June 15, 2020 – The Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Minister of National Defense announced that Federal Government has taken an important step toward replacing lost replenishment capability for the Royal Canadian Navy by awarding a performance-based contract to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards for the full construction of two Berlin Class replenishment ships. 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 Berlin Class will deliver fuel and other vital supplies to vessels at sea, offer medical and dental services, and provide facilities for helicopter maintenance repair. The presence of replenishment ships increases the range and endurance of operations at sea, allowing Canadian combat ships to remain at sea for significant periods of time without going to shore for resupply.
Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald RCN said, “I am pleased to see yet another milestone happen this year for our future joint support ships. With these warships, the Royal Canadian Navy will be able to operate with even greater flexibility and endurance. 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.”
For some unknown reason, the Ottawa bureaucrats are still calling these “Joint Support Ships” – a program cancelled in 2008. Why this is, nobody will say.