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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Project Resolve: RCN will have option to purchase iAOR

The Asterix is now in the Levis, Quebec shipyard, and has started its 17-month long conversion from a 1,700 TEU Boxship into an Auxiliary Oil Replenishment (AOR) vessel which will be leased to the Royal Canadian Navy from 2017-2021.

While an official contract between the Federal Government and Davie Shipbuilding has yet to be signed. Currently the Government is in Caretaker Mode after the Election; which will last until at least November 4, 2015; and therefore cannot officially proceed. Davie announced earlier this week that the Asterix (currentley being labled by some as the Resolve-Class) interim AOR (iAOR) will be made available to the RCN until both Queenston-Class AORs are operational; which is currently estimated at some point in 2021.

Following the five year lease to the RCN, Davie announced that it will the offer to sell the vessel to the Navy. Davie also offered to convert a second Boxship into an iAOR for the Navy, and have it operational by late 2018, according to the Navy - they are not interested in a second iAOR (despite the 50% reduced cost associated with the iAORs compared to the AORs)

For now, we wait until the new Government is formed. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister-Elect will announce his cabinet on November 4, 2015 - and from there everything could change. Perhaps the Navy will consider a second iAOR, and save on leasing a Spanish or Chilean AOR during the 2017 calendar year. Currently a Spanish AOR will serve on the East Coast at some point in 2016 with the RCN.