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AOR Replacement & the Joint Support Ship (Merged Threads)

Spencer100

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The RNZN got their new oiler at lightspeed comparably.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/06/hhi-delivers-royal-new-zealand-navys-largest-ever-vessel-hmnzs-aotearoa/

Interesting bow first to naval ship to use it.

"Aotearoa will be the world’s first naval ship to adopt Rolls-Royce’s Environship concept design, which includes a new wave-piercing hull for reduced resistance and fuel consumption. The ship will also be ice-strengthened and winterised to facilitate operations in Antarctica’s extreme weather conditions"
 

MilEME09

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The Parlimentry Budget officer has been called in now for to look into continued delays and escalating costs. Those reports are mostly public and the report is due Oct 15th. Should be interesting to read.
 

Halifax Tar

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Found out today when my PDL is up I am posted to Asterix!  Reading an atricle today they seemed to be pushing for a second conversion. 

I have to say, I am jacked to be posted to Asterix.
 

MilEME09

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Halifax Tar said:
Found out today when my PDL is up I am posted to Asterix!  Reading an atricle today they seemed to be pushing for a second conversion. 

I have to say, I am jacked to be posted to Asterix.

With continued delays to the JSS program, $500 million and 24 months for the second ship is a steal of a deal. Since the first conversion came in on time and on budget I have no reason to doubt it. We should do it asap, heck if we did it right away she would be in the water now.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Big part of the delay was the science vessel, that design had some problems which turned out they could not easily be fixed, then they were supposed to start on the icebreaker, then that was taken away without notice. It was VSL that asked if they could start cutting steel early, not the government.
 

Dana381

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Halifax Tar said:
Found out today when my PDL is up I am posted to Asterix!  Reading an atricle today they seemed to be pushing for a second conversion. 

I have to say, I am jacked to be posted to Asterix.

Congratulations, she looks like a very nice ship to be posted too. From what I have seen in the videos she looks roomy and bright inside.
 

Underway

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Colin P said:
Big part of the delay was the science vessel, that design had some problems which turned out they could not easily be fixed, then they were supposed to start on the icebreaker, then that was taken away without notice. It was VSL that asked if they could start cutting steel early, not the government.

That wasn't exactly the way things went or why.  They needed the JSS money.  It was all self-interest.

Let's also remember as well that VSY are tug boat and barge builders.  They have little experience of how to build a complicated large warship and are learning as they go. And COVID is guaranteed not helping right now.
 

MilEME09

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That wasn't exactly the way things went or why.  They needed the JSS money.  It was all self-interest.

Let's also remember as well that VSY are tug boat and barge builders.  They have little experience of how to build a complicated large warship and are learning as they go. And COVID is guaranteed not helping right now.

It was pointed out up thread that Seaspan never shut down due to covid, though I bet some of their suppliers did. You are right though, we lost all experience building ships of this size, hopefully the NSPS will fix that in the long term so long as governments stick to it.
 

Colin Parkinson

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That wasn't exactly the way things went or why.  They needed the JSS money.  It was all self-interest.

Let's also remember as well that VSY are tug boat and barge builders.  They have little experience of how to build a complicated large warship and are learning as they go. And COVID is guaranteed not helping right now.

That applied to Irving as well, because they had basically gutted their capability to build ships, just as the ship builders in Vancouver had. I remember the launching of several of our current ice breaker from the yards here and ferries. Once they got up and going things improved, but the Science vessel hung up in the design stage.
 

Navy_Pete

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Underway said:
That wasn't exactly the way things went or why.  They needed the JSS money.  It was all self-interest.

Let's also remember as well that VSY are tug boat and barge builders.  They have little experience of how to build a complicated large warship and are learning as they go.

No one in Canada did, and that is why it's the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The entire reason for building them in Canada at two different yards is to develop the strategic resource of shipyards in Canada that can build our own ships, while modernizing them while we are at it.

