Halifax Shipyard, a subsidiary of Irving Shipbuilding, launched the Royal Canadian Navy’s second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS Margaret Brooke(AOPV 431), on Nov. 10.
The 103-meter future HMCS Margaret Brooke transitioned from Halifax Shipyard’s land level facility to a submersible barge on Nov. 8 and was launched in the Bedford Basin today. The ship is now pier side at Halifax Shipyard where work continues to prepare the ship for sea trials and handover to the Royal Canadian Navy late next year.
The launch of the second of six AOPS for the Royal Canadian Navy marks a significant milestone for Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) and the revitalization of the Royal Canadian Navy’s combatant fleet.
“Congratulations to our more than 2,000 shipbuilders on today’s successful launch of the future HMCS Margaret Brooke. It is exciting to have two Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships in the water and closer to being in use by the Royal Canadian Navy’s sailors.” Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding.
The namesake of the ship is a Saskatoon war hero, Dr. Margaret Brooke. Brooke was born in Ardath, Sask. She began her service with the Navy 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 future HMCS Margaret Brooke joins Canada’s lead AOPS, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, pier side at Halifax Shipyard. The future HMCS Harry DeWolf is in the final stages of construction and is preparing for initial builder sea trials at the end of November.
Inside Halifax Shipyard’s facilities, the Royal Canadian Navy’s third and fourth AOPS, the future HMCS Max Bernays and the future HMCS William Hall, are under construction. The first two major sections of the future HMCS Max Bernays are scheduled to be moved outside in spring 2020.
The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels, 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.
Canada’s NSS was created to replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). Over the next few decades, Halifax Shipyard will build six AOPS for the Navy, two AOPS for the Coast Guard, and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) for the Navy. The shipyard is also continuing its legacy as the Halifax-class In-Service Support Centre of Excellence, with HMCS Charlottetown currently in the graving dock for an extensive docking work period.