Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, announced yesterday during a keynote address to the Shipbuilding Technology Forum that the government has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the procurement of search and rescue lifeboats as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

The Canadian Coast Guard is seeking shore-based self-righting lifeboats capable of operations up to 100 nautical miles from shore to replace its Arun-type vessels, most of which are about 18 years old.

“This [RFP] is the first in a series of small vessel procurements planned under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy,” Finley said. “These procurements will provide opportunities for Canadian shipyards and for the broader marine industry.”

The RFP follows a request for information in February 2014 and is part of a larger program valued at approximately $488 million to acquire 18 to 21 new vessels for the Coast Guard. The RFP is open to all Canadian shipyards except Irving and Seaspan, the two selected under the NSPS for the larger combat and non-combat vessels.

The Shipbuilding Technology Forum was held in Ottawa and hosted by the Shipbuilding Association of Canada in partnership with Vanguard magazine.