Arctic and offshore patrol ships
Canada’s defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE) – committed to the acquisition of six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS). Designated the Harry DeWolf-class in honour of Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, a Canadian wartime naval hero, the vessels will be delivered through the AOPS project, which is part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
The Harry DeWolf-class patrol ships be able to perform a wide variety of tasks, such as:
- Provide increased presence and conduct surveillance operations throughout Canada’s waters, including in the Arctic;
- Support Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) sovereignty operations;
- Participate in a wide variety of international operations, such as anti-smuggling, anti-piracy or international security and stability;
- Contribute to humanitarian assistance, emergency response and disaster relief domestically or internationally;
- Conduct Search and Rescue (SAR) and facilitate communications among other ships;
- Support CAF core missions including capacity building in support of other nations; and
- Support other government departments in their ability to enforce their respective mandates.
The Harry DeWolf-class patrol ships will operate in the Arctic between June and October, providing a greater, and longer, CAF presence in the north. They will be capable of operating in first-year ice of 120-centimetre thickness. This will allow the Royal Canadian Navy to have unescorted access to areas of the Arctic that were previously inaccessible.
The Harry DeWolf-class patrol ships will have the ability to sustain operations for up to four months. The Nanisivik Naval Facility and our future support ships will further extend the RCN operations by refueling and replenishing the ships.
The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship project will also acquire integrated logistics support products, jetty infrastructures in Halifax and Esquimalt, and a berthing and fueling facility in Nanisivik, Nunavut.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc. launched the first ship to water in September 2018. The future HMCS Harry DeWolf is expected to be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy in the summer of 2019.
Phases of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship project
Currently in Phase 4: Implementation
- Completed through the National Shipbuilding Strategy
2. Options analysis
2. Options analysis
- Completed through the National Shipbuilding Strategy
- Project approval: December 13, 2012
- Contract award: March 7, 2013
- Long lead items: 2014
- Project approval: December 11, 2014
- Contract award: January 5, 2015
- Final design review: 2015
- Cut steel for ship 1 : September 1, 2015
- Cut steel for ship 2: August 25, 2016
- Schedule rebaseline: 2016
- Cut steel for ship 3: December 19, 2017
- Cut steel for ship 4: 2019
- Cut steel for ship 5: 2019
- First delivery: Summer 2019
- Second delivery: 2020
- Cut steel for ship 6: 2020
- Initial operational capability: 2020
- Third delivery: 2021
- Fourth delivery: 2022
- Fifth delivery: 2023
- Sixth delivery: 2024
- Full operational capability: 2025
*Key milestones and timeline are reflective of the currently approved schedule. A proposal for Ship 6 has been received and negotiations with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. are ongoing.
Learn more about the Defence procurement process
Construction of the fourth ship, the future HMCS William Hall, began.
A contract amendment was signed for the acquisition of a sixth ship and extension of the schedule.
The Government of Canada confirmed that the RCN will receive a sixth AOPS. and that the production schedule will be extended by 18 months, thereby mitigating the production gap between the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship and Canadian Surface Combatant construction.
The first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship was officially named Harry DeWolf during the traditional naming ceremony.
The future HMCS Harry DeWolf (ship 1) was launched to water in September 2018.
The first two of three mega-blocks of the future HMCS Margaret Brooke (ship 2) were moved from inside the Halifax Shipyard’s Assembly and Ultra Hall facility to the exterior land-level construction point.
Construction of the third ship, the future HMCS Max Bernays (ship 3), began.
The future HMCS Harry DeWolf’s third and final mega-block moved from inside the Halifax Shipyard’s Assembly and Ultra Hall facility to the exterior land level construction point, where it was joined to the first two mega-blocks to form the complete ship.
The first two of three mega-blocks of the future HMCS Harry DeWolf were moved from inside the Halifax Shipyard’s Assembly and Ultra Hall facility to the exterior land-level construction point.
Construction of the second vessel, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke, began.
Construction of the first vessel, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, began. The future fleet has been designated the Harry DeWolf-class. The other vessels in the class have also been named:
- HMCS Margaret Brooke
- HMCS Max Bernays
- HMCS William Hall
- HMCS Frédérick Rolette
The AOPS project also includes jetty infrastructure in Esquimalt, B.C., and Halifax, N.S., and a berthing and fueling facility in Nanisivik, Nunavut.
The Government of Canada announced a $2.6 billion contract (taxes included) to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. to build the Harry DeWolf-class patrol ships, marking the start of the construction phase under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Benefiting Canadian Industry
Commitment to Canadian Industry
The National Shipbuilding Strategy’s selection of the two shipyards to rebuild the fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard were applied in a comprehensive and innovative way by following principles of extensive industry consultations, along with the establishment of a strong governance structure and the involvement of independent third parties.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc., as the selected shipyard for the combat package of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, is responsible for engagements with industry. Through these engagements, the shipyard has established contracts for the sourcing of services, materials, equipment’s and systems for use in the design and construction of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.
The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) policy is being applied to the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship Definition and Implementation contracts. The total IRB obligation is $2.5 billion. As of May 2018, $966 million has been completed and $652 million is in progress.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc. has $12.5 million in National Shipbuilding Strategy Value Proposition obligations, in the areas of human resources, technology and industrial development, 100% of which have been identified to date.
Some of the links below lead to websites that are not part of the Government of Canada and may be available in English only.
The amended build contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. will deliver six ships.
Harry DeWolf-class patrol ship specifications
- Length: 103 metres
- Beam: 19 metres
- Crew: up to 65
- Estimated life expectancy: 25 years of service per vessel
- The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship project acquisition budget is $4.3 billion (excluding taxes). This includes ship design, project management, materials and labour needed to build all the ships, jetty and fueling infrastructure, initial spare parts, technical data, training of crew, contingency, amongst other items.
- In 2017, one in-service support contract for 35 years was awarded to Thales for both the Joint Support Ships and Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and is valued at $5.2 billion.
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