HMCS Nanaimo (MM 702)

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Nanaimo Canada Day 09.jpg
HMCS Namaimo alongside in Victoria Harbour for Canada Day 2009 celebrations
Name: Nanaimo
Namesake: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Builder: Halifax Shipyards Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia
Laid down: 11 August 1995
Launched: 17 May 1996
Commissioned: 10 May 1997
Homeport: CFB Esquimalt
Motto: Faith and Labour[1]
Honours and
Atlantic 1941–44, Gulf of St. Lawrence 1944[1]
Status: Active
Notes: Colours: Gold and Blue[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Kingston-class coastal defence vessel
Displacement: 970 long tons (990 t)
Length: 55.3 m (181 ft 5 in)
Beam: 11.3 m (37 ft 1 in)
Draught: 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in)
  • 4 × Jeumont ANR-53-50 alternators, 4 × 600VAC Wärtsilä UD 23V12 diesel engines, 7.2 MW (9,700 hp)
  • 2 × Jeumont CI 560L motors, 3,000 hp (2,200 kW)
  • 2 × LIPS Z drive azimuth thrusters
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 8 kn (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
Complement: 37
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Kelvin Hughes navigation radar (I-band)
  • Kelvin Hughes 6000 surface search radar (E-F band)
  • Global Positioning System
  • AN/SQS-511 towed side scan sonar
  • Remote-control Mine Hunting System (RMHS)

HMCS Nanaimo is a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel that has served in the Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Navy since 1997. Nanaimo is the third ship of her class. She is the second vessel to use the designation HMCS Nanaimo. She is assigned to Joint Task Force Pacific (formerly Maritime Forces Pacific) and is homeported at CFB Esquimalt.

Design and description[edit]

The Kingston class was designed to fill the minesweeper, coastal patrol and reserve training needs of the Canadian Forces, replacing the Bay-class minesweepers, Porte-class gate vessels and Royal Canadian Mounted Police coastal launches in those roles.[2] In order to perform these varied duties the Kingston-class vessels are designed to carry up to three 6.1-metre (20 ft) ISO containers with power hookups on the open deck aft in order to embark mission-specific payloads.[3] The seven module types available for embarkation include four route survey, two mechanical minesweeping and one bottom inspection modules.[2]

The Kingston class displace 970 long tons (990 t) and are 55.3 metres (181 ft 5 in) long overall with a beam 11.3 metres (37 ft 1 in) and a draught of 3.4 metres (11 ft 2 in).[2] The coastal defence vessels are powered by four Jeumont ANR-53-50 alternators coupled to four Wärtsilä UD 23V12 diesel engines creating 7.2 megawatts (9,700 hp). Two LIPS Z-drive azimuth thrusters are driven by two Jeumont CI 560L motors creating 3,000 horsepower (2,200 kW) and the Z drives can be rotated 360°. This gives the ships a maximum speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) and a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph).[4]

The Kingston class is equipped with a Kelvin Hughes navigational radar using the I band and a Kelvin Hughes 6000 surface search radar scanning the E and F bands. The vessels carry an AN/SQS-511 towed side scan sonar for minesweeping and a Remote-control Mine Hunting System (RMHS). The vessels are equipped with one Bofors 40 mm/60 calibre Mk 5C gun and two M2 machine guns.[4][a] The Kingston-class coastal defence vessels have a complement of 37.[2] The 40 mm gun was declared obsolete and removed from the vessels in 2014. Some of them ended up as museum pieces and on display at naval reserve installations across Canada.[5]

Operational history[edit]

Underway in San Diego, California on 27 June 2014

The ship's keel was laid down on 11 August 1995 by Halifax Shipyards Ltd. at Halifax, Nova Scotia and was launched on 17 May 1996. Nanaimo was commissioned into the Canadian Forces on 10 May 1997 at Nanaimo, British Columbia and carries the hull number MM 702.[6]

After commissioning, Nanaimo was assigned to the west coast. In June 2002, she participated in the naval exercise RIMPAC 2002. As part of Operation Caribbe, she patrolled the eastern Pacific Ocean with sister ship Whitehorse in February 2014.[7] The coastal defence vessel once again participated in RIMPAC in 2014, as part of the units operating off Southern California.[8] After the 40 mm gun was declared obsolete in 2014, Nanaimo's model was donated to the Vancouver Island Military Museum and positioned near the museum entrance.[5]

In February 2015, Nanaimo was deployed as part of Operation Caribbe.[9] On 10 March, Nanaimo came across 50 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) packets of cocaine floating in the ocean. She returned to Canada on 15 April 2015.[10] Nanaimo departed Esquimalt on 28 September 2017 and sailed to San Diego, California to embark a United States Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) before beginning patrols associated with Operation Caribbe in the Eastern Pacific on 16 October.[11][12] On 31 October, Nanaimo intercepted a suspect vessel and her LEDET unit boarded the boat, seizing 478 kg (1,054 lb) of cocaine. Nanaimo intercepted a further 750 kg (1,650 lb) of cocaine in the following weeks.[13] Nanaimo returned to Esquimalt on 15 December.[14]



  1. ^ The 60 calibre denotes the length of the gun. This means that the length of the gun barrel is 60 times the bore diameter.


  1. ^ a b c "Official Lineages, Volume 2, Part 1: Extant Commissioned Ships". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Macpherson and Barrie, p. 299
  3. ^ Saunders (2008), p. 95
  4. ^ a b Saunders (2004), p. 92
  5. ^ a b Mallett, Peter (17 October 2018). "Big guns find new life". CFB Esquimalt Lookout. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  6. ^ Macpherson and Barrie, p. 303
  7. ^ Pugliese, David (13 February 2014). "Her Majesty's Canadian Ships Nanaimo and Whitehorse On Their Way To Operation Caribbe". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  8. ^ Pugliese, David (26 June 2014). "Full list of participating forces and military assets for RIMPAC 2014". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  9. ^ Pugliese, David (2 March 2015). "Four Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels on patrol on OP Caribbe". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  10. ^ Petrescu, Sarah (16 April 2015). "Esquimalt-based ships return from busting drug smugglers". Times Colonist. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  11. ^ "HMCS Nanaimo deploys for Operation Caribbe". Victoria Lookout. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  12. ^ Watts, Richard (29 November 2017). "HMCS Nanaimo helps in drug swoop, intercepting 1.5 tonnes of cocaine". Times Colonist. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  13. ^ Quon, Alexander (21 November 2017). "Canadian Armed Forces vessels have helped seize 2,162 kg of cocaine since October". Global News. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  14. ^ Bell, Jeff (15 December 2017). "Santa arrives for Christmas, along with HMCS Nanaimo". Times Colonist. Retrieved 20 June 2018.


  • Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–2002 (Third ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-072-1.
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2004). Jane's Fighting Ships 2004–2005 (107 ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: Jane's Information Group Inc. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2008). Jane's Fighting Ships 2008–2009. Jane's Fighting Ships (111th ed.). Surrey: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2845-9. OCLC 225431774.

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