First AOPS for Canada

Hundreds of employees gathered in the new Assembly Hall at the Halifax Shipyard to celebrate the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) for Canada. Delivery of the first HMCS Harry DeWolf-class ship is expected in 2018.

Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding and hundreds of employees at the Halifax Shipyard mark the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship on September 1
Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding and hundreds of employees at the Halifax Shipyard mark the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship on September 1

«Today is a milestone we have all been anticipating. It is a great day to be a shipbuilder in Nova Scotia as we mark the beginning of this generational opportunity», said Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding. «We’re doing this with the best team and the largest and most modern shipbuilding facility in North America. Our focus is on delivering the best value to Canada with a growing supply chain from coast to coast to coast».

Production has begun on two units for the center section of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol ship. Welders, pipefitters, marine fabricators and ironworkers are among the trades involved in the process, using the new state-of-the-art panel line.

The ship is the first of up to 21 vessels that will renew Canada’s combatant fleet over the next 30 years under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Irving Shipbuilding has built more than 80% of Canada’s current combatant ships.

All of the employees on the recall list have been contacted. Current direct employment at Marine Fabricators in Dartmouth (where steel is cut) and the Halifax Shipyard is about 900 direct employees (staff and hourly). Over the next two years, the workforce at both sites is expected to rise to 1,600 direct employees with over 1,000 directly employed on AOPS production. In addition, total employment at Irving Shipbuilding (all operations) is forecasted to rise to over 2,500 direct employees at peak production of the larger Canadian Surface Combatant vessels that will replace Canada’s current fleet of Halifax Class frigates.

To date, the modernization at Irving Shipbuilding and the AOPS contract have resulted in over $1 Billion in spending commitments:

  • Over $850 Million committed within Canada (84% of contracts awarded);
  • Over $300 Million committed spend to companies in Nova Scotia;
  • Over 2,000 suppliers now registered with Irving Shipbuilding.

These spend will generate:

  • Over 8,700 Direct and Indirect jobs in Canada (3,400 in Nova Scotia);
  • Over $550 Million in Direct and Indirect Employment Income;
  • An Estimated $400 Million in Consumer Spending.
Halifax Shipyard worker cuts components for the first AOPS ship using state-of-the-art plasma cutter
Halifax Shipyard worker cuts components for the first AOPS ship using state-of-the-art plasma cutter

 

Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships

The Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) project will deliver six ice-capable ships, designated as the Harry DeWolf Class, after Canadian wartime naval hero Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf.

The AOPS will be capable of:

  • armed sea-borne surveillance of Canada’s waters, including the Arctic;
  • providing government situational awareness of activities and events in these regions;
  • cooperating with other partners in the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments to assert and enforce Canadian sovereignty, when and where necessary.

Construction of the first AOPS will begin in September 2015, with HMCS Harry DeWolf scheduled for delivery in 2018.

The announced names of the Harry DeWolf-class ships to date are:

  • HMCS Harry DeWolf
  • HMCS Margaret Brooke
  • HMCS Max Bernays
  • HMCS William Hall
  • HMCS Frédérick Rolette
Centre section component of first AOPS ship underway at Halifax Shipyard
Centre section component of first AOPS ship underway at Halifax Shipyard

 

Specifications

Displacement 6,440 tonnes
Length 338 feet/103 m
Beam 62.3 feet/19 m
Maximum speed 17 knots/19.5 mph/31 km/h
Cruising speed 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h
Range at Cruising speed 6,800 NM/7,825 miles/12,593.6 km
Complement 65
International ice classification standard Polar Class 5
Be able to sustain operations up to 4 months
Remain operational 25 years beyond Initial Operational Capability (IOC)
Harry DeWolf-Class Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship
Harry DeWolf-Class Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship

 

Features

Integrated Bridge Navigation System

Modern integrated bridge, from which control of navigation, machinery, and damage control systems can be performed.

Multi-Purpose Operational Space

Where operational planning and mission execution will be coordinated.

BAE Mk-38 Gun

Remote controlled 25-mm gun to support domestic constabulary role.

Enclosed Focsle/Cable Deck

Protects foredeck machinery and workspace from harsh Arctic environment.

Helicopter Capability

Depending on the mission, the embarked helicopter could range from a small utility aircraft right up to the new CH-148 maritime helicopter.

Cargo/Payloads

Multiple payload options such as shipping containers, underwater survey equipment, or a landing craft. Ship has a 20-tonne crane to self-load/unload.

Vehicle Bay

For rapid mobility over land or ice, the ship can carry vehicles such as pickup trucks, All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), and snowmobiles.

Diesel/Electric Propulsion

Propulsion: Two 4.5 MW main propulsion engines, four 3.6 MW generators.

Retractable Active Fin Stabilizers

Deployed to reduce ship roll for open ocean operations, retracted for operations in ice.

Multi-Role Rescue Boats

Top speed of 35+ knots/40+ mph/65+ km/h, 28 feet/8.5 meters long. Will support rescues, personnel transfers, or boarding operations.

Bow Thrusters

To enable maneuvering or berthing without tug assistance.

Artist’s impression of the Harry DeWolf-Class Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship
Artist’s impression of the Harry DeWolf-Class Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship

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