Canada: Victoria Shipyards Successfully Completes Two Full Refits Under HMC FELEX Program

HMC FELEX is an ambitious Canadian Navy program to modernize twelve Canadian Patrol Frigates. Victoria Shipyard’s portion of the program is actually two major contracts, which take place simultaneously; the HMC, FELEX contract with Canada and the Combat System Integration (CSI) Subcontract with Lockheed Martin.

Victoria Shipyards is the main contractor for the mid-life maintenance and upgrade work on the five West Coast navy frigates, and is a major subcontractor for Lockheed Martin’s modernization of the ship’s combat systems.

Details of the Program

The successfully completed first phase of the FELEX program saw three frigates engaged in a docking work period to maintain and extend the life of the equipment prior to their full refits. Phase 2 of the program started in June 2011 and involves the execution of standard ship maintenance repair, as well as work scope to upgrade and/or sustain the technology required for the Platform and Combat Systems on each of five frigates. The final refit is scheduled for completion by March 2016. The FELEX program consists of a multi stage process. It begins with a pre mid-life refit period where Victoria Shipyards works closely with our strategic partner, Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) located at CFB Esquimalt Dockyard. During the next phase, the vessel is located at the shipyard for approximately twelve months to perform work for Canada and Lockheed Martin. The following six months will see the vessel move back to CFB Esquimalt where Lockheed Martin will complete the commissioning and trials for the comb at systems. In the final twelve months, the Canadian Navy will undergo sea trials and training.

From 2011 to 2016, Victoria Shipyard’s Program and Project offices will be managing naval ship repair with an average manpower level of 300 trades and 30 staff positions, each becoming very familiar with Canadian Navy Combat Ships and the Canadian Government procurement structure.

After the completion of all five refits a possible third phase of the program will see the frigates to receive continued maintenance and upgrades to ensure the longevity of the vessels.

Not Just Frigates

Throughout the duration of the FELEX program, the Navy’s West Coast Supply Ship, HMCS Protecteur, and the Command and Control Ship, HMCS Algonquin, will also undergo regularly scheduled refits at Victoria Shipyards. In addition to fourteen prior refits on frigate ships, Victoria Shipyards has also successfully completed two full refits on the HMCS Algonquin and two on the HMCS Protecteur. A third refit to be completed by Victoria Shipyards for the HMCS Protecteur will commence in February 2012.

Source: seaspan, July 25, 2011

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