What we understimated was the time it would take to modernize, and the learning curve. The experts told us it would be a 4 or 5 ship learning curve (with some caveats about the impact of changing designs etc) which is what we're seeing.  The non-combat package at VSY is almost all learning curve ships, and is a challenging bundle for even an experienced builder.
 

Colin Parkinson

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VSY built themselves a good rep as a repair yard with little to no government support and they also got a overseas military contract to upgrade warships, no other ship repair company can boost that. Can they do better, likley yes, but they have done a decent job and continue to also solicit other smaller contracts from non-government sources to cover off work shortages. Does Irving have any work outside of the NSPS?
 

Underway

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Colin P said:
VSY built themselves a good rep as a repair yard with little to no government support and they also got a overseas military contract to upgrade warships, no other ship repair company can boost that. Can they do better, likley yes, but they have done a decent job and continue to also solicit other smaller contracts from non-government sources to cover off work shortages. Does Irving have any work outside of the NSPS?

Just to clean up some terminology so everyone isn't talking past each other.
VSY is Vancouver Ship Yards, located in Vancouver.  Victoria Shipyards is located in Esquimalt Hbr.  Both are owned by Seaspan.  The two are very much different in their jobs and expertise.

VSY never got the upgrade contract for Chilie or NZ.  Lockheed Martin Canada got the upgrade contract.  They then selected Victoria Shipyards as the yard in which they would do the upgrade, based on their HCM experience (HCM = FELEX). Most of the actual people who are doing that upgrade are contractors who do not work for Seaspan at all.  Victoria Shipyards facilitates the work and does a lot of the cable pulling but the main workers for that upgrade came from Lockheed, Saab, etc...

As for Irving, yes they do all the refits, in their drydock for the frigates.  Just like Victoria Shipyards does it for the Pacific Fleet.  So they have more experience dealing with naval ships then Vancouver Shipyards which have never ever dealt with a naval ship before.  Because Victoria Shipyards does that work.  And there is not a lot of cross polination between them, despite Seaspan owning them both.
 

Uzlu

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Government of Canada awards contract for construction of joint support ships for Royal Canadian Navy

Today, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced that Canada has taken an important step toward delivering the RCN's future fleet, by awarding a performance-based contract to Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards for the full construction of two joint support ships (JSS). Valued at $2.4 billion (including taxes), this contract will allow the transition to full-rate construction of the first ship, the construction of early blocks for which began in June 2018, and then the second ship.
  • The design contract for the JSS project was awarded in February 2017, and early build construction began in June 2018.
  • The first JSS is expected to be delivered in 2023, and the second in 2025.
  • The total JSS budget includes $3.1 billion for the purchase of the two ships and initial spares, as well as $1 billion for design and production engineering work, project management and associated contingency costs, resulting in a total value of $4.1B.
  • Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. was competitively selected as a strategic source of supply under the NSS in 2011. Its work package includes the construction of the RCN's JSS.
  • The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy applies to this contract, ensuring that Seaspan will invest 100% of the value of the contract in the Canadian economy.
  • NSS contracts issued between 2012 and December 2019 are estimated to contribute over $17.04 billion ($1.54 billion annually) to GDP, and create or maintain more than 15,521 jobs annually, through the marine industry and its Canadian suppliers from 2012 to 2022.
https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/government-of-canada-awards-contract-for-construction-of-joint-support-ships-for-royal-canadian-navy-823173653.html
 

MilEME09

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So what does that mean? Vancouver shipyards now can do the final construction?
 

Underway

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MilEME09 said:
So what does that mean? Vancouver shipyards now can do the final construction?

I means they get all the monies, lol.  It's a large financial milestone and includes the funding for a second ship.  That second ship was not previously part of the early build money.  Full rate construction officially recognizes a certain maturity/finality to large parts of the design.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Here is the backgrounder https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2020/06/backgrounder---understanding-the-cost-of-the-joint-support-ship-project.html

The amounts listed also covers historical costs already spent on the project.
 

