Kingston-class coastal defence vessel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

HMCS Brandon.jpg
HMCS Brandon
Class overview
NameKingston class
BuildersHalifax Shipyards Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia
Operators Royal Canadian Navy
Preceded byAnticosti class
In commission21 September 1996–present
General characteristics
TypeCoastal defence vessel
Displacement970 t (950 long tons)
  • 55.31 m (181 ft 6 in) oa
  • 49 m (160 ft 9 in) pp
Beam11.3 m (37 ft 1 in)
Draught3.42 m (11 ft 3 in)
Speed15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi)
Complement47 max
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Kelvin Hughes Nucleus S-band surface search radar
  • Towed high-frequency sidescan sonar
  • Remote-control Mine Hunting System (RMHS)
  • Magnetic degaussing system
Aircraft carriedAeroVironment RQ-20 Puma UAS

The Kingston class consists of 12 coastal defence vessels operated by the Royal Canadian Navy. The class is the name for the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel Project (MCDV). These multi-role vessels were built and launched from the mid- to late-1990s and are crewed by a combination of Naval Reserve and Regular Force personnel. The main mission of the vessels is to train reservists, coastal patrol, minesweeping, law enforcement, pollution surveillance and search and rescue duties. The multi-purpose nature of the vessels led to their mixed construction between commercial and naval standards. The Kingston class is split between the east and west coasts of Canada and regularly deploy overseas to West Africa, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean.


The Kingston class was the result of the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel Project (MCDV) in the late 1980s. The project came about due to four influences, along with restrictions. The vessels in use by the Canadian Forces Naval Reserve were ageing and needed replacement. At the time, the Maritime Command was using old Mackenzie-class destroyers, Bay-class minesweepers and Porte-class gate vessels to train reservists, with the vast majority of the ships having begun service in the 1950s and early 1960s. The navy lacked a mine warfare capability. Furthermore, the new Halifax-class frigates were not capable of inshore and restricted area patrol and finally, the government sought to keep the shipbuilding efforts ongoing, as the frigate program was already well underway.[1]

The MCDV project was also the culmination of a series of political promises offered by then Minister of National Defence Gilles Lamontagne. The government sought to move the National Reserve Headquarters from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Quebec City, Quebec as part of their effort to increase French representation in the armed forces. The move was to provide a site where French-Canadians could live and work in their native language. Lamontagne faced opposition within the Forces due to Quebec City being far from the existing naval bases and the waters around it freezing during winter months. Lamontagne promised to replace the ships for naval reserve training in order to move the project forward.[2] The program began in the 1987 National Defence White Paper under the concept of "Total Force". This was intended to mask reductions in the regular force by increasing the capabilities of the reserve forces. This led the navy to add minesweeping and coastal patrol duties to the reserve force's list of duties.[3]

Design and description[edit]

There were five main criteria for the design. The ships had to be built in Canada, they had to be inexpensive to build, they had to be operable by naval reservists, the design had to have role flexibility included, and they had to be inexpensive to operate. This was exemplified by the Royal Navy's River-class minesweeper which was operated by the Royal Navy Reserve.[1] The design originally called for steel-hulled mine countermeasures vessels and training ships. The Kingston class were built to commercial standards to reduce costs with the exception of stability, maneuverability and the magazines which were constructed to naval standards.[4] Their mixed construction is visible in their two square, separated funnels which were cheaper to manufacture, their poor seakeeping and large radar signature.[1][4] The vessels were re-designated MCDV from MM (General Mine Warfare Vessel) when two follow-on programmes of purely minesweeper/hunters were cancelled, denoting their mixed duties.[5]

The ships have a standard displacement of 772 tonnes (760 long tons) light and 979 t (964 long tons) fully loaded. During sea trials, the vessels were found to be top heavy and a further 9 t (8.9 long tons) of permanent ballast was added. The Kingston class measure 55.31 metres (181 ft 6 in) long overall and 49 m (160 ft 9 in) between perpendiculars with a beam of 11.3 m (37 ft 1 in) and a draught of 3.42 m (11 ft 3 in). The vessels have a maximum crew of 47, with crew sizes changing depending on the vessel's task.[4][6] The crew is a mix of reservists and regular force personnel, with the regular force personnel assigned to engine room and electronics tasks.[1] The Kingston class are equipped with Kelvin Hughes Nucleus S-band surface search radar.[4]

The Kingston class use an electric drive system that is powered by four Wärtsilä UD 23V12 diesel engines which are coupled to four Jeumont ANR 53-50-4 alternators, creating 715 kilowatts each. Two Jeumont C1 560 L electric motors provide power to the two LIPS FS-100 Z-drive azimuth thrusters which are fitted with fixed-pitch reversing propellers. In total the system creates 3,064 shaft horsepower (2,285 kW) and a maximum speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). When minesweeping, the vessels have a maximum speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). The Kingston class have a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) and have an endurance of 18 days.[4][6]

The formerly fitted Bofors 40 mm Model 60 Mk 5C rapid fire gun on the forecastle deck of HMCS Nanaimo. One of the two 12.7 mm (.50 cal) machine guns can be seen in the background.

