Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC)


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Canada defends more coastline than any other country, as it is bounded by three oceans. Canada protects its maritime approaches from smuggling, trafficking and pollution, and also provides life-saving search and rescue as well as opportunities for scientific research. The fleets also act internationally to meet our commitments and protect our interests.

In June 2010, the Government of Canada announced the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Through this strategy, Canada will replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard, which are reaching the end of their operational lives. First in line will be the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) for the Royal Canadian Navy in the combat package. These will be followed by the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC). The Joint Support Ships (JSS) will be built for the Royal Canadian Navy under the non-combat work package.

The CSC project will renew the Royal Canadian Navy surface combat fleet by replacing the capabilities provided by the destroyers (Iroquois-class) and the multi-role patrol frigates (Halifax-class). The CSC project is the largest and most complex shipbuilding initiative in Canada since World War II.

These new ships will ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces can continue to monitor and defend Canadian waters and make significant contributions to international naval operations.

Recognizing the complexity of the CSC project, the Government is taking a measured approach to project definition. First, extensive industry consultation will take place toward setting the course for the subsequent phases of the project. Canada will then work with industry to determine the optimal ship design, costs, and timelines.

Additional Information



On January 12, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Government of Canada has reached agreements with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. This charts the course for construction of Canada’s combat and non-combat surface fleets under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

The strategic sourcing arrangements, called umbrella agreements, with each of the selected shipyards have been signed. Individual ship construction contracts will now be negotiated with the respective shipyards.

Project Details

Project Details

The CSC project’s objective is to recapitalize the Royal Canadian Navy’s surface combatant fleet by replacing the various warfare capabilities currently residing in the Iroquois-class destroyers and Halifax-class frigates, and providing the necessary integrated logistics support and infrastructure.

The CSC project will recapitalize the Royal Canadian Navy's surface combatant fleet by replacing and updating the capabilities found in both the Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax-class frigates. This project will deliver ships capable of meeting multiple threats in both the open ocean and the highly complex coastal environment. These ships will optimize commonality of systems and design and will ensure that Canada can continue to monitor and defend its waters and make significant contributions to international naval operations. In addition to the ships, the project will also deliver the necessary ammunition, infrastructure upgrades, initial training and integrated logistic support. The ships will also house and operate the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter and will be capable of operations with other Government Departments and with allied navies.

The current fleet of destroyers and frigates are versatile warships that have served Canada extremely well. The Iroquois-class destroyers entered Royal Canadian Naval service in 1972-73. They were extensively re-fitted in the early 1990s and received new systems allowing them to exercise enhanced Area Air Defence and Task Group Command and Control functions. The Halifax-class frigates entered service between 1992 and 1996 and are currently receiving a mid-life refit as part of the Halifax-class Modernization and Frigate Life Extension (HCM / FELEX) project. The HCM / FELEX project will provide the equipment upgrades needed to ensure the continued operation of the Halifax-class for the remaining duration of its life and its relevance in the expected operational environment.

National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy

On October 19, 2011, the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy Secretariat announced the results of a Request for Proposals to build large vessels for Canada. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. has been selected to build the combat vessel work package. The combat package includes the Royal Canadian Navy’s CSC ships.

Technical Information

Information for Industry

Any questions and/or comments, along with requests for meetings with Government of Canada representatives, must be directed to the project mailbox:

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