Canadian Navy

Canada Commissions First Warship in 25 years

Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships brings new capabilities, renewed focus on Canada’s operations in the high north

By Edward Lundquist

Over the course of several weeks this summer, HMCS Harry DeWolf, the Royal Canadian Navy’s first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, conducted Ship Helicopter Operating Limits trials off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has commissioned Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf (AOPV 430) at Halifax on June 26. She is the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) first new warship in 25 years.

The ship is the first of six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) set to be delivered to the Navy over the coming years, built as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. Two more AOPS will be built for the Canadian Coast Guard.

According to a news release from the Royal Canadian Navy, Harry DeWolf is the RCN’s first ice-capable vessel since HMCS Labrador in 1958.

The AOPS class brings new capabilities and a renewed focus on Canada’s operations in the Arctic region.

Later this summer Harry DeWolf will conduct a circumnavigation of North America and participate in Canada’s Operation Nanook annual training exercises in the high north. She will transit the Northwest Passage in the fall and circumnavigate North America to proceed to the to the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Basin to support operations there.

Cdr Corey Gleason

Cdr Corey Gleason, Commanding Officer of HMCS Harry DeWolf, hands the commissioning pennant to PO1 Sophie Williams, a senior Naval Communicator with the ship’s company.

Canada’s NSS is designed to replace the existing fleets of surface vessels for the Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard, and rebuild Canada’s shipbuilding industry.

Irving Shipbuilding Inc. Halifax Shipyard cut first steel to officially begin production of Canada’s fifth AOPS, future HMCS Frédérick Rolette (AOPV 434), on May 20, 2021.

As part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, Halifax Shipyard will construct six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, two AOPS variants for the Canadian Coast Guard. The second, third and fourth AOPS are currently under construction at Halifax Shipyard. The future HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV 431) recently completed successful Sea Trials and is in the final stages of preparation for delivery; the future HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV 432) is undergoing final assembly in preparation for launch later this year; the keel was laid in February for the future HMCS William Hall (AOPV 433). Upon completion of the AOPS program, Halifax Shipyard will build 15 Canadian Surface Combatants for the Navy.

“As HMCS Harry DeWolf enters into naval service and prepares to depart on its first operation, I can’t tell you how excited the Royal Canadian Navy is about what this represents,” said Rear-Admiral (RAdm) Chris Sutherland, Acting Commander of the RCN.

“HMCS Harry DeWolf is not only the first of its class, and the first RCN ship to enter service under the National Shipbuilding Strategy – it represents what the future holds for the RCN as we continue to expand our presence in the North, and grow our capability to operate across the globe; it represents the modern and capable ships that the sailors of tomorrow will be crewing; it represents the future, and that future is here,” Sutherland said.

July 2021