The project was to build five ships, each at $400 million, and only proceed with a sixth if Irving could find savings within the existing budget. That didn’t happen
Building a sixth Arctic patrol ship to add to the five originally commissioned from Irving Shipbuilding for the Royal Canadian Navy will cost taxpayers $800 million — double the price-tag of each of the other vessels. The Liberal government announced the construction of the sixth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, or AOPS, last week after a push by Irving and its employees for additional work. The construction of the sixth vessel shows the government’s commitment “to maximizing stable employment” for Irving while providing equipment to the navy, Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, said in a statement. Each Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, or AOPS, costs $400 million. But the decision to build another such vessel comes with additional costs since the federal government is stretching out construction of that ship and a number of others to allow Irving employees to retain their jobs until a new fleet of larger warships, called Canadian Surface Combatants, is ready for construction.