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Victoria In-Service Support Contract

In 2005 Canada was faced with significant problems providing in-service support for its Victoria Class submarine fleet and issued a tender for the Victoria In-Service Submarine Contract (VISSC).

The scope of the VISSC included:

  • Project management
  • Records and logistics support
  • Engineering support
  • Maintenance support

As the UK leader for In-Service Submarine Support, Babcock teamed with Weir (Canada) to bid in Joint Venture (JV) for the contract and the JV was awarded the contract in July 2008.

The JV was re-branded in 2011 to Babcock Canada Inc, a division of the Babcock International Group of companies.

The contract required Babcock Canada to execute a start-up program that included setting up three new offices across Canada, establishing the financial and computer systems and ramping up to a planned delivery team of over 100 for the duration of the 15 year contract.

Babcock Canada established an initial core team of experienced Canadian project managers and engineers, the majority of whom were ex-naval officers. The core team was also augmented by a small group of secondees from Babcock’s parent company in the UK, which had direct experience of the processes and systems to support the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet.

This core team built the secure infrastructure needed by the new business and worked with the customer to tailor the processes that were used by SSMG in the UK to align with the new contract. The contract start-up review was successfully completed with the client in October 2008. As part of this review Babcock Canada had to meet contract requirements to deliver a suite of management plans covering all in-scope contract disciplines.

Following the initial start-up, Babcock Canada has continued to grow and has now established facilities in Victoria, British Columbia; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Ottawa, Ontario.

HMCS Chicoutimi

HMCS CHICOUTIMI, the first submarine to undergo an Extended Docking Work Period (EDWP) managed by Babcock, originally entered her EDWP in 2010 and was undocked in November 2013 at Victoria Shipyards in Esquimalt. The EDWP consisted of a collectionof planned maintenance repair specifications and engineering capability updates that required the submarine to be out of the water, allowing the vessel to be checked, re-validated and updated.

In December 2014, Babcock Canada handed over HMCS CHICOUTIMI back to the Royal Canadian Navy following the successful deep maintenance period.

This milestone marked the first of the Victoria-Class submarines to undergo a deep maintenance period managed by Babcock Canada through the Victoria In- Service Support Contract (VISSC), and the first Canadian naval vessel to have an EDWP conducted by the RCN’s industry partners.

Babcock is an ongoing success story and is providing the Royal Canadian Navy with the high quality of support services it was looking for when it initiated the VISSC process.

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Keith Cunnane
Keith Cunnane

Vice President, Marine

As a global marine professional, Keith Cunnane has built his expertise and experience in the marine defence sector. Keith served in the Royal Navy for over 21 years.