Davie Shipbuilding unveils largest naval ship ever delivered from Canadian shipyard

Surrounding the Lt. Gov. of Québec, J. Michel Doyon, and his wife and sponsor of the Asterix, Pauline Théberge, are Rear-Adm. Gilles Couturier, Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; Member of Parliament Steven Blaney; and Spencer Fraser, CEO of Federal Fleet Services; Alex Vicefield, Chairman of Davie; Gilles Lehouillier, Mayor of Lévis; Member of Parliament, Jean Rioux; Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Vice-Adm. Ron Lloyd, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy. (CNW Group/Davie Shipbuilding)

Canada’s largest and most experienced shipbuilder unveiled the Asterix, the first large naval ship to be built in Canada in over 20 years. Davie’s 1,369 staff, together with over 900 Canadian suppliers, spent just under two years delivering the Resolve Class naval support ship, which will enter into service with the Royal Canadian Navy by the end of this year as initially planned.

“Today is a demonstration of human endeavor and a celebration of what our team has achieved in such a short time frame,” said Alex Vicefield, Chairman, Davie. “With the entry into service of this first-in-class ship, we will be halfway there to fully restoring Canada’s support-ship capability. The delivery of this ship will restore Canada’s ability to form a naval task group. What a great way to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.”

The Resolve Class naval support ship will be the largest naval platform in service with the Royal Canadian Navy for the foreseeable future and will provide a wide range of functions—from at-sea replenishment of fuels and cargo to aviation support, fleet medical support and humanitarian and disaster relief.

Three levels of innovation allowed the delivery of a most-needed ship in a timely manner and with the best value for Canadian taxpayers. Firstly, instead of building a new ship, a modern container ship has been converted into a state-of-the-art naval support ship. Secondly, the ship has been privately financed by Davie and will be leased to Canada—that means a fixed, transparent cost to the Canadian taxpayer. Thirdly, Federal Fleet Services, Davie’s sister company, will operate the ship with a mixed crew of merchant seafarers and Royal Canadian Navy personnel.

The July 20 unveiling of the ship—which also underlines Canada’s 150th anniversary—included employee appreciation for the Chantier Davie Canada Team, as well as a Family Day, a blessing for the ship by the Huron-Wendat Nation and VIP tours onboard.

The traditional breaking of the sacrificial champagne bottle on the bow by the sponsor of the ship, in order to bless the ship and her crew, was performed by Her Honor Mrs. Pauline Théberge, spouse of His Honor, the Honorable J. Michel Doyon, the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.

Maritime Editorial