ABCO Industries Inc. (ABCO), based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia completed sea trials for the 12-meter landing craft in the summer of 2019 and delivered the first vessel in October 2019.
The support boats are for each of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) currently under construction at Halifax Shipyard for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).
The landing craft will be used to transfer personnel and equipment to shore where there are little or no port services available. It can carry 4 tonnes of cargo, vehicles, or personnel and transfer them to a beach or pier via a bow door or an installed crane.
The sea trials involved operating all of the equipment installed on the landing craft, recovering a side-by-side ATV from a beach, and running the boat at various speeds and loading conditions – all to ensure that it meets the requirements set forth by Lloyd’s Register and the Government of Canada.
ABCO’s team of over 60 employees have developed a comprehensive line of aluminum boats which are in use by several Government of Canada departments and agencies, and have manufactured many items for AOPS including gangways, ladders, hatches, and fuel tanks.
The contract between ABCO and Irving Shipbuilding to supply the landing crafts has also benefitted over 25 other companies in Nova Scotia that provided their products to ABCO for the landing crafts. Among those companies are Stright-MacKay of New Glasgow, and Hawboldt Industries of Chester.
Stright-MacKay provides ABCO with general marine outfitting equipment for the vessel.
“ABCO has been a long-time customer of ours and is known for the quality of their builds. For us, the landing crafts that ABCO are building for the AOPS will provide new business gradually. It is great to see the local businesses getting to contribute to and benefit from projects like the AOPS program under the National Shipbuilding Strategy,” said Peter Bennett at Stright-MacKay.
Hawboldt Industries is the supplier for the winches and cranes on the landing crafts.
“Hawboldt is extremely proud to support the combat ships program as a supplier to ABCO for winches and cranes on their AOPS landing craft. As Canada’s leading marine crane, winch, and specialized handling systems manufacturer, the NSS program has helped us develop new products and led directly to hiring more engineers, welders, and machinists. We are focused on supplying the Navy with the world’s lightest, strongest, and smartest deck equipment; designed and built right here on the South Shore,” said Dylan Wells, General Sales Manager at Hawboldt.
Irving Shipbuilding has committed over $2.5 billion in spending to more than 300 Canadian organizations as part of the NSS, including over $1.3 billion in Nova Scotia.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, Halifax Shipyard’s facility modernization and the building of six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) is expected to be boost economic activity across Canada by $3.42 billion between 2013 and 2022.