Contract awarded to begin design work for Land-Based Testing Facility in Nova Scotia

January 14, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Providing CAF members with the facilities and tools they need to support operations is one of our foremost priorities – we must deliver. This is why the Government of Canada is building a land-based testing facility (LBTF) on a portion of DND-owned land near Shearwater, Nova Scotia, to help bring 15 new Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC), that will be built for the Royal Canadian Navy, into service and support them throughout their lifespan.

This infrastructure will be critical in testing the new CSC ships’ combat systems and will ensure the new ships are sea-ready once delivered. As there are no existing facilities capable of supporting this type of testing for CSC in Canada, we are delivering this new, purpose-built testing facility to carry out this work as part of the CSC’s rigorous tests and trials program.

On September 30, we awarded a $485,000 contract to PCL Construction of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to begin project support and design work on the future LBTF. Work with the contractor to determine the building’s specifications will commence in 2022, and the design phase will run until 2023, when construction is expected to begin.

We expect this facility will be approximately 9000-m2 across several floors, and will accommodate 120 full-time staff, including members of the Royal Canadian Navy, DND employees, and contractors. Additional infrastructure will be required at CFB Halifax to support the CSC project; further details will be confirmed as the project progresses.

Canada is a maritime nation and has the longest coastline of any nation on earth. This new facility and the CSC ships will ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces continue protecting the sovereignty and security of Canadian waters, as well as making significant contributions to international naval operations on behalf of all Canadians. More than 10,000 Canadian jobs are estimated to be created or maintained throughout the 25-year construction period of the CSC ships, and we expect the LBTF project to sustain almost 350 jobs in the Halifax region during construction.

We are also committed to doing our part to leave a healthy environment for future generations of Canadians and to meet the targets set in the Greening Government Strategy. In all aspects of the CSC project, DND continues to explore opportunities to improve its environmental footprint. For example, using the LBTF for on-land systems testing will avoid greenhouse gas emissions from ships that would have occurred if testing were carried out at sea. The LBTF construction will also follow DND’s Green Building Directive which targets net-zero carbon emissions.

We will be holding a community engagement session in Dartmouth, NS, in winter 2022, focused on addressing any community concerns and providing an overview of the LBTF project. The session will be also be available remotely via Zoom. More details will be posted on the CSC webpage and via National Defence social media channels once available.

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