HMCS Saskatoon (MM 709)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other ships with the same name, see HMCS Saskatoon.
HMCS Saskatoon.jpg
Saskatoon in 2007
Name: Saskatoon
Namesake: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Builder: Halifax Shipyards Ltd., Halifax
Laid down: 5 September 1997
Launched: 30 March 1998
Commissioned: 5 December 1998
Homeport: CFB Esquimalt
Honours and
Atlantic, 1942-45.[1]
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Kingston-class coastal defence vessel
Displacement: 970 tonnes
Length: 55.3 m (181.43 ft)
Beam: 11.3 m (37.07 ft)
Draught: 3.4 m (11.15 ft)
  • 2 × Jeumont DC electric motors
  • 4 × 600VAC Wärtsilä SACM V12 diesel alternators
Speed: 15 kn (27.78 km/h)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,260.00 km)
Complement: 31 to 47
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Kelvin Hughes navigation radar (I-band)
  • Kelvin Hughes 6000 surface search radar (E-F band)
  • Global Positioning System
  • A towed high-frequency sidescan sonar
  • Remote-control Mine Hunting System (RMHS)

HMCS Saskatoon is a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel that has served in the Canadian Forces since 1998. Saskatoon is the tenth ship of her class which is the name for the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel Project. She is the second vessel to use the designation HMCS Saskatoon. The ship is named after the Canadian city of Saskatoon, and includes other references to the city such as naming the captains desk Cranberry Flats and a main corridor after Idylwyld Drive.[2] She is assigned to Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) and is homeported at CFB Esquimalt.


The Kingston-class coastal defence vessel was conceived to use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment and construction techniques in a ship designed to military specifications. The construction of the design required the building of partially outfitted steel block units, which were assembled into larger blocks and those blocks were integrated into the ship. The decks were assembled upside down with pre-outfitting of the underside of the deck prior to installation on the ship. The ship is outfitted with a degaussing system from Power Magnetics and Electronic Systems.[3]

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.[4]

Armament and sensors[edit]

Kingston-class vessels are outfitted with a Bofors 40 mm 60 mk5C rapid fire gun, and two .50 calibre machine guns. The ships are equipped with one of three modular mine countermeasures systems: the deep sea Thales MMS mechanical minesweeping system, the route survey system or the Sutec remotely operated vehicle (ROV) mine inspection system.[3]

The navigation equipment installed in Kingston-class vessels are a Kelvin Hughes I-band navigation radar and a global positioning system. The surface search radar is the E to F-band Kelvin Hughes 6000.[3]


The ship is equipped with four main Wärtsilä UD 23V12 diesel engines which are coupled to four alternators (600 V AC). Two Jeumont electric motors (±740 V DC) provide power to the two LIPS Z-drive azimuth thrusters which are fitted with fixed-pitch reversing propellers. The propulsion system provides 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) maximum continuous speed. The range at the economical cruising speed of 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) using two engines is 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) with a 20% margin in tank capacity. Mechanical minesweeping is carried out at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). The crash stop length is five ship lengths from a speed of 15 knots.[3]

Construction and career[edit]

Saskatoon was laid down on 5 September 1997 at Halifax Shipyards Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia and was launched on 30 March 1998. The ship was officially commissioned into the Canadian Forces on 5 December 1998 and carries the pennant number 709.

In 2007, a court martial revealed that a third of the crew of the ship used illicit drugs, namely cocaine. This led to a wider investigation in the Canadian Forces into drug use.[5][6] In February 2012, Saskatoon took part in Exercise Pacific Guardian, a joint naval exercise with the United States.[7]

In February 2016 Edmonton and Saskatoon took part in Operation Caribbe.[8] On 19 March, Saskatoon intercepted a fishing boat that when discovered, jettisoned its cargo and fled. Saskatoon recovered ten bales or 360 kilograms (790 lb) of cocaine from the water.[9][10] On 25 March, a patrol aircraft spotted a boat in international waters. The boat, noticing the plane, dumped its cargo and fled. Saskatoon was dispatched to search the area but did not intercept the boat, however, the ship did recover sixteen bales of cocaine totalling 640 kilograms (1,410 lb).[11] Edmonton and Saskatoon returned to Esquimalt on 29 April 2016.[12] In June 2016, Calgary, Vancouver, Saskatoon and Yellowknife sailed from Esquimalt to participate in the RIMPAC naval exercise.[13]


  1. ^ "Volume 2, Part 1: Extant Commissioned Ships - HMCS Saskatoon". Official Lineages. National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "HMCS SASKATOON". Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. University of Regina. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Kingston Class Coastal Defence Vessels, Canada". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Saunders, Stephen (ed.) (2008). Jane's Fighting Ships 2008–2009. Jane's Fighting Ships (111th ed.). Surrey: Jane's Information Group. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-7106-2845-9. OCLC 225431774. 
  5. ^ "Illicit drug use was widespread on HMCS Saskatoon, court martial told". 13 August 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Cocaine widespread on Canadian warship, court martial told". CBC News. 13 August 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Exercise PACIFIC GUARDIAN". BC Shipping News. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Esquimalt-based naval vessels join Operation Caribbe". Times Colonist. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Kerslake, Danny (31 March 2016). "HMCS Saskatoon makes high seas drug bust". CBC News. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Menz, Kevin; Mireau, Julie (30 March 2016). "HMCS Saskatoon helps seize 360 kilograms of cocaine off Central American coast". CTV News. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  11. ^ Pugliese, David (8 April 2016). "More drug seizures for Her Majesty's Canadian Ships Saskatoon and Edmonton". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 17 April 2016. 
  12. ^ van Straaten, Tess (29 April 2016). "Shawnigan protesters greet defence minister as HMCS Edmonton, Saskatoon come home". CHEK News. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  13. ^ Petrescu, Sarah (13 June 2016). "Navy ships leave for exercise off California". Times Colonist. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 

External links[edit]