National defence is a big machine that needs to be constantly fed.
As with any western country, Canada allocates a sizeable portion of its federal budget to defence-related spending. And given that Halifax is nestled on Canada’s east coast—naturally home to one of the country’s national naval bases—a lot of that budget gets spent right here.
Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax is home port to the Royal Canadian Navy Atlantic, the largest base in Canada by posted personnel. And the city has the highest concentration of Canada's military assets, with two air force bases and the Maritime Warfare Centre. And of course, the government of Canada is in constant need of supporting, maintaining, and growing these defence assets. No wonder a large, dynamic, and growing cluster of defence and security companies have stepped up to serve the country’s east coast defence hub—nurtured by access to competitive talent, and generous incentives. In other words, in-service support companies have a built-in, permanent customer here in Halifax. But that’s only one of the perks of setting up shot in Halifax—as a dynamic and fun city surrounded by gorgeous coastline, we’re also a wonderful place to live.
DID YOU KNOW: Canada's newest combat vessels are being built in Halifax under a $62 billion contract.
A growing pool of in-service support companies
Currently, we’re home to nine of Canada’s top ten defence companies, and more than 30% of all of Canada’s top defence companies. These are globally-recognized businesses working in naval defence, torpedo defence, mine hunting, ship hydrodynamics, naval materials research, shipbuilding, sonar and sensing, cybersecurity, and training and simulation. And there’s always room for more.
Lucrative contracts aren’t uncommon
Government contracts are bold and sizeable for private industry in the city. For example, Irving Shipbuilding was selected to build the Navy's new combat fleet, including 21 vessels, under a $62 billion contract over 30 years. General Dynamics has secured a $182 million contract to build six Halifax-class combat systems; and Fleetway Inc. has been awarded a $72.6 million contract with for a full range of technical data management and systems engineering support services.
The facts of the matter
- Nova Scotia has the highest concentration of defence spending in Canada
- Nine of Canada's top ten defence companies are in Nova Scotia
- Nova Scotia is home to the East Coast Navy and the largest air force base in eastern Canada
- Nova Scotia is home to nine of Canada’s top ten defence companies
DID YOU KNOW: Nova Scotia’s defence sector generates $1.5 billion per year in revenue.
Halifax is a national hub for commercial defence innovation.
Pratt & Whitney
A global leader in aerospace, Canada’s Pratt & Whitney is shaping the future of helicopter and regional aviation with dependable, new generation engines.
Lockheed Martin Canada
The aerospace contractor’s Halifax branch work includes engineering, software development, integration, and mechanical and hardware design.
Builder of semi-custom vessels from 6 to 10+ meters, built to serve the needs of the Professional Marine Community in a variety of sectors.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
Headquartered in Halifax, a skilled team and impressive facilities that provide building, fabrication, conversion, and servicing of vessels and offshore platforms.
Development of the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) products that enables the support of AOPS during its lifecycle
In Halifax, we foster innovation with investment
Nova Scotia offers strong defence industry support through the Atlantic Canada Aerospace & Defence Association (ACADA), the Ocean Technology Council (OTCNS) and its Unmanned Systems Committee, bridging the gap between industry, government and academia.
Contact Discover Halifax to learn more!
Ready to learn more, or to start planning your event in Halifax? Contact our sector expert today.
Paul Bailey (he/him)
Sales & Marketing Director - Group Sales (Aerospace & Defense)
Phone: 1.902.334.1846 (Atlantic Time Zone)
Office/Mail: 1809 Barrington Street, Suite 1004, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3K8