The Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) interim auxiliary oiler replenishment ship, MV Asterix arrived on its first visit to Halifax, on Dec. 27.
The trials of the Asterix, as well as training for RCN personnel, will take place in early January and the ship is expected to begin supporting RCN operations starting in February.
The Asterix will replace HMCS Preserver and HMCS Protecteur, two supply ships no longer in service. Protecteur was badly damaged in a 2014 fire and was written off while Preserver was decommissioned in 2015 after 45 years of service.
The MV Asterix is the first naval ship to be delivered since the launch of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Built in Germany, the former commercial container ship was converted to a naval support ship at the Davie Shipyard in Quebec.
The construction of Asterix was entirely privately financed, with the cost borne by the companies involved – Davie and Federal Fleet Services. They will lease the ship to the RCN.
A crew provided by Federal Fleet Services will operate the ship but RCN personnel will be on board to handle maritime operations such as refueling warships at sea.
The ship left Quebec City on Dec. 23. A crew of 36 Canadian merchant sailors along with Davie personnel and industry contractors sailed the 26,000-tonne ship on her maiden voyage. During the journey, they completed the testing of her propulsion and navigation systems and military systems, according to Davie officials.
MV Asterix / Resolve-class AOR
MV Asterix (formerly MS Amorito, MS Neermoor and MS Cynthia) is a commercial container ship, purchased by Federal Fleet Services as part of Project Resolve, that is being converted into a supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy.
It is intended to act as an interim replacement between the out of service Protecteur-class replenishment oiler and the future Queenston-class auxiliary vessel (renamed the Protecteur class in 2017).
The Resolve-class ship is intended to supply ammunition, fuel, food, water, power and spare parts to the Canadian naval forces at sea. It can also be used for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions.
The ship features double-hull design with bulbous bow. It is 182.5m-long, 25.2m-wide and 9.5m-high and has a full load displacement of 26,000t.
Asterix will be used for at sea fuel replenishing for both liquid and solids using NATO-standardised methods and two cranes for loading and unloading purposes. The ship will be able to deliver 400 tons of fresh water per day and carry 7,000 tons of fuel oil and 980 tons of JP5 Jet fuel.
The port and starboard sides of the boat will carry four rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB), two fast-rescue craft and two lifeboats to perform transportation and rescue missions at sea. The ship can also carry two landing craft, vehicle and personnel (LCVP) craft for humanitarian missions, as well as for transportation of personnel, vehicles and stores.
The ship is equipped with a large flight deck and two hangars capable of embarking two CH-148 Cyclone helicopters. The supply ship will accommodate 150 crew members and up to 350 other personnel.