Military Wiki
Class overview
Operators: Royal Canadian Navy
Preceded by: Protecteur-class
Cost: $2.6 billion (funding available)
In service: 2017 (planned)
Planned: 2 (Option on a third)
General characteristics
Type: AOR, sealift, command
Displacement: 28,000 tonnes (notional)
Length: 200 m (660 ft)
Beam: 9.5 m (31 ft)
Ice class: PC5
Installed power: Two diesel engines
Propulsion: Single shaft
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) (sustained)
Range: 10,800 nautical miles (20,000 km; 12,400 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
2 × LCVP [1]
Capacity: Ship fuel: 7,000–10,000 tonnes
JP-5: 650–1,300 tonnes
Ammunition: 1,100 tonnes
Troops: 210
Complement: 216-249
Crew: 241
Armament: 2 × 20 mm Close-in weapon system
6 × .50 calibre machine guns
Aircraft carried: 4-6 × CH-148 Cyclone
Aviation facilities: Covered hangar

The Joint Support Ship Project is a Government of Canada procurement project for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) that is part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. It will see the RCN acquire 2-3 multi-role vessels to replace the 2 Protecteur class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessels currently operated by the RCN. [2]

The project has suffered from considerable delays. Originally announced in 2004, a contract for the construction of these ships was to have been signed in 2009 which would have seen the first vessel available for operational service in 2012. In 2010 the federal government grouped the Joint Support Ship Project under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy which was finalized in October 2011. Currently the federal government is in contract negotiations with the winning proponent Seaspan Marine Corporation for building the Joint Support Ship Project and several other non-combat ship procurements for the RCN and the Canadian Coast Guard.

On June 2, 2013, it was announced that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Canada's Berlin Class AOR was selected as the design for the Joint Support Ship Project.[3]


The Joint Support Ship Project consists of 2-3 multi-role vessels that will replace the underway replenishment capability of the Protecteur class auxiliary vessel, as well as provide basic sealift for the Canadian Army, support to forces ashore, and command facilities for a Canadian Forces "joint force" or "naval task group".[4]

The Joint Support Ship Project should not be confused with the Amphibious Assault Ship Project which is another separate procurement project also under consideration by the Royal Canadian Navy; planning for the Amphibious Assault Ship Project is at a much earlier stage.

Proposed ship capabilities

The Joint Support Ship Project envisions several multi-role vessels capable of supporting the Royal Canadian Navy's warships at sea, as well as providing strategic sealift and some airlift for naval task groups or army operations. The vessels will have a multi-purpose covered deck with the ability to carry up to 10,000 tonnes of ship fuel, 1,300 tonnes of aviation fuel, 1,100 tonnes of ammunition as well as 1,000 - 1,500 lane metres of deck space for carrying vehicles and containerized cargo. The vessels will also have hospital facilities as well as a large helicopter deck with two landing spots, hangar space for 4 helicopters, and a roll-on/roll-off deck for vehicles onto a dock.[5]

Ship particulars
  • Crew size 30% to 50% less than current AORs
  • Self defence active & passive
  • Damaged Stability Enhanced Two Compartment
  • Deck space (inc. upper deck) 1,000 - 1,500 lane metres
  • Container system
  • 4 × CH-148 Cyclone
  • enclosed hangar with maintenance and repair facilities

Note: Vessels will be designed with double or triple-hull for storage of petroleum products, unlike the current Protecteur class single-hull vessels.

Joint headquarters support
  • Naval communications
  • Land communications
  • Air communications

Project timeline

  • In 2004 the federal government announced that it was commencing the Joint Support Ship Project. Originally, there were four syndicates vying for the contract, led by Irving Shipbuilding, BAE Systems, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Canada, and SNC-Lavalin ProFac.
  • Two design finalists were selected in November 2006: ThyssenKrupp and SNC-Lavalin ProFac. Under the two remaining proposals, the ships will be built in either Marystown, Newfoundland or Victoria, British Columbia, respectively. A contract for final design and construction was expected in 2008, with the first ship of the class entering service in 2012.
  • In January 2007, Canadian media reported that defence planners were considering the retirement of the existing Protecteur class ships by 2010, prior to the delivery of the first replacement vessels in 2012. This news was met with criticism as it would leave the RCN without an underway replenishment capability for two years.[6]
  • On August 22, 2008 the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Christian Paradis announced the termination of two procurement processes involving the shipbuilding industry.
  • In December 2008 RCN officers and defence analysts had been hoping that January's federal budget would have contained up to $500 million in extra funding for the Joint Support Ship Project so that it could be completed. In the same month Defence Minister Peter MacKay suggested that the budget stimulus package would deal with the RCN's shipbuilding needs. However, there was no extra money for the Joint Support Ship Project and the stimulus package did not address the RCN's vessel procurement programs. Vice-Admiral Denis Rouleau, spoke to the Standing Committee on National Defence in the House of Commons and indicated that the Department of National Defence would know by summer 2009 how it would move ahead with the Joint Support Ship Project.[7]
  • In June 2009 officials with the Joint Support Ship Project began re-evaluating the type of ship they wished to purchase since the original concept could not be met with the money the government was willing to provide. One option would be to start from scratch and purchase a different type of ship altogether.[8]
  • In September 2009, the Joint Support Ship Project received a new design. Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Chief of the Maritime Staff, said that he was ready to submit design and cost estimates to the government and to the Minister of National Defence.[9]
  • In June 2010 the Government of Canada announced that the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy would see $35 billion spent over the next 30 years to purchase 28 new large ships and 116 small vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard. The NSPS was headed by the government's procurement arm, the Department of Public Works and Government Services, with support from Department of Industry, as well as the 2 departments responsible for the RCN and CCG, the Department of National Defence and Department of Fisheries and Oceans respectively.
  • In July 2010, Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced that under the NSPS the federal government would initially purchase two joint support ships (at a cost of $2.6 billion) with options for a third.[10][11]
  • On October 11, 2010 the Government of Canada announced that five shipbuilding companies were "being invited to participate in a request for proposals" for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
  • On October 19, 2011, the Government of Canada announced the results of the competitive evaluation of bids in the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy which saw the $8 billion non-combat ship package, including the Joint Support Ship Project, awarded to Seaspan Marine Corporation in Vancouver, British Columbia.[12]
  • On June 2, 2013, the Government of Canada announced that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Canada's Berlin Class AOR was selected as the design for the Joint Support Ship.
  • On 25 Oct 2013 the Government of Canada announced that the two ships will be named Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Queenston and HMCS Chateauguay in recognition of the significant battles of Queenston Heights and Chateauguay during the War of 1812.[13]

See also


  1. Joint Support Ship Capacity
  2. Future Canadian Amphibious Assault Ship and Joint Support Ship
  3. Backgrounder: Joint Support Ship Design Decision
  4. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Canada to build 2 Joint Support Ships". Retrieved 2010-07-14.[dead link]
  5. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Canada's C$ 2.9B "Joint Support Ship" Project, Take 2". Retrieved 2010-07-14.
  6. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>""Naval plan 'hare-brained'," The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 2 Feb 07". Retrieved February 2, 2007.[dead link]
  7. Joint Support Ship
  9. Ships still on drawing board
  11. Tutton, Michael (July 14, 2010). "Navy to buy two new support ships for $2.6 billion". The Star. Toronto. 
  13. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Pugliese, David (October 25, 2013). "Joint Support Ships To Be Named HMCS Queenston and HMCS Chateauguay". Ottowa Citizen. Ottowa, Toronto. Retrieved 2013-10-25.

External links

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