Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessel
HMCS Harry DeWolf under construction May 2018
|Name:||Harry DeWolf class|
|Operators:||Royal Canadian Navy|
|Displacement:||6,615 metric tonnes|
|Length:||103.6 m (340 ft)|
|Beam:||19 m (62 ft)|
|Ice class:||Polar Class 5|
|Installed power:||Four 3.6 MW (4,800 hp) diesel generators|
|Propulsion:||Diesel-electric; two shafts (2 × 4.5 MW (6,000 hp))|
|Range:||6,800 nautical miles (12,600 km)|
|Boats & landing |
|Two multi-role rescue boats|
|Sensors and |
|AESA Radar, MESA 4D Radar, SATCOM (Link 16), Multichannel VHF/HF Radio, Anti-missile detect systems, Sonar, SAGEM Integrated Bridge Navigational System, and Damage/Machinery Control Systems|
The Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessel is a Government of Canada procurement project for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) that is part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. The class was previously referred to as Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS). In July 2007 the federal government announced plans for acquiring six to eight icebreaking warships for the RCN.
The vessels had been speculated to be modelled on the Norwegian NoCGV Svalbard and as of 2007 were projected to cost CA$3.5 billion to construct with a total project procurement budgeted to cost $4.3 billion in order to cover maintenance over the 25-year lifespan of the vessels.
The lead ship of the class was announced as Harry DeWolf in September 2014, and four additional ships were named in January 2015. Construction of the ships Harry DeWolf and Margaret Brooke started in September 2015 and September 2016 at Halifax Shipyards, respectively. Harry DeWolf and Margaret Brooke were planned to be delivered in 2018. Harry DeWolf was officially launched on 15 September 2018, with Margaret Brooke expected to follow in 2019. Max Bernays began construction in December 2017 and William Hall was planned to begin in 2017, although construction has been delayed to 2018, with Max Bernays expected to launch in late 2019, followed by William Hall in 2020. Frédérick Rolette and Robert Hampton Gray, are planned to be completed by 2021 and 2022, respectively. Both Harry DeWolf and Margaret Brooke are planned to be retired from service and decommissioned by 2044.
In 2006 Prime Minister Stephen Harper had spoken about building three to four icebreakers capable of travelling through thick ice in the Arctic Ocean. In 2007 it was announced that the Canadian Forces would purchase six to eight patrol ships having an ice class of Polar Class 5, meaning that they were capable of limited ice breaking, based on the Svalbard class. This announcement was met with some controversy, and the proposed ships have been called "slush-breakers", by Dr. Gary Stern, a scientist aboard CCGS Amundsen, and Jack Layton of the NDP. However, it is notable that of the nineteen Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers currently in service, only six have an ice class higher than Polar Class 5.
In 2010 the Arctic Patrol Ship Project was grouped with several other federal government ship procurement projects for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard into the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). The NSPS announced on 19 October 2011 that Irving Shipbuilding would be awarded the $25 billion contract for building six to eight Arctic patrol ships as well as fifteen other warships for the RCN over the next two decades.
In April 2013, the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report on the proposed AOPS. The report was written by UBC Professor Michael Byers and Stewart Webb. The report's conclusion was that Canada would be better suited to have purpose built ships, namely icebreakers for the Arctic and offshore patrol vessels for the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. In May, the CBC revealed that the projected cost of the design phase of the project was many times what other countries paid for similar ships based on the same Norwegian class for design, construction, and full-up operational deployment of multiple ships. Design is usually projected to consume 10–20% of the project cost. The projected design cost of the ship class is $288 million, versus an expert cost estimate that they should only cost $10–15 million to design. The Norwegians spent $100 million for the initial design and fielding of the first unit, NoCGV Svalbard. The Danish built two ships for $105 million, and the Irish did the same for $125 million.
In September 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the name of the first ship in the class would be Harry DeWolf, named in honour of wartime Canadian naval hero Harry DeWolf, and that the class would be named the Harry DeWolf class. In December it was found that not enough money had been projected to cover the cost of building the six to eight planned ships and that the budget would need to be increased, delaying the signing of the contract. However, in an effort to drive down costs, Irving Shipbuilding could only project building five ships with the option to build a sixth only if it came under budget. The budget for the project was increased from $3.1 billion to $3.5 billion to insure a cash buffer.
