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Archived - Government Celebrates the Modernization of the Halifax-Class Frigates

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HALIFAX – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence, today announced the successful modernization of the first four Halifax-Class frigates. The Halifax-class modernization/frigate equipment life extension (HCM/FELEX) is a $4.3 billion program to upgrade and enhance the existing fleet. The program has remained on budget and is scheduled to be completed by 2018.

Following recent sea trials, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton is currently preparing to deploy as the first modernized frigate at high readiness in early 2015.

As the Royal Canadian Navy undergoes its most extensive peacetime modernization in history, the 12 Canadian-built multi-role patrol frigates will continue to form the backbone of the fleet. The first four frigates to be modernized as part of the HCM/FELEX are HMCS Halifax, Fredericton, Calgary, and Winnipeg.

The Halifax-Class Modernization Program
The Minister of National Defence and the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy tour HMCS MONTREAL as part of the Minister’s announcement on the progress of the Halifax-Class Modernization Program.
Front Row: The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence; VAdm Mark Norman, Commander Royal Canadian Navy; Cdr Kristjan Monaghan, Captain HMCS MONTREAL
Back Row: CPO1 James Percival, Coxswain HMCS MONTREAL; Commodore Marcel Hallé, Director General of Maritime Equipment Program Management

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is delivering equipment to the Navy by investing $4.3 billion to modernize and extend the life of the Halifax-class frigates, and $36.6 billion on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) for the recapitalization of the federal surface fleet during the coming decades.
  • Commissioned between 1992 and 1996, the Halifax-Class is currently undergoing a planned mid-life modernization that includes a new Combat Management System, new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system, upgraded communications and missiles as well as a new Integrated Platform Management System.
  • The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is in the midst of the most intensive and comprehensive period of fleet modernization and renewal in its peacetime history. It does so while also maintaining its readiness.
  • This period of transition includes the modernization of its 12 Halifax-class frigates and the procurement of three new classes of ships, including the Joint Support Ships (JSS), the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and the Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC), as well as the integration of new maritime helicopter into fleet service.


"Our Canadian Armed Forces deserve the right equipment to perform the difficult tasks asked of them. Our Government is proud to support the men and women of our Royal Canadian Navy.  I am very pleased to see the fruition of the Halifax-class modernization project, which will ensure our frigates remain effective.  As the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy, these Canadian-built Halifax-class vessels are able to deploy anywhere in the world. This is great news for Atlantic Canada and for all of Canada."

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence

“The Modernization of Halifax-Class frigates will serve as a bridge to the future fleet and, along with Kingston-Class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels and Victoria-Class submarines, will allow the RCN to continue to deliver on its core mission as directed by the Government of Canada until the arrival of the new Canadian Surface Combatant.”

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Armed Forces

Related Products

Halifax-class Modernization (HCM) / Frigate Life Extension (FELEX) Backgrounder:   

National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) Year Two Backgrounder:

Associated Links

For broadcast quality b-roll and imagery of the Halifax-class Modernization (HCM) / Frigate Equipment Life Extension (FELEX) project and b-roll of the removing of old equipment, dry dock phase, insertion of new equipment, and post-refit, please visit the following link:

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Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: (613) 996-2353
Toll-Free: 1 866 377-0811

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