Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan announced today that the Government of Canada is proceeding with the acquisition of a sixth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS).

“I am delighted to confirm today that the Royal Canadian Navy will receive a sixth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, as outlined in our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged,” said Sajjan. “This versatile vessel will offer greater capabilities to our women and men who will sail on the AOPS and will bolster the RCN’s future operational capacity.”

The decision for a sixth ship came about after careful consideration of adequate funding and the modified production schedule of AOPS. Years ago, Canada committed to procuring five to six Harry DeWolf-class ships in honour of Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, a Canadian wartime naval hero. The acquisition of these ships is through the AOPS project, which is part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

Two mega-blocks of the future HMCS Harry DeWolf were moved out of the Halifax Shipyard this summer. Image: RCN.

These ships will help boost the presence of the RCN in the Arctic between June and October and provide the navy with unescorted access to areas of the Arctic that were previously inaccessible.

“These ships will enhance the RCN’s capacity to operate in the North while continuing to contribute to a wide range of security, humanitarian and capacity building operations at home and around the world,” said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the RCN.

Three ships are in full production and steel cutting for the fourth ship is planned for this winter. The first ship, HMCS Harry DeWolf, is now in the water and is expected to be delivered to the RCN in summer 2019.