Royal Canadian Navy sends two coastal defense vessels to Arctic

The Royal Canadian Navy has deployed two Kingston-class maritime coastal defense vessels to Arctic waters so as to “continue RCN’s presence in the Canadian North”.

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Shawinigan and Moncton departed from their home port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on August 11 to conduct sovereignty and surveillance patrols as part of Operations Qimmiq and Nanook 2016.

While at sea, the ships will also be partnering with Canadian Hydrographic Services (CHS), Parks Canada (PC), Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), and the Arctic Research Foundation to conduct hydrographic surveys.

HMCS Moncton will be in Rankin Inlet on August 29 and HMCS Shawinigan will be in the Hamlet of Arctic Bay on September 8.

Kingston-class maritime coastal defense vessels are multi-role minor war vessels with a primary mission of coastal surveillance and patrol, including general naval operations and exercises, search and rescue, law enforcement, resource protection and fisheries patrols.

Launched between 1995 and 1998 as training platforms to replace gate vessels and myriad tenders across the country, the vessels were only subsequently linked to a naval mine countermeasure role.