The Canadian Government has awarded a $2.3bn DeWolf-class arctic offshore patrol ships (AOPS) construction contract to Nova Scotia-based Irving Shipbuilding.
The agreement, which is for six vessels, marks the start of the construction phase of the national shipbuilding procurement strategy (NSPS).
Canada Public Works and Government Services Minister Diane Finley said: "I am pleased to be here to mark the award of this important contract.
"It will sustain an estimated 1,000 jobs right here in Halifax and many more at suppliers across Canada. This is further proof that our shipbuilding strategy is bringing jobs and prosperity to communities on our coastlines and across the country."
Designed to play a critical role in protecting Canada's offshore sovereignty in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Arctic, the new DeWolf-class AOPS will be equipped with advanced sensors and will operate and support the new Cyclone naval helicopters.
The vessels will be capable of operating in ice up to 1m thick and sustain operations for up to four months.
Canada National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said: "Our government is committed to ensuring that the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Navy have the equipment needed to monitor and defend Canadian waters, and to contribute to international naval operations well into the 21st century.
"The AOPS will better enable the navy to assert and enforce sovereignty in Canadian waters, including in the Arctic."
Construction of an initial block for the first AOPS is scheduled to take place later this year, with full production starting in September.