Irving delivers first AOPS to Royal Canadian Navy

Hdw 1copy
Hdw 1copy
Courtesy Royal Canadian Navy

The following is text of a news release from the Royal Canadian Navy:

(HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) — The first Arctic and offshore patrol ship (AOPS), Harry DeWolf, was delivered to the government of Canada on Friday in Halifax by Irving Shipbuilding.

This is the first warship to be delivered as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). As outlined in Canada’s defense policy, the government of Canada is investing in six new AOPS to support the current and future needs of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).

“Today’s delivery of the first AOPS is very exciting not only for currently serving members of the Royal Canadian Navy, but moreover, it is also inspiring for our aspiring shipmates, seeking state-of-the-art technology to form new experiences in and expand their professional horizons,” said Vice Adm. Art McDonald, commander of the RCN.

“What this new fleet brings to the table is impressive. It is designed with a thick and robust hull that will allow it to operate in up to 120 cm of first-year sea ice. With its considerable space to efficiently transport cargo, it can accommodate a Cyclone helicopter as well as small vehicles, deployable boats, and cargo containers.”

AOPS will meet the needs of our modern Navy and offers facilities that will create a better quality of life for our shipmates. Its modern facilities include gender-inclusive washrooms, individual crew accommodations, and the flexible use of common spaces, such as the briefing room, wardroom, and boarding party room, to serve as a silent space for prayer or meditation required for various religious practices. This underscores the commitment to improved inclusivity and well-being for shipmates.

Designated the Harry DeWolf-class in honor of Vice Adm. Harry DeWolf, a Canadian naval hero, the delivery of this new class of ship represents an historic milestone for the RCN, marking the delivery of the first ship in the largest fleet recapitalization Canada’s peacetime history.

Harry DeWolf will require significant work and additional tests and trials to complete construction and operationalize the ship. Once complete, the ship will undergo a formal commissioning ceremony in summer 2021, which will mark its entry into active naval service.

Future crewmembers of Harry DeWolf are in the process of conducting operational readiness and training activities to familiarize themselves with the ship and how it functions. As part of this training, the RCN is planning an deployment near Newfoundland and Labrador this fall that will prepare the crew for a deployment to the Arctic next year.

“This new class of ship is built for a real and clear purpose, and will provide the RCN with a modern, effective and high-quality ship to patrol Canada’s three coasts,” said McDonald. “We look forward to welcoming the first new AOPS into RCN service in summer 2021.”

The AOPS will primarily conduct presence and surveillance missions along Canada’s maritime approaches. They will also support other government departments and agencies, such as the Canadian Coast Guard, that are focused on ensuring safe navigation of shipping in the Arctic waters.

These contemporary and multifunctional ships will be at the core of an enhanced Canadian Arctic presence, and will effectively and strategically complement the capabilities of current and future warships through critical reconnaissance and surveillance operations.

They will also be capable of participating in a wide variety of international operations such as anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, and international security and stability. These ships will be able to contribute to humanitarian assistance, emergency response and disaster relief domestically and internationally, and undertake a diverse range of missions worldwide.

The next three vessels of the class are already under construction at Irving’s Halifax Shipyard. The future HMCS Margaret Brooke was launched in November 2019 and continues construction in the water. The future HMCS Max Bernays is in the assembly hall at Halifax Shipyard preparing for a move to land later this year, while the future HMCS William Hall entered the assembly hall last November and will soon have a keel laying. Construction of the fifth and sixth ships is expected to begin in 2021 and 2022. Two variants of the AOPS are also going to be built for the Canadian Coast Guard. Construction of the seventh and eighth ships is expected to begin in 2022 and 2023.

By Professional Mariner Staff