Stoker

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Colin P said:
Here is the backgrounder https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2020/06/backgrounder---understanding-the-cost-of-the-joint-support-ship-project.html

The amounts listed also covers historical costs already spent on the project.

Did anyone notice the cost of JSS is now an extra 700M
 

Uzlu

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Chief Engineer said:
Did anyone notice the cost of JSS is now an extra 700M
Canada to pay $4.1B for Navy support ships in latest cost increase

OTTAWA — Canada's national shipbuilding plan was rocked by yet another cost increase on Monday as the federal government revealed it will pay $4.1 billion for two long-overdue support ships for the navy — an increase of $1.5 billion from initial estimates.

The revelation came as Ottawa officially awarded a contract for the full construction of the two new Protecteur-class joint support ships to Vancouver's Seaspan shipyards, which has already started work on the first of the vessels.

Seaspan was first tapped to build the two ships and several coast guard vessels in 2011, at which point the supply ships were expected to cost $2.6 billion. The figure was later revised to $3.4 billion before another $700 million was added Monday.

The first of the support ships was to have been delivered by 2019. The government says it now doesn't expect the first ship before 2023, with the second due in 2025. Seaspan has been under contract to work on some parts of the first ship since June 2018.

The Royal Canadian Navy has been without a full-time support ship since 2014 and is currently relying on a converted civilian vessel that is being leased from Quebec's Chantier Davie shipyard to fill the gap.

That ship, the MV Asterix, was at the heart of the failed prosecution of retired vice-admiral Mark Norman.

The Liberal government was playing down the cost increase to the support ships on Monday, with senior ministers touting the importance of the vessels to the Royal Canadian Navy and the jobs that the project is creating in Vancouver and elsewhere.

"These new ships will provide a necessary capability for our Royal Canadian Navy, while providing significant economic benefits and jobs to Canadians, including thousands of jobs created or sustained," Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement.

Yet the cost increase is the latest to hit the shipbuilding plan, which has been plagued by delays and budget increases for years. The plan is intended to recapitalize the majority of Canada's naval and coast guard fleets.

The entire plan to buy new warships to replace the navy's frigates and destroyers, several Arctic patrol vessels, a polar icebreaker and four science vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard in addition to the two support ships was pegged in 2011 at $35 billion.

The warships alone are now expected to cost at least $65 billion while the rest of the projects have either seen similar budget increases or their budgets are under review. The delivery schedules for the projects have also been pushed back numerous times.

Defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute noted the new cost for the support ships is almost exactly how much Parliament's budget watchdog estimated following an analysis in 2013.

The Conservative government at the time refuted the parliamentary budget officer's estimate, with then-public works minister Rona Ambrose saying appropriate safeguards had been put into place to protect taxpayers.

"There's not a lot of detail in this today so it's hard to do a line by line," Perry said. "But superficially at least, the PBO's report from 2013 — which I recall being pooh-poohed pretty extensively — has held up pretty well."

Ottawa has in recent years produced update cost estimates for most of the vessels being built through the federal shipbuilding plan. However, budgets for the polar icebreaker and an offshore science vessel for the coast guard are still under review.
https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/news/canada-to-pay-4-1b-for-navy-support-ships-in-latest-cost-increase-1.24153254

Ottawa awards $2.4B contract to finish building navy's supply ships

The decision signals the project won't be delayed by pandemic-driven deficit spending

The Liberal government has awarded a $2.4 billion contract to finish the overall construction of the navy's long-awaited supply ships.

Today's announcement moves forward a Joint Support Ship program over a decade-and-a-half in the making. It also appears to signal the federal government remains committed to its multi-billion shipbuilding program despite record levels of pandemic-driven federal deficit spending.

The contract, with Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards, is for the construction of two replenishment vessels, Public Services and Procurement Canada said in a statement.

Now that the construction deal has been signed, the overall price tag of the program — including design — is expected to be $4.1 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $3.4 billion.

Seven years ago, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) predicted the cost would end up where it has — an estimate that was roundly criticized and dismissed by the Conservatives, who were in power at the time.

