Canada completes $4.3 billion frigate life extension project

The crew of HMCS Toronto officially takes back the ship from Irving Shipbuilding. Photo: Irving Shipbuilding

Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto was the last ship in the class to finish her modernization refit thereby marking the completion of Canada’s Halifax-class modernization/frigate life extension (HCM/FELEX) project.

The $4.3 billion undertaking will allow the 12 Halifax-class frigates to serve the Canadian Navy until the early-to-mid-2030s.

HMCS Toronto was the seventh and final frigate on the east coast to complete the refit portion of its modernization by Irving Shipbuilding which means all 12 frigates, five on the West Coast and seven on the East Coast, are ready for service.

Seaspan Victoria Shipyards was responsible for modernization of the five west coast frigates HMCS Calgary, HMCS Winnipeg, HMCS Vancouver, HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Regina.

The FELEX project included both the modernization of the combat systems and a planned mid-life ship refit to ensure the frigates remain effective throughout their service life.

The frigates received a new combat management system procured from Lockheed Martin Canada, as well as new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system, and upgraded communications technologies and missiles. The modernized frigates also boast new systems that offer better damage control, as well as more modern electrical and machinery control.

“I could not be more pleased or proud of the extraordinary success that the Halifax-class modernization program represents. HMCS Toronto will soon join her sister ships on deployments around the world, proudly contributing to global defence and security on behalf of all Canadians,” Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, said. “Thanks to their newly upgraded, multipurpose capabilities, these ships will continue to ensure that Canada’s navy is always ready to respond when called upon to act by the Government of Canada.”

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