Victoria-class submarines

Project summary

Canada purchased four Victoria-class submarines from the United Kingdom which became operational in February 2015. It has an agreement with Canadian industry for support and maintenance through 2023, which represents a potential investment of $2.6 billion CAD (revised budget ceiling from the original $1.7 billion cost).

Victoria-class submarines conduct surveillance, provide support to maritime law-enforcement in investigating narcotics trafficking, smuggling and polluting cases, and conduct other domestic and international operations. They are covert, well-armed, and capable of patrolling over vast distances. The Victoria-class cost approximately one-quarter of the value of a new submarine fleet with similar capability.

Project phases

Currently in Phase 4: Implementation

1. Identification

1. Identification

  • Not available
2. Options analysis

2. Options analysis

  • Not available
3. Definition

3. Definition

  • Not available
4. Implementation

4. Implementation

  • Purchased in 1998
5. Close-out

5. Close-out

  • Not available

Learn more about the Defence procurement process

Additional information

Project updates

Project updates

June 2016
HMCS Chicoutimi completed a number of necessary weld repairs on piping systems. The submarine will return to sea in the fall of 2016 after a period of routine maintenance.

Re-examination of welds in HMCS Victoria, the West Coast fleet’s other submarine, is ongoing.

The Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) East Coast fleet is unaffected by the weld examination issue that has been identified on the West Coast.

January 2015
HMCS Corner Brook entered its Extended Docking Work Periods (EDWP) for maintenance. This is the second EDWP to be conducted under the Victoria-class In-Service Support Contract (VISSC) and is expected to be completed in 2018. HMCS Corner Brook’s EDWP will include:

  • repairs to the damage the submarine sustained during a grounding incident in 2011, including the replacement of some of its external structure and the sonar bow dome
  • upgrades to key combat systems, including the Heavy Weight Torpedo (Mk 48 Mod 7AT) which is also used by the United States Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Royal Netherlands Navy
  • upgrades to the primary sonar system
  • installation of a new modern Satellite Communication system, and Communications Intercept capability

HMCS Victoria is scheduled to enter its next EDWP after the completion of HMCS Corner Brook’s EDWP in 2018.

December 2014
HMCS Chicoutimi was completed by Babcock Canada part of VISSC. This was the first repair and overhaul program performed on a Victoria-class submarine by industry.

November 2012
HMCS Windsor’s EDWP maintenance was completed at the Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) Cape Scott in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

November 2011
HMCS Victoria was completed at FMF Cape Breton in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

The first of Canada’s Victoria-class submarine fleet was accepted into service.

Benefiting Canadian industry

Benefiting Canadian industry

Industrial and Regional Benefits

Maintenance of the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet of four Victoria-class submarines is a collaborative effort that involves support that is provided by both:

  • The Department of National Defence has two Fleet Maintenance Facilities located on each coast. Known as Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton in Esquimalt, British Columbia they perform all routine naval engineering, repair and maintenance services
  • Industry through the Victoria-class In-Service Support Contract (VISSC) for extensive deep maintenance


Some of the links below lead to websites that are not part of the Government of Canada and may be available in English only.

The Department of National Defence has a Victoria-class In-Service Support Contract (VISSC) that will continue until 2023. The VISSC was awarded in 2008 to Canadian Submarine Management Group, now Babcock Canada Inc, through a competitive process.

All extensive maintenance, known as Extended Docking Work Periods (EDWP), for the Victoria-class vessels will be conducted under the management of Babcock Canada Inc. as part of this in-service support contract. This contractor is responsible for bringing together support from original equipment manufacturers, engineering services, and repair and overhaul management, under a single contract.

An EDWP involves the comprehensive maintenance, repair, overhaul or upgrading of over 200 systems needed to enable six to nine years of operation for each submarine. At this point in the service life of the submarines, an EDWP cost between $250-300 million, based on the particular maintenance, repair, overhaul or upgrading work.

The VISSC represents approximately $200 million per year of work and directly sustains approximately 200 jobs in Esquimalt, British Columbia, plus an additional 200 jobs nationally.

Technical information

About the HCM Frigate

The Victoria-class submarine’s home ports are:

  • Esquimalt, British Columbia
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia

Facts and figures:

  • Length: 70.3m in length by 7.6m in width and with a depth of hull of 5.5m.
  • Displacement (weight): The hull displacement is 2,168t surfaced and 2,455t dived.
  • Speed: 12 knots (surfaced), 20 knots (submerged)
  • Patrol Endurance: approximately 8 weeks.
  • Driving Depth: > 200 metres
  • Crew size: 48 crew and 5 trainees.

For more information, please visit the Royal Canadian Navy Submarines: Fleet Status Fact Sheet.

Project costs

Project costs

The Victoria-class In-Service Support Contract (VISSC) represents a potential investment of $2.6 billion CAD (revised budget ceiling from the original $1.7 billion cost), for 15 years of in-service support for the Victoria-class submarines. The VISSC was awarded in 2008 through a competitive process to Canadian Submarine Management Group, now Babcock Canada Inc. The contract includes extension options that, if exercised, will ensure high quality maintenance of the Victoria-class submarines can continue until 2023.

A significant proportion of the required maintenance, repairs, and overhaul under VISSC is based on the submarine condition. As a result, every Extended Docking Work Periods will differ in scope and in cost. At this point in the submarine service life, an EDWP cost between $250-300 million.

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