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October 17, 2019 | Local, Naval

Irving Shipbuilding Hands Over HMCS Montreal to Royal Canadian Navy

Irving Shipbuilding Hands Over HMCS Montreal to Royal Canadian Navy

Irving Shipbuilding Inc. handed over Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montréal (FFH 336) to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) following the completion of a 53-week docking work period on August 22.

The vessel arrived at Halifax Shipyard on Aug. 13 last year for the docking work period (DWP). The DWP was completed on schedule and included preventive and corrective maintenance, ship system upgrades including new diesel generators and chillers to name a few, as well as installation of new equipment providing enhanced combat capabilities to ensure the longevity of HMCS Montreal.

More than 400 of Halifax Shipyard’s 2,000 employees worked on HMCS Montreal’s docking work period, including many shipbuilders who are members of Unifor Local 1. Dozens of Nova Scotia-based suppliers worked with ISI on the Montreal, including Maritime Pressure Works, MacKinnon & Olding, CMS Steel Pro, and Pro-Insul, among others.

Since 2010, all seven of the Navy’s east coast Halifax-class frigates– HMCS Halifax, HMCS Fredericton, HMCS Montreal, HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS St. John’s, HMCS Ville de Quebec, and HMCS Toronto – have been consecutively modernized and maintained at Halifax Shipyard.

Halifax Shipyard is continuing its legacy as the Halifax-class In-Service Support Centre of Excellence, with HMCS Charlottetown currently in the graving dock for a docking work period. In addition to its Halifax-class ship maintenance work, Halifax Shipyard is building six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) over the next 25 years as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

The Halifax class underwent a modernization program, known as the Halifax Class Modernization (HCM) program, in order to update the frigates' capabilities in combatting modern smaller, faster and more mobile threats. This involved upgrading the command and control, radar, communications, electronic warfare and armament systems. Further improvements, such as modifying the vessel to accommodate the new Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter and satellite links will be done separately from the main Frigate Equipment Life Extension (FELEX) program.

On the same subject

  • Ottawa eyeing second-hand market to replace VIP and cargo fleet

    December 22, 2020 | Local, Aerospace

    Ottawa eyeing second-hand market to replace VIP and cargo fleet

    Government considering a deal with commercial airlines seeking financial assistance, sources say Daniel Leblanc · CBC News · Posted: Dec 22, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 9 hours ago The federal government is exploring the possibility of replacing its aging fleet of transportation planes as part of a planned bailout of the country's battered airline industry, federal sources said. While plans to replace the Canadian Armed Forces' five CC-150 Polaris aircraft have been in the works for years, government officials said they have started to look at whether any deal can be found among commercial airlines that are currently looking for financial relief from Ottawa.  The airline industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and is facing a liquidity crisis, having been forced to cut back on a number of regular routes amid a sharp decline in demand. Sources, whom CBC News agreed not to identify in order to discuss confidential elements of the procurement process and talks with the airline industry, said Air Canada is seen as a potential supplier for the fleet, which is used to transport cargo, troops and dignitaries such as the prime minister. Still, the sources said discussions are preliminary.  Last week, all potential suppliers were invited to signify their interest in the contract as part of an "invitation to qualify" published on a federal website. "It is not a new project," a defence official said. "The reason why [the Canadian Armed Forces] are looking at this now is really because of the fact there have been significant changes in the global aircraft market this year. They are looking at options to see what suppliers might have available, because order books are looking different than they were a year ago." Another official confirmed the government sees a possible window to inject liquidity into the airline industry at the same time as it seeks to replace its fleet of gas guzzling transport aircraft. "When the government decided a few weeks ago to help the airline sector, there was a situation where it became possible to address two issues at once, namely helping the airline industry at the same time as replacing an aging and polluting fleet," the official said. Proceed with caution Still, aviation expert John Gradek cautioned that a company like Air Canada would much prefer to hold on to its most recent aircraft and sell the older ones to the government. "Would you want to trade old for old?" he asked. Gradek added there are thousands of aircraft parked around the world, and manufacturers, facing a decreased demand, might be willing to offer a deal to the Canadian government. He pointed to Air Transat as a potential Canadian-based supplier facing financial difficulties and surplus capacity. "The airline market is soft; it's a buyer's market," he said. Air Canada declined to comment on the matter.  New aircraft needed The five Polaris aircraft were built by Airbus and sold to Wardair in the late 1980s, before being resold to the Canadian Armed Forces in the early 1990s. They are used to transport cargo and troops on military and humanitarian missions, as well as VIPs, including the prime minister, the governor general and foreign dignitaries. Two of them are equipped for air-to-air refuelling and can each help four CF-18s to cross the Atlantic.  One of the two Polaris CC-150s that can be used for VIP transport suffered serious damage last year when a motor struck a tow tractor in a hangar and its nose crashed into a wall. The repairs to the aircraft are ongoing. The aircraft designed for VIP use are far from luxurious and fall well below the standard of most aircraft used to transport G7 leaders, both in terms of comfort and communications equipment. THE BIG SPEND As passengers pushed for refunds, Air Canada got more than $400 million for wage subsidy The invitation for suppliers to qualify to provide strategic tanker transport aircraft was published on Dec. 17. The Canadian Armed Forces are once again looking to acquire five aircraft for this new fleet, which will be expected to offer air-to-air refuelling capabilities for the new fleet of fighter jets. Gradek said that once the Polaris CC-150 are replaced, they will likely be headed for the scrapyard. "There is no market for these airplanes," he said.

