. Every dollar we must spend outside of our country will be offset, dollar for dollar, with equal value inside Canadian borders.”
Canada’s Industrial and Regional Benefit (IRB) Policy ensures that Irving Shipbuilding will deliver business activities in Canada at 100% of the value of the contract. IRB’s can occur inside and outside the shipbuilding sector, benefitting innovation, research and business development here in Nova Scotia and across Canada.
Long term yard infrastructure investments – estimated to be about $300 million – are already underway and are designed to ensure Halifax Shipyard is ready to undertake production when cut steel is scheduled for the AOPS vessels in 2015, as well as the larger combatant ship contract currently scheduled to begin production in 2020. The build phase for each of these projects is where the bulk of the direct employment generation is anticipated. Infrastructure plans to efficiently meet the needs of the national shipbuilding program have been reviewed by 3rd party international experts First Marine International (FMI).
“We expect to be contracting key elements of the site upgrade within the next 3-6 weeks,” said Langley. “This is a project that will result in significant work for local contractors.”