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Seaspan Lays Keel for Canadian Navy's Second Joint Support Ship

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 30, 2023

(Photo: Seaspan Shipyards)

(Photo: Seaspan Shipyards)

Seaspan Shipyards hosted a ceremonial keel laying event for the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) future HMCS Preserver.

Scheduled for delivery in 2027, the vessel is the second of two Joint Support Ships being built by Seaspan as part of Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). Through incorporating lessons learned on the design and construction of JSS1, the second Joint Support Ship is tracking ahead of schedule and efficiencies are seen throughout the build process – from advancements in design and supply chain streamlining, to pre-assembly outfitting in electrical cable installation, Seaspan said.

At 173.7 meters long, the newbuild will join sister vessel HMCS Protecteur as the longest naval ships built in Canada. The ships will replace the former Protecteur-class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels, providing at-sea replenishment as well as the capability to seamlessly integrate with any Canadian or allied naval task group and significantly extend the range and endurance of these groups through the provision of fuel, ammunition, aviation support, food, spare parts, exercise and gym facilities, and medical and dental care.

“Seaspan Shipyards has taken another critical step towards providing the Royal Canadian Navy with the ships they need to go into harm’s way and ensure Canada’s security and sovereignty in an increasingly unstable geopolitical environment,” said John McCarthy, CEO, Seaspan Shipyards. “Through investments in technology, process improvements, and skills upgrading, and by rigorously applying lessons learned from earlier ships we have built, Seaspan is on course to deliver ships faster and for lower cost to Canada.”

“[The] keel laying ceremony marks the significant progress being made for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Protecteur-class,” said Rear-Admiral Steve Waddell, Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy. “Through Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy we continue to grow the naval fleet and bolster its capabilities. Bravo Zulu to those who have contributed to all of the work on this tremendous project.”

"Today marks an important milestone in the work Seaspan has been doing under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This facility plays a vital role in Canada’s shipbuilding industry, in supporting the Royal Canadian Navy and Coast Guard and is an integral part of both North Vancouver’s maritime heritage and our present local economy,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver. “The construction of two Joint Support Ships will create good jobs and help increase the endurance and capability of the Royal Canadian Navy."

HMCS Preserver is the fifth ship to be designed and built by Seaspan under the NSS. In 2020, Seaspan completed delivery of CCGS John Cabot, the third and final Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel built for the Canadian Coast Guard and marked the first full class of vessel to be delivered under the NSS. Construction is also underway on the Canadian Coast Guard’s Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel, and progress is being made to prepare for the start of construction on Canada’s new heavy Polar Icebreaker, the first to be constructed in Canada in 60 years.