Defence Minister Sajjan highlights landmark collaboration with marine industry

News Release

August 20, 2017 – Vancouver (British Columbia) – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to renew the Royal Canadian Navy's fleet through the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).  This investment will ensure that the Royal Canadian Navy can operate as a true blue-water force, create and maintain more than 2,000 middle-class jobs across Canada over a 35-year period, and grow the Canadian economy.

Today, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan recognized a service contract between the Government of Canada and the Joint Venture of Thales Canada Inc. and Thales Australia Limited as part of its firm commitment to renew federal fleets.

Through this contract, both the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) fleet and the Joint Support Ships (JSS) fleet will be receiving long-term in-service support, including refit, repair, maintenance, and training. The servicing will begin with the delivery of the first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel in 2018, and in 2021 for the first Joint Support Ship.

The in-service support of AOPS and JSS has been combined in a modern and innovative contract. Known as AJISS, this contract will ensure greater cost savings for the public dollar. The AJISS contract will also achieve benefits for Canadian industry.

The contract has options to include services for the expected life of the vessels, expected to be 35 years, for an estimated total of $5.2 billion (excluding taxes).

Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, highlighted the importance of delivering the capabilities the Royal Canadian Navy needs to meet future defence and security challenges, both at home and abroad, and to carry out the tasks required of a modern navy. Both the AOPS and JSS projects were specifically named as two projects helping meet this goal.


“Modern ships, like the Joint Support Ships that will be built here in Vancouver, are essential to our fleet. They will deliver the capabilities that the Navy needs to meet defence and security challenges we face, both at home and abroad, and carry out the tasks required of a modern navy. This contract will help ensure that the women and men of the Royal Canadian Navy will be provided with reliable, continually supported ships for years to come.”

– Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

“The Government is giving our navy the ships it needs, and we are taking steps to make sure that we have solid, cost-effective support in place to keep our fleet in full operational readiness. Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy is also revitalizing the shipbuilding industry, supporting Canadian innovation, and bringing jobs and prosperity to many communities across the country.”

Acting Minister of Public Services and Procurement Jim Carr

“This open and transparent competition utilized new procurement concepts and frequent industry engagement. This approach was extremely useful in ensuring Canada effectively procured tailored in‑service support solutions for both the AOPS and JSS.”

-- Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Steven MacKinnon

“As a result of Thales’ economic obligations under the contract, the government’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy ensures that they will invest an amount equal to the contract value, in Canada. The application of this policy demonstrates Canada’s commitment to creating jobs, supporting innovation through research and development investments, developing technical skills and promoting the growth of the Canadian marine sector.”

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains

“Thales Canada’s best-in-class in-service support solution will drive Canadian innovation, create growth and ensure that ships are mission-ready, where and when they are needed. As the selected in-service support provider, Thales is committed to empowering Canadian industry to support the AJISS program for decades to come.” 

Thales Canada President and CEO Mark Halinaty

Quick Facts

  • Five Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, with an option for a sixth, are being built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. The delivery of the first vessel to the Royal Canadian Navy is scheduled for 2018.

  • Two Joint Support Ships will be built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards. The delivery of the first vessel to the Royal Canadian Navy is scheduled for 2021.

  • In-service support and maintenance contracts will ensure the new AOPS and JSS fleets, once built, are immediately ready for operations.

  • Under the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, an amount equal to the amount of this contract will be invested in Canada. 

  • A fairness monitor oversaw the competitive procurement process for the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships.

  • The in-service support work required to support and maintain the AOPS and JSS under this contract is to be carried out in Canada, unless a vessel requires maintenance while overseas

Associated Links


Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence

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

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