The Royal Canadian navy will be getting as many as six modified 25mm Mk 38 machine guns from BAE Systems for its Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS), the company said Aug. 18.

The contract was awarded by the vessel’s prime contractor, Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, Canada, and covers the weapon systems, spare parts and technical and field support. The total value of the contract was not disclosed in a BAE news release.

BAE will deliver about one gun per year from 2017 to 2021.

Under the AOPS program, the Canadian navy will field six new ships designed to patrol the Arctic region, conduct surveillance and stay there longer than legacy vessels. The Mk 38 is already in use by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, as well as the Spanish navy, but the Canadian guns will be strengthened to withstand the punishing Arctic climate.

“We will be working very closely with Canadian industry on this program,” said Joseph Senftle, the company’s vice president and general manager of weapons systems. “BAE Systems is currently selecting its Canadian partners to participate not only in the build of these naval gun systems, but also to join our Mk 38 global supply chain. This will help bring sustained economic value to Canada as part of the AOPS program.”

The Mk 38 system is made up of a targeting and surveillance system and the M242 Bushmaster chain gun, which can engage targets up to 2.5 km away.