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Canada Begins Frigate Upgrade Work

HALIFAX, N. S. –-- Today, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced that refit and modernization of HMCS Halifax has begun under the Halifax-Class Modernization (HCM)/Frigate Life Extension (FELEX) project. HMCS Halifax is the first frigate to undergo modernization and refit through the HCM/FELEX project.

“This Government is giving the Navy the robust and modern equipment they need to do what is asked of them,” said Minister MacKay. “Canada’s Halifax-Class frigates form the backbone of the Canadian Navy and I find it fitting that this modernization work to extend the life of these ships, is announced during the Navy’s Centennial year.”

The Department of National Defence’s C$549 million contract with Halifax Shipyards Inc. for the HCM/FELEX project represents work for approximately 250 people in the maritime industry in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The modernization of Canada’s fleet of 12 Halifax-Class frigates includes a new command and control system, new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system and upgraded communications and missiles. Under the HCM/FELEX project the frigates will also undergo a mid-life refit to ensure they remain effective to the projected end of their service life. The HCM/FELEX project represents the Government of Canada’s commitment to the Equipment pillar of the Canada First Defence Strategy.

In April 2008, the Government of Canada awarded contracts for the multi-ship refit on Canada’s east and west coasts: to Victoria Shipyards in British Columbia and to Halifax Shipyards in Nova Scotia. The first of the west coast frigates is scheduled to enter modernization and refit at Victoria Shipyards in mid-2011. (ends)
Work Begins on the Halifax-Class Frigates