Halifax Shipyard successfully transitioned the Royal Canadian Navy’s second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS Margaret Brooke, from land-level onto a submersible barge, on Nov. 8, for the vessel’s planned launch.
The barge carrying the future HMCS Margaret Brooke will be towed from Halifax Shipyard to a launch site in Bedford Basin, located off the shore of Rockingham. Once moored at the launch site, the barge will be submerged in a controlled manner over many hours and the future HMCS Margaret Brooke will float off.
Following the launch, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke will be towed to Halifax Shipyard where our shipbuilders will continue working on the ship with completion planned for later next year.
The future HMCS Margaret Brooke is the second of six Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) being built for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).
The namesake of the ship is a Saskatoon war hero, Dr. Margaret Brooke. Brooke was born in Ardath, Sask. She studied at the University of Saskatchewan, becoming a dietitian before enrolling in the navy. She began her service during the Second World War with HMCS Unicorn.
On Oct. 14, 1942 she was aboard the SS Caribou off the coast of Newfoundland when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. The ship immediately began to sink. She was decorated and made a member of the Order of the British Empire for showing gallantry for trying to save her friend, Nursing Sister Sub-Lt. Agnes Wilkie.
The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel, designated the Harry DeWolf-class, will enhance the RCN’s ability to assert Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic and coastal Canadian waters and support international operations as required.
The AOPS vessels had been speculated to be modeled on the Norwegian Coast Guard’s icebreaker and offshore patrol vessel, NoCGV Svalbard (W303), and as of 2007 were projected to cost $3.5 billion (CAD) to construct with a total project procurement budgeted to cost $4.3 billion in order to cover maintenance over the 25-year lifespan of the vessels.
The lead ship of the class was named as Harry DeWolf in September 2014, and five additional ships were named as – HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV 431), HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV 432), HMCS William Hall (AOPV 433), HMCS Frédérick Rolette (AOPV 434) and HMCS Robert Hampton Gray (AOPV 435).
Construction of the ships, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf (AOPV 430) and the future HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV 431) started in September 2015 and September 2016 at Halifax Shipyards respectively. The future HMCS Harry DeWolf was launched on Sept. 15 last year.
Max Bernays began construction in December 2017 and William Hall was also planned to begin in 2017, although construction was delayed to early 2019, with Max Bernays expected to launch in 2021, followed by William Hall in 2022. Frédérick Rolette is scheduled to begin construction in 2019, with construction on Robert Hampton Gray expected to begin in 2021. They are planned to be completed by 2022 and 2023, respectively.