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Construction begins for new Canadian River-class destroyers

Irving Shipbuilding started construction work on the Canadian Surface Combatant, shown here in a rendering. (Royal Canadian Navy)

Irving Shipbuilding started construction work on Canada's new fleet of Canadian Surface Combatants (CSCs), now named River-class Destroyers, on 28 June, Canadian National Defence and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) officials confirmed that day.

The first three ships will be named HMCS Fraser , Saint-Laurent , and Mackenzie , Canadian officials said in a statement.

The ships are named after Canada's most important waterways that reach the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans, and they are also a tribute to previous Canadian warships with the same names, the officials said.

Construction began on 28 June with start of manufacturing of the production test module (PTM), through which Canada and Irving Shipbuilding will be able to test and streamline processes and implement lessons learned into the build process, Canadian officials said.

Full-rate production is expected to start in 2025 and delivery of the first River-class destroyer, HMCS Fraser , is expected in the early 2030s, with the final ship expected by 2050, the officials said.

The CSC project is the largest and most complex shipbuilding initiative in Canada since the Second World War, the officials noted. The shipbuilding effort represents an investment into the recapitalisation of the RCN's surface fleet.

For more information on the RCN fleet equipment overhauls, please seeSpecial Report: Canadian armed services begin major equipment overhaul .

As noted in the report released by the Department of National Defence (DND) earlier this year, Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada's Defence , 15 of the new ships are expected to be delivered.

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