Northstar delivers on navy computer system contract

James
James McLeod
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Defence Work worth $3-4 million over four years

Northstar Network had a lot to celebrate Friday afternoon on the deck of HMCS Fredericton as the computer system which will be part of the frigate's mid-life retrofit was introduced

The St. John's-based company has gone through a major expansion over the past few years producing computer systems for the Canadian Navy.

Howard Nash, president Northstar Network Ltd., speaks to guests and media on the flight deck of the HMCS Fredericton Friday afternoon. He was announcing the delivery of computer systems for the ships mid-life retrofit. - Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Northstar Network had a lot to celebrate Friday afternoon on the deck of HMCS Fredericton as the computer system which will be part of the frigate's mid-life retrofit was introduced

The St. John's-based company has gone through a major expansion over the past few years producing computer systems for the Canadian Navy.

"We've been doubling our revenues year over year," said Howard Nash, president of Northstar.

"And revenues last year were $4 million, which for us is a very good number, and we're looking forward to an even better year this year."

The Northstar computer systems will be sent to a larger defence contractor - L-3 Communication MAPPS - which will be responsible for firmware and other issues before installing the systems in Halifax class frigates.

The L-3 contract started as $3 million worth of work, but Nash said that has expanded, as Northstar has become the go-to manufacturer on the project.

"We did so good on the first contract that they started piling on more stuff and more work," he said. "Now they're so happy with us, every single thing that's coming their way they've been giving to us, and we work with them to develop a price that makes them competitive to their customer."

The Fredericton just returned for a six-month deployment to the Horn of Africa where it was involved in anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operations as part of a NATO coalition.

Commander Steve Waddell, the captain of the ship, said they were looking forward to putting the ship in for retrofit later this year.

"The fellas always like the shiny new toys. They're looking forward to that, absolutely," Waddell said.

The computer systems will be involved in propulsion and damage control systems.

Waddell explained that a warship typically has a 35-year lifespan, and as the ship approaches mid-life, it receives upgrades and replacement systems to keep it on top of advances in technology.

There are 12 Halifax-class frigates due for midlife retrofit. Nash said he expects around $3-4 million worth of work from those projects over the next four years.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Northstar, Canadian Navy, NATO

Geographic location: Halifax, St. John's, Fredericton Horn of Africa

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