Last Thursday in Halifax, the federal government announced the authorization of two new tasks for the construction of the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS).

As part of the $288 million definition contract awarded to Irving Shipbuilding last March, the government laid out a seven-part work package intended to ensure complete designs and requirements are meet before the shipyard cuts steel in 2015.

The two tasks are the Engineering Design Phase 2 and the Project Implementation Proposal Development.

The former is the second of three design tasks in the definition contract that will mature the AOPS design, and involves work on 3-D modelling, which will ultimately be a key component of the design package from which the ships will be built.

The latter involves preparation of a fully developed build plan, including all activities related to material procurement and construction.

The two tasks are value at $53.5 million.

The government also confirmed that the first two phases of the definition contract were completed on time and on budget.