Canadian government reports CA$780 million increase in project cost of new naval patrol ships

Canadian government reports CA$780 million increase in project cost of new naval patrol ships

The future HMCS Max Bernays, a Royal Canadian Navy Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, being launched into the water, October 23, 2021 (Photo: Irving Shipbuilding)

The Canadian federal government has confirmed that the cost of the acquisition of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) increased by CA$780 million (US$582 million) in 2022.

The government said the increase in the AOPS’ total project cost to CA$4.98 billion (US$3.71 billion) during the previous year was due to various factors including reduced labour availability, increases in the costs of transportation and spare parts, and higher incurred costs associated with Covid-19 prevention measures such as screening and disinfection.

Conservative MP Kelly McCauley, chairperson of the House of Commons committee on government operations and estimates, criticised the spending on the AOPS project as “out of control” and that the project itself lacked oversight, local media outlet Ottawa Citizen reports.

Mr McCauley added taxpayers are being compelled to spend more on “ships riddled with problems.”

The Harry DeWolf-class ships, which were all built by Irving Shipbuilding of Nova Scotia, have themselves come under scrutiny due to issues that are preventing the vessels from conducting operational sailings.

Class lead ship HMCS Harry DeWolf will be out of service until April of this year as two of its four generators are undergoing repairs after these broke down while the ship was underway in August. Meanwhile, a separate investigation conducted in December, as confirmed by Department of National Defence officials, found that the potable water systems on the first five AOPS also include valves and fittings made from alloys whose lead content exceeds allowable levels, raising the risk of contamination among crews.

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