On 13 April 2015 the government announced a second ship would be named Margaret Brooke in honour of Margaret Brooke. During the Second World War, Brooke, a navy nursing sister, was decorated for her actions during the sinking of the passenger ferry SS Caribou. The third ship will be named Max Bernays for Chief Petty Officer Max Bernays who served aboard HMCS Assiniboine during the Second World War and was decorated for his actions during the sinking of the German submarine U-210. The fourth ship will be named for William Hall, a Victoria Cross (VC) recipient from Nova Scotia and the first black person to be awarded the VC, for his actions during the Siege of Lucknow. The fifth ship will be named for Frédérick Rolette, a French-Canadian sailor of the Royal Navy who, during the War of 1812, was second-in-command of the ship Lady Prevost at the Battle of Lake Erie.
On 2 November 2018, the option for the sixth ship was taken up. The cost of the sixth vessel is expected to be higher due to the tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed by both Canada and the United States.
On 18 June 2015 it was reported that the construction of test modules for the lead ship of the class Harry DeWolf was underway. The first sections of keel were placed on 11 March 2016, but the official laying of the keel of Harry DeWolf was held on 9 June 2016, marking the first naval construction in Canada since 1998. In September 2016, it was announced that construction had begun on Margaret Brooke and that 50 of 64 modular pieces of Harry DeWolf had been completed. On 8 December 2017, the three main sections of Harry DeWolf were fitted into place. The first steel for Max Bernays was cut on 19 December 2017.
The vessels' design was initially intended to incorporate a conventional icebreaking bow for cruising, and would have proceeded backwards for breaking heavy ice. The vessels' stern would have been designed for ice breaking and they would have employed azimuth thrusters for propulsion and for chewing through resistant ice. However, due to cost constraints, a conventional bow-first design was chosen for both light and heavy icebreaking. The propulsion would be provided by diesel-electric twin shafts with bolt-on propellers, similar to existing Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers.
The vessels will have a hangar and flight deck capable of employing and maintaining the same maritime helicopters as the RCN's other vessels: the CH-148 Cyclone when it enters service with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the CH-149 Cormorant.
In 2008, a contract was awarded to BMT Fleet Technology and STX Canada Marine to assist in developing technical specifications and a design for the project. The technical specifications were to be used to draft a Request for Proposals. The government later awarded a design contract to BMT Fleet Technology and STX Canada Marine to develop the design of the vessel for issue to the selected NSPS proponent.
The ships will be built in three large mega blocks; centre, aft and bow. Each mega block will consist of 62 smaller building blocks. The first steel was cut on Harry DeWolf in September 2015.
The ships are designed to displace 6,440 metric tons. They are capable of outfitting multiple payload options such as shipping containers, underwater survey equipment, or a landing craft. The vessels have a 20-tonne crane to self-load/unload, and a vehicle bay to carry vehicles for deployment over the ice. The design also calls for an enclosed cable deck and forecastle to better cope with the Arctic environment. On the open sea, the ship has fin stabilizers to reduce roll that are retractable during ice operations.
Propulsion and power
In August 2015, it was announced that BAE Systems had won the contract to provide up to six modified Mk 38 Mod 2 25 mm cannon for the class. This contract also covers the service life of the weapons.
In September 2015, it was announced that the ships would be outfitted with SAGEM BlueNaute navigational systems. On 7 October 2015, Thales IFF system was selected for use on the class. Terma currently provides its SCANTER 6002 radar system to Lockheed Martin Canada as part of the Combat Management System (CMS 330), which was selected by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. for the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS).
Ships in class
|Harry DeWolf class|
|Ship name||Number||Builder||Laid down||Launched||Commissioned||Status|
|Harry DeWolf||AOPV 430||Irving Shipbuilding, Halifax, Nova Scotia||11 March 2016||15 September 2018||Fitting out|
|Margaret Brooke||AOPV 431||29 May 2017||Under construction|
|Max Bernays||AOPV 432||5 December 2018||Under construction|
|William Hall||AOPV 433|
|Frédérick Rolette||AOPV 434|
|Robert Hampton Gray||AOPV 435||Option taken up 2 November 2018|
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