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The contract will be increased to $691 million, confirmed national defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier.
Asterix allows the navy to continue to resupply its ships at sea while ensuring sailors continue to be trained in resupply missions, he added.
The navy is waiting for delivery of two Joint Support Ships which are to be built at Seaspan in Vancouver. The first Joint Support Ship or JSS was supposed to be delivered in 2017 but construction didn’t start until 2018. The vessel is now expected to be delivered in 2023. A second ship is expected in 2025.
The JSS project was supposed to cost $2.3 billion but last year it was revealed that the price tag had climbed to $4.1 billion. That jump in cost had been predicted seven years earlier by the Parliamentary Budget Officer who warned that the project would require $4.13 billion.
Because of the ongoing delays in the delivery of the JSS, the navy pushed for the lease of the Asterix supply ship, a project that was championed by Vice Adm. Mark Norman.
That ship was at the centre of the two-year legal battle Norman found himself in when the RCMP charged him with breach of trust for allegedly tipping off Davie Shipbuilding the Liberal government was considering delaying their Asterix deal.
The legal case against Norman collapsed in 2019, forcing the federal government to pay the naval officer an undisclosed financial settlement as well as prompting questions about whether the charge had been politically motivated.
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