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Raytheon Canada has been contracted by the Government of Canada to provide a new weapon system to the Royal Canadian Navy.

Under the $36m contract, Raytheon will deliver 58 naval remote weapon stations, which will be installed on Canada’s existing fleet of Halifax-class modernised frigates, as well as on the future Queenston-class Joint Support Ships.

The new weapon system will further enhance the navy’s capabilities to combat naval and aerial threats, including small boat and low-slow flyer threats in all conditions of visibility.

“Canada needs a fleet that will enable us to defend the country’s maritime interests here at home and around the world”

The existing weapon system onboard the vessels are not remotely operated and engage gun operators outside the ship deck to operate the guns.

However, with the introduction of the new naval remote weapon stations, personnel will be able to remotely keep an eye on targets in any environmental scenario, from a separate compartment on board the ship.

The contract will also ensure the maintenance and upgrade of the equipment for an initial five years, and include two weapon stations for use in training at both the east and west coast fleet schools.

Royal Canadian Navy commander vice-admiral Mark Norman said: "Canada needs a fleet that is both capable and flexible, one that will enable us to defend the country’s maritime interests here at home and around the world.

"Part of that force capability includes the inherent need to protect our ships and sailors from the threats they may encounter in any operational setting.

"The acquisition of this remotely operated weapon system will enhance the navy’s close-in force protection capability, while also providing enhanced personal protection to the crew operating these systems."

Aligned with the Defence Procurement Strategy, the contract is seen as the government’s commitment towards a fortified Canadian Armed Forces, with procurement of technologies to ensure the operational safety of the soldiers.

The contracts are expected to foster economic growth in communities across the nation.

Image: Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Calgary. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Canadian Armed Forces Sgt Matthew McGregor.