JSS Seaspan 02

Supply Ships Galore!?

Procrustes, 26 November 2020.

Through Access To Information (ATI) documents, the Canadian Press reports that the Canadian Navy has planned for some time to rely upon Chantier-Davies’ converted civilian container ship MV Asterix even after Seaspan builds its two Joint Support Ships (JSS). [1]

The original plan was for three new navy support ships, but cost overruns and a later cancellation in 2008 led to the project being restarted under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), but reduced to only two ships.

The ATI documents indicate that the navy considered relying on Asterix in order to prevent a ‘capability gap’ in the event that either of Seaspan’s two JSS were to be sidelined owing to maintenance or other repairs.

This report comes in the wake of the recent Parliamentary Budget Officer report which projected that Ottawa could purchase both Asterix and also a follow-on converted container ship for far less money that the projected $4.1 billion for the two Seaspan JSS. [2]

Stay tuned for more developments in Canada’s seemingly endless supply ship saga!


  1. See, Lee Berthiaume, “Two supply ships alone not enough to ensure navy fleets: documents”, Canadian Press, (25 November 2020). [Accessed at: https://www.thestar.com/politics/2020/11/25/davie-ship-part-of-navys-long-term-plan-to-prevent-capability-gap-documents.html?rf ];
  2. Parliamentary Budget Officer, The Joint Support Ship Program and the MV Asterix: A Fiscal Analysis, 17 November 2020. [Accessed at: https://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/en/blog/news/RP-2021-029-C--joint-support-ship-program-mv-asterix-fiscal-analysis--programme-navires-soutien-interarmees-nm-asterix-analyse-financiere ].


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