Minister Sajjan marks the start of steel cutting for the first Joint Support Ship

News release

June 15, 2018 – Vancouver (B.C.) – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As outlined in the Department of National Defence’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is committed to delivering these two new replenishment ships to the Royal Canadian Navy as part of their future Naval Task Groups.

Today, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan participated in a steel-cutting ceremony for the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) future Joint Support Ships (JSS). At its peak, work on the JSS project will help to sustain an estimated 1 000 highly skilled jobs at Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards.

The JSS are critical components to achieving success in both international and domestic Canadian Armed Forces missions. The presence of replenishment warships increases the range and endurance of Naval Task Group operations at sea, permitting ships to remain at sea for significant periods of time without going ashore to resupply. The ships will each become home to about 240 sailors during their time at sea and are a key part of the RCN’s future full fleet.

These warships will ensure surface combatant vessels can stay at sea longer, and will support RCN sailors as they carry out their missions for decades to come.

Additional multimedia

Joint Support Ship (JSS)
Joint Support Ship (JSS) HMCS Protecteur and HMCS Preserver (Text version below).


“Today marks an important milestone for the women and men serving in the Royal Canadian Navy as we begin construction of another element of our blue water navy. The Joint Support Ships will be critical assets to Canada and will greatly contribute to the future success of our operations.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

"I am proud of the work our Government has done with Seaspan Shipyards to find innovative solutions to accelerate the construction of our Navy's Joint Support Ships. We will continue to work with all our National Shipbuilding Strategy partners, to build a strong, sustainable shipbuilding industry in Canada.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Quick facts

  • The two Joint Support Ships (JSS) will replace the former Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels. 

  • The construction start of the JSS in June 2018 will result in the first JSS being delivered in 2022/23, and the second in 2023/24. 

  • After the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, the JSS is the second class of Royal Canadian Navy ships to begin construction in Canadian shipyards, as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

  • The Protecteur-class Joint Support Ships will support naval and ashore operations—whether combat, humanitarian or disaster relief—by delivering fuel and other vital supplies to vessels at sea, offering medical and dental services, and providing facilities for helicopters and equipment repair.

  • The Joint Support Ship will be designated the Protecteur-class, in recognition of the distinguished and remarkable service provided by the former Protecteur-class ships, the last of which was removed from service in 2015.

Associated links


Byrne Furlong
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

Infographic - Joint Support Ship (JSS) - Text version 

HMCS Protecteur and HMCS Preserver

Enhanced defensive capabilities
Support in high threat environment
Able to respond to CBRN threats
Ammunition storage
Crew of up to 239 personnel
JSS to have a service life of 30 years

The JSS will provide:
Fuel, ammunition, spare parts, food and water
Modern medical and dental care
Support to operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief

Maintaining RCN’s excellence at sea and providing a flexible and responsive naval force

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