Royal Canadian Navy officially welcomed its newest vessel to the fleet during a ceremony at Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard in Halifax at March 6.
MV ASTERIX is a strategically enabling Naval Support Ship leased to the RCN that will provide the navy with fuels, cargo, ammunition, a floating hospital, a platform for two helicopters and quarters for humanitarian and rescue operations.
The Motor Vessel (MV) Asterix, a former civilian container ship, was extensively reconfigured by Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding to serve as an interim resupply vessel while the navy awaits construction of two military replacements.
Resupply vessels are considered critical for conducting naval operations around the world. Not only do they carry fuel and food supplies for naval task groups, but they also have medical and maintenance facilities on board.
CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA and Ultra, along with BAE and Lockheed Martin have teamed up to offer the Type 26 Frigate to Canada.
Although Lockheed Martin Canada is leading the team, the Type 26 is a British vessel that was designed by BAE Systems. The first of eight planned Type 26 frigates is currently under construction for the British Royal Navy and promises to be a capable vessel if Canada adopts it.
Speculation is mounting that Canada is seriously considering the Type 26 Frigate for its ‘Canadian Surface Combatant’ project.
Lockheed Martin, BAE and the host of Canadian, European and American firms have modified the basic Type 26 design for Canada’s requirements. Chief among the modifications is the addition of the indigenous Canadian-designed CMS 30 combat management system, which is currently installed onboard the upgraded Halifax-class frigates that are the mainstay of the Canadian fleet.
However, the Type 26 is not the sole competitor for the CSC program. Other bidders are submitting the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate design and the French/Italian FREMM design. But regardless of who ultimately wins the CSC design contest, the prime contractor to build the ships will be Irving Shipbuilding Inc