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Irving says problems with Hero-class vessels are ‘minor’

The Hero-class mid-shore patrol vessels delivered by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. to the Canadian Coast Guard had only “minor and routine” problems, the company said in a statement.

The Halifax-based firm was reacting to media reports released last week indicating that nine 43-metre patrol ships it provided the coast guard as part of a $227 million contract were faulty. The report from the CBC, said warranty claims by the coast guard included: faulty wiring, polluted water tanks, premature corrosion and gearbox failure. The CBC also said the ships could not handle ice build-up and that the vessels could capsize if the ice not removed.

Some three years ago, the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) brought before the coast guard its concerns about the Hero-class vessels built by Irving.

The UCTE said the ships were not sufficiently up to safety standards and that there were problems that were not mitigated at the time the vessels were designed and built.



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“The ships are sophisticated, complex, state-of-the-art vessels with over 13,000 components,” Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding said in a statement. “A 12-month warranty was provided to correct any issues. Only minor and routine items have been raised and we have worked with the Coast Guard to promptly address all the warranty issues.”

McCoy said there are more than 350,000 metres of cabling onboard the nine ships. Of this, less than 500 metres from five sections of the cable, required replacement.

On the vessel icing issue, Irving said the Hero-class “are not designed or meant for operations in heavy ice.”

“Perhaps the ultimate proof of the safety and reliability of the ships is the successful transit of two ships from Halifax to Victoria, B.C. o the winter of 2015 – a 13,000 kilometre voyage,” said McCoy. This was stressing for the 43-metre ships and their crews and a testament to the training, high standards, and professionalism of the Coast Guard crew and the shipbuilders at Irving Shipbuilding.”

Author: Nestor Arellano

Nestor Arellano is editor of Vanguard Magazine. Nestor is a seasoned journalist who has written extensively on defence and military industry issues as well as technology and business developments. He is also associate editor of Vanguard's sister publication, IT in Canada.

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1 Comment

  1. The is no ice in the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and up the West Coast of the US so of course there were no ice issues. If this is their standard what can the RCN expect.

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