Canada’s first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel enters water

Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding launched the Canadian Navy’s first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, in a ceremony on September 15.

At 103 meters and 6,615 tons, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf is the largest Royal Canadian Navy ship built in Canada in 50 years, according to the shipbuilder.

The ship was transitioned from a land level facility to a submersible barge on Sept. 14, 2018, and launched in the Bedford Basin a day later.

The ship is now pier side at Halifax Shipyard where shipbuilders will continue working to prepare the ship for sea trials in 2019. HMCS Harry DeWolf is scheduled to be turned over to the Royal Canadian Navy in summer 2019.

HMCS Harry DeWolf can carry a crew of up to 65 people, plus an additional 22 to support an enhanced naval boarding party, army troops, special operations forces and other government departments to support science and research. It also carries a helicopter, up to six sea containers, and up to seven small boats.

The sealift capability, sea-to-shore connectors, additional personnel capacity, and ability to carry mission-specific supplies and resources also make it a superior platform for humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

Construction of the second and third ships, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke and Max Bernays, are well underway at Halifax Shipyard. Later this month, the first two major sections of the future HMCS Margaret Brooke will be moved outside.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy was created to replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. Irving Shipbuilding was selected to construct the Royal Canadian Navy’s future combatant fleet—Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels followed by Canadian Surface Combatants.

An initial block of six vessels was ordered by the RCN in January 2015 under a CAD$2.3 billion contract.