Ottawa, Ont. -
The federal government has outlined a new shipbuilding strategy that will cost at least $35 billion and take 30 years to complete.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay says he expects to sign agreements with two shipyards within two years to build 28 large vessels and 100 smaller ships for the navy and coast guard.
MacKay is calling it "an historic moment for Canada" and "a major step forward."
He says the program will produce equipment that is essential to the Canadian Forces.
Several high-profile ship-replacement programs for both the navy and coast guard have been sidelined because cost estimates have come in far above what the Conservative government was willing to pay.
Federal officials have tried over the last year to get the country's notoriously competitive shipyards to agree on sharing the construction.
MacKay has often been quoted as saying there was more than enough work to go around.