Keel laid for Canadian Navy’s 6th AOPS

The official keel laying of the sixth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS Robert Hampton Gray, took place at Halifax shipyard on 21 August.

Irving Shipbuilding

The ceremony included the tradition of welding of a coin to the hull of the ship to bring luck to the captain and crew during the life of the ship.

The future HMCS Robert Hampton Gray will be 103.6 metres in length, have a 19-metre beam, displace 6,615 tonnes and will be composed of 440,000 parts.

Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), Irving Shipbuilding is constructing six AOPS vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy, two AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) for the Royal Canadian Navy.

Lieutenant (Lt) Robert Hampton Gray was a Canadian naval hero of the Second World War.

Lt Gray joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1940 and served as a pilot in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. He embarked in His Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Formidable with 1841 Squadron, joining the war in the Pacific as part of Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa, Japan, in April 1945.

Lt Gray was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for courage and determination in carrying out daring air strikes on the Japanese destroyer His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Ship (HIJMS) Amakusa.