Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships

Progress - Strong, Secure, Engaged Commitments


Why doesn’t this government expedite the delivery of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships to the Navy?

  • The Royal Canadian Navy is currently undergoing the largest fleet modernization in decades, beginning with the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.
  • These ships will support surveillance of our three oceans, international operations, and humanitarian assistance.
  • Progress is well underway to deliver six of these versatile vessels to the Royal Canadian Navy.
  • I am pleased to report that we accepted delivery of the first of six ships last July.
  • Ships two, three, and four are currently under construction, with first steel cut for ship five to take place shortly.
  • We anticipate the delivery of the second ship in 2021, and the delivery of remaining vessels by 2024.
  • These modern vessels will help the Navy meet Canada’s defence and security challenges in the coming decades.

If pressed on sea trials:

  • Under Navy command, the HMCS HARRY DEWOLF is currently conducting sea trials and gathering the data necessary to develop and refine operating procedures that include enabling flight operations with Cyclone helicopters.
  • HMCS HARRY DEWOLF is progressing its Test and trials program while providing operational surveillance and presence for the eastern maritime approaches of Canada.
  • As we continue first-of-class trials, we will continue to identify and rectify any equipment deficiencies in collaboration with our industry partners.
  • Identifying and correcting deficiencies following delivery is a normal part of the shipbuilding process, especially for a first-of-class ship.
  • As a matter of routine, the RCN conducts detailed assessments of personnel, training and material readiness of all its ships to ensure the safety of its sailors and ships.

Quick Facts

Relevant Facts:

  • Estimated Budget: Up to $4.3 billion
  • Number of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels ordered: 6
  • Delivery timeline:
    • First vessel delivered on July 31, 2020
    • The delivery of the sixth ship is targeted for 2024
  • Built at: Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Halifax
  • COVID-19 has had an impact on construction schedule and costs. The full impact is still being assessed, but there is a known delay of a few months for subsequent ship deliveries.

Post-delivery Work:

  • Since delivery in July 2020, the ship is undergoing normal post-acceptance work, including the outfitting and integration of onboard systems to meet RCN operational requirements.
  • This work is all part of a normal process to incrementally test the ship and its systems, rectify any deficiencies, gain experience sailing this first of class vessel, and ultimately build the proficiency and resiliency required for sustained operations here at home and around the globe.

Economic Benefits:

  • Building ships at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard supports more than 2,000 direct jobs annually at the shipyard over the next few years.


  • The requirement to accommodate a mixed gender crew of Royal Canadian Navy sailors and a variety of specialist teams were key elements of the vessel’s design.

Responsible Principals: Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel), Royal Canadian Navy January 19, 2021

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