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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Navy: Further Delays expected for Joint Support Ships

On a day when Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced that the government has entered into talks with the Quebec Shipyard about converting a civilian supply-ship for the navy as a stop gap - the Navy has come out and announced that they believe more delays are coming for the Joint Supply Ship (JSS) fleet.

Originally supposed to be built and be in the water by 2012, the JSS's current timeline is to being construction by 2017, and be fully operational by 2021. The Navy currently believes the Vancouver Shipyard will not be ready to begin construction by 2017, due to the fact that they are currently building the government's Fisheries Science and Oceanographic Vessels.

On top of the possibility that construction will not begin on time - a review of the budget has found that the JSS project might not even be affordable. There is a concern that with the lack of ship building in Canada over the past two decades, thaat the Vancouver Shipyard will not be able to hire the qualified staff it will require for the JSS. Also there are questions about the $2.6 billion put aside for the project (another $1.9 billion has been set aside for in-service support). Some critics question whether enough money has been put aside.

The Royal Canadian Navy is planing a third party review of the costs - and will make minor changes to its plans if the costs continue to rise - but says it requires the capabilities of the JSS. The Royal Canadian Navy selected the Germany Navy's Berlin-Class design for the ships - so changes will all depend on what those designs allow.

A Germany Navy Berlin-Class Replenishment Ship