Royal Canadian Navy lays keel for HMCS Harry DeWolf Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship

Representatives from the Royal Canadian Navy and the shipbuilding industry laid the keel for HMCS Harry DeWolf, the lead ship of the Canadian Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) class.

Rear Admiral John Newton, Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic and Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT), joined Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding, and CPO1 Pierre Auger, MARLANT formation chief, for the coin placement ceremony held June 9, 2016, at Irving Shipbuilding’s facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

HMCS Harry DeWolf is the first in an initial block of six vessels ordered by the RCN under a $2.3 billion contract in January 2015. Canada intends to procure up to 21 vessels that will renew Canada’s combatant fleet over the next 30 years under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

The 103-meter ship displaces 6,440 tonnes and is expected to be delivered to the navy in 2018. The ship is named after Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, a widely-respected officer who served with distinction in WWII and later rose to be Chief of the Naval Staff in the late 1950s.

The coin placement is a shipbuilder and naval tradition where a newly minted coin is placed on the ship’s structure to bring luck to the vessel and her crew for the life of the ship. The coin was placed by Carl Risser who, with 46 years of shipbuilding experience at Irving Shipbuilding, declared the keel as “well and truly laid”. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) project office as well as Irving Shipbuilding employees, and marks another significant milestone in the ongoing construction of HMCS Harry DeWolf.