For almost two decades, Fleetway Inc. has been serving the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in various roles including the In-Service Support to the Halifax-class frigates, Integrated Logistics Support and training to the Arctic Offshore Support Ship project, and Supportability Support to the Canadian Surface Combatant project. Given this history, Fleetway is well versed in maintenance, design and performance parameters of Canada’s combat fleet and has been working closely with the RCN in understanding their needs and requirements during this age of digital transformation.

The naval engineering sector in Canada has always embraced innovation but now with the National Shipbuilding Strategy, it is sensing a far greater potential of a sustained investment opportunity. With the push to digitally transform in the sector, Fleetway has adopted innovation to remodel itself into a digitally enabled naval engineering firm. The experience gained from the design-build and in-service support of Canadian Patrol Frigates has shown that to sustain a technology-enabled fleet, demands a shift in engineering methods with great agility. Fleetway has applied these tailor-made toolsets to help maintain the design intent of these very successful ships, participated in their comprehensive modernization, and understands the performance issues attendant to hundreds of major ship systems. In this transformation, data has been a key element guiding the maintenance and providing the RCN with possibilities for improved outcomes.

Photo: Fleetway

The acquisition and employment of data to drive affordability, operational availability and fighting effectiveness of Canada’s warship fleets is a powerful innovation opportunity at hand for both industry and government. The Department of National Defence and the RCN are building an overarching system that follows the principles of digital transformation and fostering the right mix of innovation, digitalization and collaboration. At the industry level, traditional in-service providers are now routinely managing big data. When data is managed throughout its lifecycle with accessibility and upkeep in mind, kept secure, and analyzed by advanced technologies, true efficiencies can start to emerge.

One example of this is through Fleetway’s partnership with the best-in-class global firms to provide Integrated Data Environment and Collaborative Environment capabilities that maximize contractor-client relationships in this data era. These agreements include an innovation portfolio to assist the RCN in deriving cost-effective and operational readiness outcomes to keep the Halifax-class viable until replaced by the new Canadian Surface Combatants.

The client-contractor voyage toward a successful digital transformation is all about enabling an enterprise data lifecycle. Key components such as strategy, governance and quality demand a strong data management organization to support the interaction between components. Data has enabled Fleetway digitally in the design, build and integrated logistic support development phase of a project to support a ship during its long operational life in many areas such as maintenance, configuration management, logistics and training. The concept of the digital twin has its genesis in this digital transformation product line. 

To aid in this process, toolsets have been built to serve program and performance management, margins management, engineering change planning, and planning visualization. In making this change, Fleetway values the intellect of a core of seasoned engineers and equally, the transfer of knowledge to a youthful talent base joining from Canadian colleges and universities. An example of this is its partnership with Dalhousie University and IBM on the Deep Sense program, bringing Artificial Intelligence to bear on the data streams flowing from shipboard sensors and repair activities. Another area is the ability to look back on the experiences of the Halifax-class to guide the design and build of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and the supportability concepts at play in the Canadian Surface Combatants. 

Fleetway’s vision is about long-term affordability and sustained operational readiness outcomes in distributed data connectivity, enabled by the cloud and cloud-based business models, and paired with the conventional wisdom of an experienced, in-house workforce that has assisted naval and coast guard clients in the shared voyage of maintenance modernization.

Fleetway Inc. is an all-Canadian provider of in-service support, management, logistics, engineering and technical services to the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Coast Guard and commercial clients. To learn more, go to