Government of Canada marks important milestone for the Royal Canadian Navy

News Release

April 29, 2016 – Esquimalt – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

HMCS Regina, the fifth and final frigate on the West coast to complete its modernization by Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards, has been returned to the Royal Canadian Navy.

Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan, along with Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific, attended a ceremony today to celebrate this major milestone as part of the Halifax-Class Modernization/ Frigate Life Extension (HCM/FELEX) project.

The HCM/FELEX project is providing state-of-the-art upgrades, allowing Canada’s fleet of 12 Halifax-class frigates to meet 21st century threats. The modernization of this fleet includes a new Combat Management System procured from Lockheed Martin Canada, as well as new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system, and upgraded communications technologies and missiles. The modernized frigates also boast new systems that offer better damage control, as well as more modern electrical and machinery control.


“I am pleased to be here today to celebrate this major milestone for the Royal Canadian Navy. I would like to thank all those involved in this project for their hard work in successfully completing the modernization of HMCS Regina. As this ship is transferred back to the Navy, I am proud to be strengthening our commitment to serving our brave men and women of the Navy to ensure they can continue to defend Canadian waters and take part in international missions.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“This is a great day and an important milestone for the Canadian Pacific Fleet and the Royal Canadian Navy.  HMCS Regina is the last frigate on the West coast to complete its modernization. These upgrades will enable our fleet to operate in a modern threat environment and to continue to deliver excellence at sea around the world.  I am proud to welcome HMCS Regina back and I want to express my sincere thanks to Seaspan and its workforce for a job well done!”

Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander MARPAC

“Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards takes great pride in the role that its skilled men and women have played as a trusted and reliable partner to the Government of Canada and its sailors. We are honoured to join Minister Sajjan in Canada’s celebration of this historic milestone and we look forward to continuing our service to the Royal Canadian Navy.”

Jonathan Whitworth, CEO - Seaspan

“Our team is thrilled to celebrate the delivery of Canadian-built, world-class technology to the Royal Canadian Navy. From the original Halifax-class to the modernization program of today, we are proud of our rich history in Canada – creating thousands of high value jobs, building critical naval expertise, achieving export success and supporting the RCN's operations around the world.”

Rosemary Chapdelaine, Vice President and General Manager – Lockheed Martin Canada

Quick Facts

  • The modernization and life extension of the Halifax-class frigates represents an investment of $4.3 billion and will allow the frigates to serve the Navy until the early-to-mid-2030s.
  • HCM/FELEX falls under the larger Halifax-class Modernization program (HCM). The HCM overall program is a highly complex and collaborative effort between DND, the Navy, and more than thirty companies within the Canadian shipbuilding industry. Together, they have been working to deliver a first-class capability, on-time and on-budget while also ensuring robust economic benefits to Canada.
  • The first modernized frigates re-entered service in late 2014.Currently, nine of the Navy’s twelve frigates have already been returned and are capable of being employed on operations and exercises around the world. Two frigates are in their reactivation phase and one is in refit as part of the Halifax-Class Modernization program.
  • In late summer 2016, HMCS Toronto, the seventh and final frigate on the East Coast is expected to complete its modernization by Irving Halifax Shipyard. This will mean all twelve of the Halifax-class frigates, five on the West Coast and seven on the East Coast, will be fully modernized.
  • The HCM/ FELEX is ensuring that the Halifax-class frigates continue to be the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy fleet until the arrival of the future fleet of Canadian Surface Combatants.
  • The Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy applies to this project.  This ensures that companies that win Government of Canada defence contracts undertake business activities in Canada equal to 100 percent of the contract value.

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Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
(613) 996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

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