Canadian shipbuilder, Halifax Shipyard has launched Canada’s first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.
The 103 metre, 6,615 tonne AOPS is the largest Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ship built in Canada in 50 years.
On Sept. 14, the shipbuilders at Halifax Shipyard successfully transitioned the ship from land-level onto a submersible barge for the vessel’s launch. The barge carrying the vessel was towed from Halifax Shipyard’s Pier 6 at 0500 to the launch site in Bedford Basin, located off the shore of Rockingham. Once moored at the launch site, the barge was submerged in a controlled manner over many hours with the future HMCS Harry DeWolf finally floating off.
Following the launch, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf will now be towed to Halifax Shipyard where its shipbuilders will continue working to prepare the ship for sea trials in 2019. HMCS Harry DeWolf is scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy in summer 2019.
— Irving Shipbuilding (@IrvingShipbuild) September 15, 2018
“Congratulations to our more than 1,800 shipbuilders on today’s successful launch of the future HMCS Harry DeWolf. This is a significant milestone and the first of many more launches that will take place at Halifax Shipyard over the next few decades as we work to revitalize the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy”, said Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding.
Halifax Shipyard is constructing up to six AOPS as part of the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). There are currently three AOPS, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke and the future HMCS Max Bernays under construction at the shipyard.
The vessels had been speculated to be modelled 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 announced as Harry DeWolf in September 2014, and four additional ships were named in January 2015.