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Rising to the Challenge

When a car needs maintenance, you take it to the garage. To which garage is an important decision not to be taken lightly as our car is something we rely on daily. Now instead of a car, what if this vehicle was the Navy’s most complex technology, routinely operating in the world’s most harsh environments with the protection of a large crew and the protection of a country dependent on its reliable performance?In 1998, the Royal Canadian Navy acquired four used Victoria class submarines that arrived not only in less than ideal condition but also in need of extensive servicing to meet Canadian naval requirements. After an extensive review of many qualified candidates, the RCN entrusted Babcock Canada to complete the job successfully and Babcock Canada delivered.

The scope of the Victoria In-Service Submarine Contract (VISSC) included the provision for Project Management, Records and Logistics Support, Engineering Support and Maintenance Support.

Babcock Canada’s more than 380 naval in-service support (ISS) specialists are on duty across Canada located in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ottawa Ontario. These specialists are supported by the greater Babcock family of more than 34,000 specialists located across six continents.

Working in collaboration with partners, Babcock Canada leveraged their resources and the HMCS CHICOUTIMI, HMCS CORNER BROOK, HMCS WINDSOR and HMCS VICTORIA were all subsequently certified seaworthy and commissioned to meet the challenges and rigors of naval service.

Submarines are highly complex platforms. Skilled workers, innovative technology and technique are critical to keep them maintained. At stake are vital RCN operations, including a variety of mission critical roles such as:

  • Counter-terrorism operations
  • Special Operation Forces support
  • Support for RCMP anti-narcotics operations
  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans patrols
  • Interdiction operations

With more than 125 years of naval ISS experience, Babcock’s expertise is certainly not limited to submarines but includes a wide variety of ship classifications. Specifically in Canada, this includes maintaining another critical tool of Canada’s defence, the Canadian Coast Guard Ice-Breakers.

Trusted to Deliver

In 2014, Babcock Canada was given responsibility for a critical refit of the Canadian Coast Guard’s largest and most capable ice-breaker, the CCGS Louis St-Laurent. The vessel is a highly adaptable multi-tasked ship with capacities for icebreaking in the Arctic, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic coast. The Canadian economy relies on these heavily used transportation corridors remaining open and protected.

The extensive service on the ice-breaker included inspecting and repairing hulls, valves, onboard equipment and much more. The team completed all of the anticipated work plus an additional 30% of unscheduled work arising from inspection.

This critical  work enabled the vessel’s deployment to the Arctic where it conducted vital mapping of Canada’s continental shelf.

Following the successful completion of the CCGS Louis St-Laurent refit, Babcock Canada was awarded the contract for Phase 1 of the planned vessel life extension of the CCGS Des Groseilliers. The 6000-tonne, 98-metre, icebreaker, had significant servicing on its generator, main engine block and the propulsion control system. These repairs are helping ensure the vessel is able to serve Canada for the next 10 years providing icebreaking services, search and rescue support, and aids to navigation services in the Arctic and on the St. Lawrence River.

When a wide variety of naval ISS services are required for a variety of submarine and surface vessels, Babcock Canada is trusted to deliver.