Canada's first Arctic and offshore patrol ship launched
Harry DeWolf, the first Arctic and Offshore patrol ship of Canada was delivered to the Government of Canada on 31 July 2020 in Halifax, NS.
Constructed by Irving Shipbuilding, the latest 6,615-metre, 103.6-metre ship is the largest battle-packed vessel ever constructed in Canada, as well as the largest Navy vessel designed in the country in more than 50 years. This is also the first warship to be launched as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), with several more ships coming as part of the Navy's future fleet.
“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-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander of the RCN.
Designated Harry DeWolf-class in memory of Canadian naval hero Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, the first vessel to be turned over to the new class of ships marks the first deployment of the largest fleet to recapitalize Canada's peacetime history.
“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," Vice-Admiral Art McDonald added.
Originally designed to protect Canada's coastal waters and northernmost regions, this new class of ship will be at the center of enhanced Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Arctic activity, effectively complementing the capabilities of other current and potential warships through critical exploration and surveillance operations, and allowing the RCN to have unlimited access to Arctic areas.
In addition to the highly flexible platforms that will allow the ship to support a wide range of domestic and international missions, its modern accommodation and facilities will also greatly enhance the comfort and quality of life of its crew, underlining the CAF 's commitment to improved staff equality and well-being.
Its modern facilities include gender-based washrooms, individual crew accommodation, and versatile use of common spaces, such as briefing rooms, wardrobes and boarding rooms, to serve as a quiet place of prayer or reflection for different religious practices.
Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding Inc., said, “This is a historic day for our 2,000 shipbuilders and Halifax Shipyard, as we successfully delivered the first-in-class HMCS Harry DeWolf, the lead vessel in Canada’s next generation fleet. This brand-new class of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels is the most modern in Canadian history and will provide decades of outstanding service for the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy. We are immensely proud to be building these ships in Canada and with Canada’s best shipbuilders right here in Nova Scotia.”
Future crew members of HMCS Harry DeWolf are engaged in operational readiness and training exercises to familiarize themselves with the ship and how it works. As part of this training, the RCN is preparing a deployment near Newfoundland and Labrador this fall to prepare the crew for the Arctic deployment next year.
Maritime Business World