HALIFAX — Canada’s top soldier says it is time “to start cutting steel” on the country’s next fleet of combat ships as part of the $33-billion National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Gen. Walter Natynczyk (NAH-Tin-chuck) told the Royal Canadian Legion convention in Halifax today that the navy is his greatest concern when it comes to modernizing the military.
Natynczyk says Canada’s supply and destroyer vessels are more than 40 years old and in need of replacement.
He says the Arctic offshore patrol ships, the first vessels to be constructed under the deal, are key to the future of Canada’s maritime security.
The chief of defence staff’s comments come as some defence analysts say the shipbuilding contracts in Halifax and Vancouver could be delayed because of budget restraint in Ottawa.
But Natynczyk would not say if he believes cuts to the Defence Department budget would affect the shipbuilding contract.