NOTE: there is NO construction contract in place and this event was virtue signaling. This is the governmental release, edited for readability.

On June 28th, the Minister of National Defence, joined by Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Dirk Lesko, President of Irving Shipbuilding Inc., celebrated the start of construction activities for Canada’s new fleet of Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC).

The Minister and Topshee also announced that the new fleet of warships will be known as River-class destroyers, and the first three ships will be named His Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Fraser, Saint-Laurent, and Mackenzie.

Ship names are chosen carefully, and they tell the story of the RCN. Not only are these three ships named after Canada’s most important waterways that reach the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans, they are also a tribute to previous Canadian warships with the same names – ships that made heroic wartime contributions and represented cutting-edge technological innovation. The RCN intends to foster a sense of pride in our sailors by connecting these ships to Canada’s maritime heritage.

The CSC project is the largest and most complex shipbuilding initiative in Canada since the Second World War and represents a historic investment into the recapitalization of the RCN’s surface fleet. This project will equip the RCN with new, state-of-the-art warships to bolster Canada’s naval capabilities at home, and abroad, for decades to come. The River-class will be Canada’s major component of maritime combat power, enabling us to continue to monitor and defend our own coastal waters, and contribute significantly to international naval operations alongside our Allies.

Today marked the start of construction on the production test module (PTM), through which the Government of Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. will be able to test and streamline processes, and implement lessons learned into the build process, to enable the start of full rate production in 2025. Delivery of the first River-class destroyer, HMCS Fraser, is expected in the early 2030s, with the final ship expected by 2050.

The CSC project will support sustainable growth in Canada’s marine supply chain. The build phase of CSC will create and/or maintain approximately 10,800 jobs annually throughout the 25-year construction period across the country. The design phase of the project will create and/or maintain approximately 5,000 Canadian jobs annually across the economy. In total, this project will generate at least $40 billion in cumulative Gross Domestic Product.

As indicated in our renewed vision for defence, Our North, Strong and Free, the Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Canada’s defence industry, based on clarity, certainty, and long-term partnership. The CSC project is an excellent example of how the Government of Canada is investing in Canada’s domestic shipbuilding industry, while also equipping the RCN with a fleet of modern and effective ships to support operations well into the future.

The CSC is based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 warship design being built by the United Kingdom and Australia. The ships will have enhanced underwater sensors, state-of-the-art radar, and modern weapons.

The official NATO Ship Designator for the River-class warship will be DDGH – a destroyer (DD), guided (G) missile, helicopter (H) capable. As the RCN’s next generation combat ship, it replaces both the Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax-class frigates. As a powerful and multi-functional ship, the River-class warship is by definition a destroyer: a fast, manoeuvrable, anti-aircraft and anti-submarine long-endurance warship, which can escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy, or carrier battle group and defend them against a wide range of general threats.

By Editor