Harry DeWolf class

Royal Canadian Navy

The Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPV) enhance the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) ability to assert Canadian sovereignty in Arctic and coastal Canadian waters, and support international operations.

This is the first time in its history that the RCN has named a class after a prominent Canadian Navy figure. The remaining ships in the class will be named to honour other prominent Royal Canadian Navy heroes who served their country with the highest distinction. All ships in the Harry DeWolf class will be affiliated with the six Inuit regions in the North.

Vessels in class

At a glance

  • Maximum

    6,660 tonnes

  • Length

    103 metres

  • Beam

    19 metres

  • Top speed

    17 knots (31 km/h)

  • Range

    6,800 nautical miles

  • Maximum


Canada’s first line of defence in the Arctic

The class is the RCN’s response to increased competition and traffic in Canada’s exclusive economic zone along the Northwest Passage, and enhances our maritime surveillance capabilities in the region.

The class boasts special design features for operation within drastically different environments – from Arctic to tropical waters – and has the ability to provide rapid mobility to RCN and Canadian Armed Forces personnel.

The class is able to conduct armed presence and surveillance operations, contribute to humanitarian assistance, emergency response and disaster relief both domestically and internationally, and conduct search and rescue missions.

Class features

Arctic sailing

The enclosed fo’c’sle – the foremost part of the upper deck – and cable deck protect foredeck machinery and personnel workspaces from the harsh arctic environment.

Propulsion, manoeuverability and stability

The class is powered by two 4.5-megawatt main propulsion engines and four 3.6-megavolt ampere generators.

Bow thrusters at the front of the ship provide increased manoeuverability, allowing berthing without assistance from tugboats.

Retractable, active fin stabilizers can be deployed to reduce ship roll in open ocean operations, and can be retracted for operations in ice.

Helicopters and multi-role rescue boats

Depending on mission requirements, the class is able to accommodate aircraft ranging from small utility aircraft up to the CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter.

Multi-role rescue boats have a top speed of over 35 knots, are 8.5 metres long, and support rescues, personnel transfers and boarding operations.

Weapons systems

The class has a BAE 25mm Mk 38 machine gun system that features a highly accurate gun targeting and surveillance system, as well as the M242 Cannon.

Modified for protection against arctic conditions, this system can be employed to support domestic law enforcement roles.

Payload management and vehicle bay

The stern (rear) of the ship is able to accommodate multiple payload options such as shipping containers, underwater survey equipment or landing craft. The ship is also equipped with a 20-tonne crane, providing self-load and unload capabilities.

The class has a bay large enough to carry specialized vehicles such as pickup trucks, ATVs and snowmobiles, providing rapid mobility to transport personnel over land or ice.

Integrated Bridge Navigation System

The modern integrated bridge allows the ship’s crew to control navigation, machinery and damage control systems.

Serving aboard Harry DeWolf class

Lt(N) Joe Cheng
Naval Warfare Officer

“I wake up each day feeling that I am contributing to something amazing. I truly believe in the importance of my job and root it firmly in the old saying, ‘Find a job you enjoy doing and you will never have to work a day in your life’.”

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