Irving Shipbuilding has started the construction for the fourth Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS William Hall (AOPV 433), during a ceremony at Halifax on May 3.
The ceremony was attended by Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
This is the fourth of six such ships to be built at the Halifax Shipyard for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).
This new class of vessel was specifically designed to patrol Canada’s waters and northernmost regions. It will have the versatility to navigate abroad and contribute to international operations. The Harry DeWolf-class will significantly enhance the CAF’s capabilities and presence in the Arctic, better enabling the RCN to assert Arctic sovereignty for years to come.
Since the start of construction for the first AOPS in 2015, the project has progressed well. The first vessel is expected to join the RCN’s fleet this year.
“We are making significant progress on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships as Canadian workers start the construction of the fourth ship, here in Halifax. These vessels will be critical assets to the RCN, enhancing our Arctic capability and greatly contributing to the future success of our operations in the most isolated regions of Canada. As outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged, our government is delivering modern and versatile equipment to our women and men in uniform so they can successfully accomplish the work we ask of them”, said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
“Today’s ceremony for Canada’s fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship marks an important milestone. It provides ongoing evidence that the National Shipbuilding Strategy is revitalizing our world-class marine industry, supporting Canadian innovation, creating good middle class jobs, stabilizing employment and generating economic benefits across Canada. We remain firmly committed to the Strategy, and will continue to work closely with our shipbuilding partners to position it for success now and into the future”, said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.
“I am delighted to see so much progress on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships this year, and look forward to seeing it continue in the years to come. Through this partnership with Irving Shipbuilding, we will sustain over 4,000 highly skilled jobs and create opportunities right here at the Halifax Shipyard and throughout Nova Scotia”, said Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development.
The AOPS project is part of Canada’s renewed focus on surveillance of Canadian territory, particularly its Arctic regions.
William Hall received the Victoria Cross in 1859 for heroism and support of the British Army during the relief of Lucknow (1857). Son of freed African-American slaves living in Nova Scotia, he is the first black person, first Nova Scotian, and third Canadian to have been awarded this honour.
Four AOPS are now in production, with the construction of the fifth ship expected to begin later in 2019. AOPS 4 is expected to join the RCN fleet in 2022.
The AOPS are highly versatile platforms that can be used on a variety of missions at home and abroad, such as coastal surveillance, search and rescue, drug interdiction, support to international partners, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief.
Work is ongoing to complete the Nanisivik Naval Facility, which will support operations of the new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships and other government maritime vessels. This new facility is expected to be completed later this year.