RCN warships set for weapons system upgrade

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan with Commodore Jeff Zwick, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, and Captain (Navy) Ed Hooper, Commanding Officer Fleet Maintenance Facility, stand in front of the Close-In Weapons Systems simulator at Naval Fleet School (Pacific).
Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan, centre, along with Commodore Jeff Zwick, left, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, and Captain (Navy) Ed Hooper, Commanding Officer Fleet Maintenance Facility, stand in front of the Close-In Weapons Systems simulator at Naval Fleet School (Pacific). Photo: Lookout

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By Peter Mallett, Lookout

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced a major defence spending contract at Naval Fleet School (Pacific) in Esquimalt, B.C., on January 26.

The defence contract is being awarded to Raytheon Canada Limited and will focus on the improvement of radar systems for the Close-In Weapons Systems (CIWS). The rapid-fire, radar-guided gun systems are designed to deter threats from missiles, small ships and aircraft.

“We are making strategic investments in the Royal Canadian Navy that will help protect our sailors as they conduct the full spectrum of operations in a modern security environment,” said Minister Sajjan.

The CIWS is already in use by the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN’s) Halifax-class frigates and will also be installed on the new Joint Support Ships following their construction.

Commodore Jeff Zwick, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, says the CIWS is affectionately known to sailors on RCN frigates as “R2D2”, and has already proven itself reliable as the last line of defence for warships.

CIWS is extremely important when we talk about the essential tools that our sailors need to make a Canadian warship effective,” said Cmdre Zwick. “The improvements to CIWS ensure that the Navy is prepared for the uncertainty our sailors may face in the future.”

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