As part of Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, the Government of Canada is acquiring the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) to bolster the Royal Canadian Navy’s capabilities while equipping its women and men with versatile and reliable vessels to complete their vital missions.
On November 2, 2018, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence announced that the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) will receive a sixth patrol ship, which will help sustain hundreds of highly-skilled middle class jobs at Irving shipyards.
The Royal Canadian Navy needs a diversified fleet to respond to the challenges it faces today and will face well into the future. The AOPS will patrol Canada’s oceans, including the Arctic, and are perfectly suited for missions abroad to support international partners, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, search and rescue, and drug interdiction.
A sixth patrol ship will greatly increase the capacity of the Royal Canadian Navy to deploy AOPS simultaneously, at home or abroad. Additionally, a fleet of six AOPS will allow our frigates to focus on further tasks, allowing the RCN to use its fleet more effectively.
The Government of Canada is also committed to providing the best economic opportunities for Canadians. Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Government of Canada is providing the Royal Canadian Navy with safe and effective vessels to carry out their missions, while providing meaningful economic opportunities for Canadians.
The decision for a sixth ship was made possible after ensuring adequate funding for the acquisition of the ship, as well as the modified production schedule.
The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships will significantly enhance the Canadian Armed Forces’ capabilities and presence in the Arctic, as well as augment their presence on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, better enabling the Royal Canadian Navy to safeguard Canadian Arctic sovereignty.
The AOPS are highly versatile platforms that can be used on a variety of missions at home and abroad, such as coastal surveillance, search and rescue, drug interdiction, support to international partners, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief.
Three ships are in full production and steel cutting for the fourth ship is planned for this winter.
The first AOPS is now in the water and is expected to be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy in summer 2019.