  • RCAF transport aircraft withdrawn from United Nations service because of COVID-19

    May 12, 2020 | Local, Aerospace

    RCAF transport aircraft withdrawn from United Nations service because of COVID-19

    David Pugliese  •  Ottawa Citizen The Canadian military has pulled back its commitment of a transport aircraft for the United Nations. The C-130 service to the UN stopped on March 6 and personnel redeployed back to Canada, UN and military sources told this newspaper. The Canadian military confirmed the information. “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic situation worldwide, and given the strict isolation measures imposed by Uganda for crews arriving in the country, it is anticipated that the crew’s and the aircraft’s availability for operations in Canada would be severely limited,” the Canadian Forces stated in an email Thursday. “The CAF has therefore deferred the April-May combined iteration, and the feasibility of the iteration scheduled for 25 June-6 July 2020 will be reassessed at the beginning of June.” Starting last year the Canadian Forces committed a tactical airlift detachment on a monthly basis to Entebbe, Uganda to assist the UN’s Regional Support Centre in the sustainment of ongoing UN operations. That involved a C-130J Hercules aircraft and about 20 personnel. The aircraft deployed for up to five days each month to assist with transporting troops, equipment and supplies to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). “Operation PRESENCE – Uganda is the provision of that tactical airlift support via the Regional Support Centre in Entebbe, Uganda, to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa and is an important part of Canada’s commitment to making valuable contributions to UN peace support operations on the continent,” the military has noted on its website.

  • Sailing into the Ice

    January 7, 2019 | Local, Naval, Security

    Sailing into the Ice

    THERESA McGUIRE, © 2018 FrontLine (Vol 15, No 6) The Arctic Ocean is so beautiful in the late summer and early fall, but can be deathly cold & unpredictable. Having a well-prepared, self-sufficient team is critical when it comes to marine safety and emergency response. We had sailed from the port of St John’s, Newfoundland on August 21st, and were heading toward Resolute, Nunavut, on the six-deck, Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Henry Larsen, high-endurance, multi-tasked icebreaker. Onboard as the Health Officer, I was looking forward to another safe Arctic mission on the 100-metre-long ship. Henry Larsen is well equipped with additional transportation equipment and emergency vessels that included a Bell 429 helicopter, two new lifeboats, two hydrographic survey boats, a Zodiac Fast Rescue Craft, a metal barge for scientific technical work, and a variety of inflatable rafts. In addition to assisting in scientific research, the Canadian Coast Guard’s expanded mandate includes marine SAR (search and rescue), icebreaking, supporting and maintaining marine communications and navigation, and even responding to environmental pollution. We are always ready for the wide range of search and rescue calls, which can come from vessels in distress or downed aircraft. If you’re working on a Coast Guard vessel, you’d better be comfortable working in unusual environments and working independently – and that’s also true for any health professionals on board. As a former army nurse and now occupational health nurse specializing in workplace health and safety, I enjoy these missions immensely with a full scope of nursing practice and a supportive crew to assist if needed. Sick bay on the Larsen is also well equipped, with oxygen, emergency airways and medications, sutures, defibrillator and ECG, and trauma and mass casualty kits all at the ready. Full article:

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