River-class destroyer

Royal Canadian Navy

The River-class destroyer will ensure that Canada can continue to monitor and defend its waters and make significant contributions to international naval operations.

Designated as destroyers, they are fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warships capable of conducting operations, escorting larger vessels and defending against a wide range of threats.

They will be Canada’s major surface component of maritime combat power.

At a glance

  • Departure

    8,000 tonnes

  • Length

    151.4 metres

  • Beam

    20.75 metres

  • Top speed

    27 knots

  • Range

    7,000 nautical miles

  • Complement
    (crew capacity)


A global warship at its core


Rivers yearn for the sea. Rivers are the veins of our nation. Rivers are a critical natural force in our landscape, our economy, and Royal Canadian Naval history.  

We are proud to introduce the next class of Canadian warships.  

The River-class is a guided missile destroyer, with radar that can detect threats from the surface all the way to space.

These next generation destroyers will be Canada’s major surface combatant.  

The first three ships will be named after Canada’s most important waterways that reach the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans.   

They will be named HMCS Fraser, HMCS Saint-Laurent, and HMCS Mackenzie.  

The Land-based Test Facility will be named HMCS Assiniboine after one of our most storied ships. The Assiniboine river does not flow into the ocean, a fitting name for this facility.  

The naming of naval ships is a time-honoured maritime tradition.  

The River-class ships will be named in honour of the vessels of our past and celebrate the heritage of Indigenous Peoples.  

We are a country of rivers, a shipbuilding nation, and together, building Canada’s fleet.   

With its warfare capability and versatility, the River-class destroyer can be deployed anywhere in the world, either independently or as part of a task group.

It will provide the ideal foundation for the RCN’s future fleet, designed to serve Canada and the sailors of tomorrow.

At its core, it is designed to be combat-capable by enabling highly trained RCN sailors to meet any scenario with state-of-the-art equipment. Operationally, it will be able to provide credible and relevant effect to deliver on the RCN’s mission set outlined in Canada’s defence policy .

The River-class destroyers will be able to conduct air, surface, sub-surface and information warfare missions simultaneously, whether in patrol conditions or full-scale combat. The crews will be trained and organized to be capable of conducting warfare operations and respond to any damage sustained.


  • Perform a broad range of missions with North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), 5-Eyes nations, NATO, coalition partners, and with other Canadian government departments and agencies;
  • Decisive combat power for operations at sea, and in support of joint-force operations ashore; and
  • Ability to support missions conducted as part of counter-piracy, counter-terrorism, intelligence and surveillance, interdiction and embargo, humanitarian assistance, research and rescue, and enforcement of law or sovereignty.

Class features

Command and Control
  • Integrated management systems: combat, communication, bridge and navigation, and cyber-defence; 
  • The United States Navy Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), which is a real-time sensor netting system that enables high quality situational awareness and enhance anti-air warfare capability; 
  • A complete electronic warfare and countermeasures suite; 
  • Solid State 3D Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar; 
  • Solid State Target Illuminator;  
  • Navigation Radars;  
  • Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems;
  • A vertically launched missile system supporting long, short and close-in missile defence, long-range precision naval fires support and anti-ship engagements; 
  • A 127mm main gun system and dual 30mm gun mounts; 
  • Lightweight Torpedoes;  
Integrated Underwater Warfare System
  • Bow-mounted sonar, towed low frequency active and passive sonar, lightweight torpedoes and decoys; 
  • A CH-148 Cyclone multi-role helicopter, multi-role boats and facilities for embarking remotely piloted systems.