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National Shipbuilding Strategy

Seaspan Shipyards is proud to be Canada’s long-term, strategic shipbuilding partner for building the large non-combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

Through the NSS, the Government of Canada has embarked on one of the largest procurement projects since the Second World War. The NSS is a nation-building effort to create a sustainable Canadian shipbuilding industry, secure long-term job opportunities and build the next generation of ships for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. Through its NSS–related work, Seaspan Shipyards is leading the redevelopment of our domestic shipbuilding industry on the West Coast and delivering on the promise of ships built in Canada, by Canadians. As a result of its NSS-related activities, Seaspan Shipyards contributed $2.6 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product between 2012-2021.

Learn more about the vessels being constructed by Seaspan Shipyards under the NSS:

Building an Industry

Joint Support Ships

The Joint Support Ships currently being constructed for the Royal Canadian Navy will be purpose-built, multi-role vessels that will provide an important auxiliary function to the Royal Canadian Navy. One of the most important aspects of these vessels is their ability to replenish naval task groups with marine fuel and other provisions while at sea. This allows the Royal Canadian Navy to operate away from port for longer periods of time. In addition to replenishment at sea, the vessels will support training and naval manoeuvres and humanitarian operations, ensuring Canada’s continued safety and security at home and abroad.

See Joint Support Ships

Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel

With its extensive sensor suite and permanent and portable labs, the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) will serve with the Canadian Coast Guard and will be the primary oceanographic science platform for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The OOSV is outfitted for marine surveys and scientific research on ocean currents and the seabed. Equipped with the latest scientific research apparatus, the OOSV will be able to meet its crucial mission to increase our overall understanding of the impact that climate change has on the oceans.

See Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel

Multi-Purpose Vessels

The multi-purpose vessels will enable the Canadian Coast Guard to carry out multiple missions, including:

  • Icebreaking in moderate ice conditions and assisting in shipping and spring time flood control in the St. Lawrence waterway and Great Lakes region
  • Search and rescue, emergency response, and security and protection missions
  • Maintaining Canada’s marine navigation system composed of approximately 17,000 aids to navigation

See Multi-Purpose Vessels

Polar Icebreaker

As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy,  Seaspan Shipyards will design and build a Polar Icebreaker, the flagship of the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaking fleet. Canada’s Polar Icebreaker will be 150 metres long and 28 metres wide, and able to accommodate up to 100 personnel. It will be able to operate farther north, in more difficult ice conditions and for longer periods than any icebreaker Canada has.

See Polar Icebreaker

Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels

Seaspan Shipyards has built three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard. These vessels will be the primary offshore fisheries science platforms for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and will be equipped to carry out science research missions. These research missions will serve an important role in monitoring the health of fish stocks, understanding the impacts of climate change, and supporting research that allows us to better understand our oceans.

See Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels

Halifax-class Modernization/Frigate Life Extension

Victoria Shipyards carried out the industrial portion of upgrades to two New Zealand Navy ANZAC-class frigates, HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana, in partnership with prime contractor Lockheed Martin Canada.

Work on these two New Zealand frigates represent the first time that foreign warships have undergone a modernization project in Canada since the Second World War.


Victoria Shipyards is the prime subcontractor to Babcock Canada, providing long-term maintenance and technical support to the Canadian Navy’s Victoria-class submarines and building Canada’s centre of excellence for submarine repair and maintenance.

Submarines represent some of the most technically complex platforms, with precise integration of equipment and systems in a confined space to carry out their missions in harsh, deep-sea environments. Since 2008, Victoria Shipyards has been a trusted partner, sought after for its highly skilled workforce and facilities that deliver precise support and maintenance needed to maintain and modernize these important vessels for Canada.

Together with Babcock Canada, Victoria Shipyards provides project planning, estimating and execution of comprehensive, multi-year refits – the third line of maintenance known as Extended Docking Work Periods (EDWPs) – as well as shorter, first- and second-level maintenance work periods.

Victoria Shipyards has applied its expertise to maintenance on three of four Canadian submarines – the HMCS Chicoutimi, HMCS Victoria and HMCS Corner Brook.