Minister Sajjan marks the start of construction for the fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship

News release

May 3, 2019 – Halifax (N.S.) – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Another important milestone of the National Shipbuilding Strategy was reached today as the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, participated in a ceremony at Irving Shipbuilding highlighting the start of construction for the fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS William Hall. This is the fourth of six such ships to be built at the Halifax Shipyard for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as articulated in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.

Security in the Arctic is complicated by the region’s geography and harsh climate. This new class of vessel was specifically designed to patrol Canada’s waters and northernmost regions. It will have the versatility to navigate abroad and contribute to international operations. The Harry DeWolf-class will significantly enhance the CAF’s capabilities and presence in the Arctic, better enabling the RCN to assert Arctic sovereignty for years to come.

Since the start of construction for the first AOPS in 2015, the project has progressed well. The first vessel is expected to join the RCN’s fleet this summer. 


“We are making significant progress on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships as Canadian workers start the construction of the fourth ship, here in Halifax. These vessels will be critical assets to the RCN, enhancing our Arctic capability and greatly contributing to the future success of our operations in the most isolated regions of Canada. As outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged, our government is delivering modern and versatile equipment to our women and men in uniform so they can successfully accomplish the work we ask of them.” 

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“Today’s ceremony for Canada’s fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship marks an important milestone. It provides ongoing evidence that the National Shipbuilding Strategy is revitalizing our world-class marine industry, supporting Canadian innovation, creating good middle class jobs, stabilizing employment and generating economic benefits across Canada. We remain firmly committed to the Strategy, and will continue to work closely with our shipbuilding partners to position it for success now and into the future.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility 

“I am delighted to see so much progress on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships this year, and look forward to seeing it continue in the years to come. Through this partnership with Irving Shipbuilding, we will sustain over 4,000 highly skilled jobs and create opportunities right here at the Halifax Shipyard and throughout Nova Scotia.” 

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development

Quick facts

  • The AOPS project is part of Canada’s renewed focus on surveillance of Canadian territory, particularly our Arctic regions. As the security dynamics in the Arctic evolve due to such factors as climate change, we will continue to work to secure our northern air and maritime approaches, in coordination with our allies and partners. 

  • William Hall received the Victoria Cross in 1859 for heroism and support of the British Army during the relief of Lucknow (1857). Son of freed African-American slaves living in Nova Scotia, he is the first black person, first Nova Scotian, and third Canadian to have been awarded this honour.

  • Four AOPS are now in production, with the construction of the fifth ship expected to begin later in 2019. AOPS 4 is expected to join the RCN fleet in 2022.

  • The AOPS are highly versatile platforms that can be used on a variety of missions at home and abroad, such as coastal surveillance, search and rescue, drug interdiction, support to international partners, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief.

  • Work is ongoing to complete the Nanisivik Naval Facility, which will support operations of the new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships and other government maritime vessels. This new facility is expected to be complete later this year.

Associated links


Todd Lane
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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