HMCS Onondaga

Named after the First Nation tribe, there has been only one vessel named HMCS Onondaga in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Onondaga (73)

The three “O” class submarines, which included two of the first submarines to be built to the order of the Royal Canadian Navy, were duplicates of the Oberon Class, at the time the Royal Navy’s latest conventionally powered submarines. All were built at Her Majesty’s Dockyard, Chatham, United Kingdom. In 1979, approval was given for the three to undergo a Submarine Operational Update Program (SOUP). In the course of this, they were fitted with new fire control, sonar, communications and optical equipment, as well as new batteries, which improved their endurance. Carried out at Her Majesty Dockyard, Halifax, Nova Scotia, the procedure upgraded their status from that of passive “tame” anti-submarine (ASW) targets to an aggressive capability. Though respectable enough craft in their prime, the “O” boats had long since reached the end of their useful lives and by July 1999, the three had been paid off. As of April 2008, they lay alongside in Halifax awaiting their fates.

HMCS Onondaga was commissioned at Chatham, United Kingdom, on 22 June 1967, and served most of her career from Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1994, she served for six months on the west coast from Esquimalt, British Columbia. She was paid off in Halifax on 28 July 2000. Instead of being scrapped, the submarine was purchased by the Museum of Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père, in Rimouski, Quebec in 2006. HMCS Onondaga was towed to Rimouski in July 2008 where she will become an exhibit.

  • Builder: Her Majesty’s Dockyard, Chatham, United Kingdom
  • Date laid down: 18 June 1964
  • Date launched: 25 September 1965
  • Date commissioned: 22 June 1967
  • Date paid off: 28 July 2000
  • Displacement: 1635.8 tonnes (surface) / 2448.7 tonnes (submerged)
  • Dimensions: 90 m x 8 m x 5.5 m
  • Speed: 12 knots (surface) / 17 knots (submerged)
  • Crew: 68
  • Armament: eight 21-inch  (533-mm) torpedo tubes

Motto: Invicta ( Unconquered)

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