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Canada Orders 6 New Training Ships (Nov. 9)

VICTORIA --- The Government of Canada has awarded a $69.7 million contract to Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. for the construction of six training vessels to be used for basic naval training. These vessels, to be designated the ORCA class training vessels will replace the Yard Auxiliary General (YAG) training vessels.

“The ORCA class training vessel will perform a vital role in the training and development of junior naval officers,” said the Defence Minister Bill Graham. “ This project represents a significant investment by the Government of Canada in our domestic shipbuilding industry and is a clear recognition of its value and importance to Canadians. “

“Naval Training activity has been a continuous presence in coastal waters of British Columbia for over fifty years,” said Keith Martin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence. “British Columbia waters have been the training grounds for most of Canada’s Navy. These new vessels will continue this tradition of excellence as well as providing important economic benefits to a number of coastal communities and I congratulate Victoria Shipyards on being awarded this contract.”

“The ORCA class, combined with our cutting-edge simulators, will put Canada’s Navy at the vanguard of modern naval training,” said Vice-Admiral Bruce MacLean, Chief of the Maritime Staff. “While their primary role will be in training junior officers, the new, more robust ORCA class will also provide coastal maritime surveillance and a limited Search and Rescue capability.”

The 33-metre vessels are capable of speeds of nearly 20 knots, and have an endurance of 750 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots. The vessels will be built in Canada to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Code of Safety for special purpose ships, and will meet all the statutory regulations and requirements of the Canada Shipping Act.

Delivery of the first ship is expected in mid-2006, with the sixth and final vessel slated to be delivered in late 2008. The government also holds an option to purchase an additional two vessels.

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Government of Canada Acquires Six New Training Vessels for the Navy