The Royal Canadian Navy will receive a sixth Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), which will be built at Irving shipyards in Halifax, Harjit S. Sajjan, the Minister of National Defence, announced.
The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships will significantly enhance the Canadian Armed Forces’ capabilities and presence in the Arctic, as well as augment their presence on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, better enabling the Royal Canadian Navy to safeguard Canadian Arctic sovereignty.
A sixth patrol ship will greatly increase the capacity of the Royal Canadian Navy to deploy AOPS simultaneously, at home or abroad. Additionally, a fleet of six AOPS will allow the frigates to focus on further tasks, allowing the RCN to use its fleet more effectively.
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 (SAR), drug interdiction, support to international partners, humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR), and drug interdiction.
Construction of the first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship started at Halifax Shipyard in September 2015 and the ship was launched on September 15, 2018. Work to prepare the ship for sea trials in 2019 will continue at Halifax Shipyard. Harry DeWolf is scheduled to be turned over to the Royal Canadian Navy in 2019.
Construction of the second and third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke and HMCS Max Bernays, are well underway at Halifax Shipyard, with the fourth, the future HMCS William Hall, starting construction later this year.
“I am delighted to confirm today that the Royal Canadian Navy will receive a sixth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, as outlined in our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. This versatile vessel will offer greater capabilities to our women and men who will sail on the AOPS and will bolster the RCN’s future operational capacity”, said Harjit S. Sajjan, the Defence Minister.
“I could not be more pleased with the decision to proceed with the construction of the sixth AOPS. These ships will enhance the RCN’s capacity to operate in the North, while continuing to contribute to a wide range of security, humanitarian and capacity building operations at home and around the world”, said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of Royal Canadian Navy.