Joint Support Ships and the MV Asterix

Progress - Strong, Secure, Engaged Commitments


Why is the Government spending $4.1 Billion on two support ships when it could buy them for one quarter of that price?

  • Canada’s Joint Support Ships will provide crucial at sea replenishment capabilities to our naval fleet.
  • The Joint Support Ships are the right vessels to meet the Royal Canadian Navy’s requirements.
  • These ships will have military standard capabilities allowing the Navy to carry out sustainment activities in high-threat environments.
  • We look forward to the delivery of the first Joint Support Ship to the Royal Canadian Navy in 2023.

If pressed on the increased value of MV Asterix contract

  • The amended contract value for MV Asterix, will cover updated operations, maintenance costs, and other related contract costs, such as insurance.
  • This additional contingency funding will provide the Royal Canadian Navy with the operational support required for the remainder of the contract period.
  • It will also ensure our sailors maintain their at-sea replenishment skills as they prepare for the arrival of the first Joint Support Ship in 2023.
  • This increase in contract value follows a rigorous review of the budget and remains within the original program budget.

If pressed on the MV Asterix and procuring another commercial ship instead of the JSS

  • The Asterix is an interim solution while the Joint Support Ships are built; it is a commercial solution
  • that does not meet the Navy’s long-term requirements.
  • The Joint Support Ships will provide Royal Canadian Navy sailors the protection they need when deployed in high-threat environments.
  • For example, they will be equipped with systems to detect and protect against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.
  • The Ships will also be equipped with a full range of features and systems that enhance their survivability and allow them to fully integrate with other warships.
  • For example, they will have a combat management system, multiple weapons systems, an electronic warfare suite, and dual shafts for enhanced redundancy.
  • The Joint Support Ships continue to be the right ship for the Royal Canadian Navy and we look forward to the delivery of the first ship in 2023.

If pressed on the need for more Support Ships

  • The two Joint Support Ships will meet the Navy's operational requirements and will form an integral part of the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet.
  • The new Joint Support Ships will provide the full range of military support requirements at sea that the Royal Canadian Navy needs to conduct and sustain operations at home and abroad.

Quick Facts

  • Cost of the Joint Support Ships:
    • Total approved budget: $4.1B
      • $3.1B will be used to purchase the ships and initial spares
      • $1.0B for supporting costs.
  • Timelines:
    • First Joint Supply Ship is expected to be delivered: 2023
    • Second supply ship is expected to be delivered: 2025
  • COVID-19: The full impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on project timelines is still being assessed.
  • MV Asterix:
    • Amended contract value: $691 million (including taxes).
      • This represents an increase of $71 million (including taxes), and covers updated costs.
      • New governance and invoicing measures have been introduced to streamline the management of the contract.
    • The increased contract value remains within the approved budget for this program.

Responsible Principals: Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel), Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance), Royal Canadian Navy.

February 1, 2021

Back to top

Page details

Date modified: