Canada awards destroyer disposal contract

Ontario-based Marine Recycling Corporation has landed a CAD$5.7 million contract for the disposal of former Royal Canadian Navy destroyer HMCS Athabaskan.

The Canadian government announced the contract on January 18, adding that it includes towing to the contractor’s facility located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, demilitarization of equipment, remediation of hazardous waste and recycling of any remaining materials.

Former Iroquois-class destroyer HMCS Athabaskan is currently docked at Canadian Forces Base Halifax, and is the last of the four destroyers inits class. These ships were a made-in-Canada solution to the defense and security challenges of the Cold War and post-Cold War era of the late 20th century.

The retirement of HMCS Athabaskan had been anticipated for some time. As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the process of renewing and modernizing fleets for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard over the next 30 years has begun, with construction of vessels on Canada’s east and west coasts underway.

The Iroquois-class destroyers will be replaced by up to 15 Canadian Surface Combatants. The delivery of the first vessel is expected in the mid-2020s.

The dismantling of HMCS Athabaskan is expected to be completed by July 2019.

“The former HMCS Athabaskan served Canadians and protected our waters with distinction for more than 44 years,” Canadian defense minister Harjit S. Sajjan commented. “I am grateful to all Royal Canadian Navy members and veterans who have served with honour and dignity aboard this ship throughout its long and storied history.”