A $35 million contract was awarded to Zodiac Hurricane Technologies of Delta, B.C. for 30 new multi-role boats for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The announcement that was made on June 3 states that the “new boats will replace the rigid hull inflatable boats currently used on the RCN’s fleet of Halifax-class frigates with a more modern and operationally flexible design.”

The new multi-role boats will be about nine metres in length with a seating capacity of 12. They will also be outfitted with increased speed, dual-engine configuration, and electronic suite upgrades to communications, navigation, and sensors.   

“Ensuring our sailors are well equipped to carry out their work is critical for maintaining the success of Royal Canadian Navy operations at home, and abroad,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence. “These new multi-role boats represent an important investment in our Navy and the women and men who serve Canada. By investing in our local communities, we help to create well-paying middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

Multi-role boats are used by the RCN for search and rescue, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and marine interdiction operations and other tasks at sea. These boats will also provide other support to the Canadian Armed Forces including improved dive support, cargo, and personnel transfers.

“The multi-role boat enhances the capabilities of our sailors and strengthens the RCN,” said VAdm Art McDonald, Commander of the RCN. “From boarding parties involved in maritime interdiction operations, to search and rescue, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions, these new boats will increase our capacity to carry out a range of critical naval tasks. I am very excited for this addition to the fleet, which will ensure our Navy remains Ready to Help, Ready to Lead, Ready to Fight.”

Two multi-role boats will be on each Halifax-class frigate, while four boats will be used for training and two boats will be used as spares. 

The 30 new boats are expected to be delivered to the RCN by spring 2024.   

Image: Zodiac Hurricane Technologies.