"The government announcement today did not have a whole ton of detail, so it's hard to do an exact comparison, but I certainly think that PBO estimate from a long time ago has held up pretty well over time," said Dave Perry, an expert in defence procurement and vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

The first supply ship is to be delivered in 2023, and the second vessel is supposed to arrive two years later.

The yard started construction on certain portions of the first ship in 2018, while final design work was still underway — something that alarmed and even baffled some defence and shipbuilding experts.

'Business as usual'

With the federal deficit expected to swell to over $252.1 billion because of COVID-19 relief measures, many in the defence community had been speculating that existing spending plans for the supply ships would be curtailed or scaled back.

In a statement, federal Public Services Minister Anita Anand suggested the Liberal government is committed to staying the course.

"This contract award is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is supporting a strong and sustainable marine sector in Canada," she said.

Perry said he takes it as a sign the Liberals intend to proceed with their defence construction plans in the face of fiscal and economic uncertainty.

"It is an indicator that, despite being business under some very unusual circumstances, it is still government business-as-usual under COVID," he said.

In the same government statement, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan pointed out that an enormous amount of preparation work has been done already and he's pleased the project is moving forward.

"An impressive amount of work has already gone into the construction of these new ships, and I look forward to their arrival in the coming years." said Sajjan.

Construction during COVID-19

A senior executive at Seaspan said work to adapt the design from the original German plan (the Canadian ship is based on the German Navy's Berlin-Class replenishment vessel) was completed last year and work on the superstructure of the first Joint Support Ship — started in 2018 — has been proceeding apace, even through the pandemic.

"It is well advanced," said Amy MacLeod, the company's vice-president of corporate affairs. "We are ready to continue. We're very, very happy with the quality of the ship, the progress of the ship, the momentum that we have and the expertise we have gained."

The shipyard did not pause construction due to the pandemic — but it did have to figure out ways to carry on under strict physical distancing rules.

"We, like everybody else, had to understand how to run a business in a pandemic," said MacLeod. "We made a lot of changes on how we build our ships."

Turnstiles to enter and exit the yard were eliminated and the company went high-tech with a "heat map" that shows where everyone is working and how much space there is between individual workers.

"And where we couldn't ensure appropriate social distancing because of COVID, we stopped that work."

Perry said the gap between the construction of the two supply ships worries him to a degree. Seaspan intends to construct an ocean science vessel for the coast guard under a plan agreed to with the Liberal government in 2019.

Any delay or hiccup in the construction of that ship could mean the delivery of the second naval vessel is pushed back even further, Perry said.

Extending the navy's range

News of the contract will come as a relief to the navy.

Having replenishment ships to refuel and rearm frigates would allow the navy to deploy entire task groups to far-flung parts of the world.

"With these warships, the Royal Canadian Navy will be able to operate with even greater flexibility and endurance," said Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, commander of the navy.

"These ships will not only form part of the core of our naval task groups, they also represent a vital and strategic national asset that will enable the Navy to maintain its global reach and staying power."

A tortured history

It was 1994 when the replacement program was first discussed. The deficit-slashing years of that decade meant the plan was shelved.

Resurrected in 2004, the Liberal government of former prime minister Paul Martin hoped to have the ships in the water by 2008 to replace the three-decade-old supply ships the navy had been operating.

Faced with cost estimates well over what they had expected, the Conservative government of former prime minister Stephen Harper shelved the Liberal plan on the eve of the 2008 federal election.

More than five years later, the navy was forced to retire both aging supply ships after one of them was crippled by a devastating fire.

The absence of replenishment capability led the Harper government to lease a converted civilian supply ship from a private company, Federal Fleet Services, which operates out of the Davie Shipyard in Levis, Que.

That plan led to a political and legal scandal when the former commander of the navy, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, was accused of leaking cabinet secrets related to the plan. The Crown withdrew the charge a year ago after a protracted pre-trial court battle.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/supply-ship-navy-seaspan-1.5612770
 
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