The Kingston class were initially armed with a single Bofors 40-millimetre (1.6 in)/60 calibre[a] Mk 1N/1 anti-aircraft gun mounted in a Mk 5C Boffin mount and two single 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Browning M2 machine guns. The Bofors guns were refurbished World War II models that had been previously used by the Canadian Army for air defence in Europe.[4] The Bofors gun was mounted on the forecastle deck until their removal in 2014. The machine guns are mounted on either side at the front of the bridge deck.[7] The 40 mm guns were used as monuments after being dismounted.[8] In October 2006, Maritime Command experimented with mounting a remote controlled heavy machine gun station, the OTO Melara 12.7 mm RCHMG, in place of the 40 mm Bofors cannon aboard Summerside.[9][10][11] The Nanuk .50 calibre RCWS from Rheinmetall was trialled as a replacement aboard HMCS Goose Bay in 2018.[7] All twelve ships have degaussing coil arrays fitted, but only the first three ships have the control system, with it situated between the two funnels.[1][4]

Modular payload[edit]

On the aft sweep deck, there are three positions that can receive a variety of mission payloads in the form of 6.1-metre (20 ft) ISO containers. The Royal Canadian Navy has a limited number of each mission payload;[6]

  • Two Indal Technologies AN/SLQ-38 deep mechanical minesweeping systems
  • Four MDA Ltd. AN/SQS-511 heavyweight high-definition Route Survey System
  • One ISE Ltd. Trailblazer bottom object inspection vehicle
  • One ISE Ltd. HYSUB 50 deep seabed intervention system
  • Fullerton and Sherwood Ltd. six-man, two-compartment containerised diving systems
  • MDA Ltd. Interim Remote Minehunting and Disposal System control van

Furthermore, the vessels have additional systems not in an ISO container format that can be fitted, including;[6]

  • Two L3/Klein K 5500 high definition side scan sonars
  • Four L3/Klein K 3000 dual frequency side scan sonars
  • Two Deep Ocean Engineering Inc. Phantom 4 remotely operated vehicles (ROV)

The modules are split between the naval bases on each coast. The Trailblazer module is based at CFB Esquimalt, there are two route survey modules per coast, and the two minesweeping modules are located at CFB Halifax. In November 2009, the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle was successfully trialled aboard a Kingston-class vessel.[4]


The Royal Canadian Navy discarded a $100-million mid-life refit plan for the twelve vessels in this class.[12] It was intended to retain the "mid-lifed" vessels through 2045–2055. While the RCN concluded that the money would be better spent in acquiring a new platform, the Liberal Government's 2017 defence policy statement, Strong, Secure and Engaged, did not reference replacing these vessels. The RCN review listed low speed and small size as reasons for the MCDV being inadequate for patrol duties (both are factors of the original specification). Notwithstanding the success of the ships in their deployment, critics suggest that patrol and training were tacked onto the mine-countermeasures role and that the platform lacks serious armament for a sovereignty enforcement role.[12]

In October 2011, L-3 MAPPS was awarded a contract to supply degaussing systems for the Kingston-class ships. The advanced degaussing systems were to be delivered and supported locally in collaboration with SAM Electronics.[13] In November 2012 MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates was awarded a two-year $13.4 million contract to repair and upgrade the deployable sonar systems.[14]

In 2018 the Royal Canadian Navy acquired the UAV AeroVironment Puma II AE with Mantis i45 Sensor for use on the Kingston class.[15]

Construction and career[edit]

In May 1992, a $CAN650 million contract was awarded to Halifax Shipyards of Halifax, Nova Scotia to construct twelve ships of the class. The vessels would be tasked with coastal patrol, minesweeping, law enforcement, pollution surveillance and search and rescue duties. Steel cutting for the first ship begin in December 1993 and by July 1999, all twelve Kingston-class ships would be in service.[1] The ships are evenly distributed between the east and west coasts. One vessel on each coast is maintained for rapid deployment: this responsibility is rotated amongst the ships.[6] The Kingston-class ships deploy regularly as part of Operation Caribbe in the Caribbean Sea and the Central American Pacific coast.[16][17] The ships also deploy to the Arctic as part of Operation Nanook,[18] and in naval exercises off the west coast of Africa[19] and in the Baltic Sea among others.[20] On 13 May 2010, it was announced that six of the twelve MCDVs would be placed in extended readiness due to lack of funds and the inability of the naval reserve to provide sufficient personnel to man the ships. However, on 14 May that order was rescinded.[21]

Ships in class[edit]

Kingston class construction data[4][6]
Pennant Name Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport Status Image
MM 700 Kingston Halifax Shipyards, Halifax, Nova Scotia 12 December 1994 12 August 1995 21 September 1996 CFB Halifax Active NCSM KINGSTON (MM 700) 1.jpg
MM 701 Glace Bay 28 April 1995 22 January 1996 26 October 1996 CFB Halifax Active HMCS Glace Bay (MM 701).jpg
MM 702 Nanaimo 11 August 1995 17 May 1996 10 May 1997 CFB Esquimalt Active Nanaimo Canada Day 09.jpg
MM 703 Edmonton 8 December 1995 31 October 1996 21 June 1997 CFB Esquimalt Active HMCS Edmonton Portland Fleet Week 2017 1.jpg
MM 704 Shawinigan 26 April 1996 15 November 1996 14 June 1997 CFB Halifax Active (MM 704)NCSM Shawinigan.jpg
MM 705 Whitehorse 26 July 1996 24 February 1997 17 April 1998 CFB Esquimalt Active HMCS WHITEHORSE.JPG
MM 706 Yellowknife 7 November 1996 5 June 1997 18 April 1998 CFB Esquimalt Active HMCS Yellowknife 2 (cropped).jpg
MM 707 Goose Bay 22 February 1997 4 September 1997 26 July 1998 CFB Halifax Active HMCS Goose Bay moored at the future site of the Nanisivik Naval Facility, during Operation Nanook, 2010-08-20.jpg
MM 708 Moncton 31 May 1997 5 December 1997 12 July 1998 CFB Halifax Active HMCS Moncton - IFR 2010.jpg
MM 709 Saskatoon 5 September 1997 30 March 1998 5 December 1998 CFB Esquimalt Active HMCS Saskatoon 2007.jpg
MM 710 Brandon 6 December 1997 10 July 1998 5 June 1999 CFB Esquimalt Active HMCS Brandon.jpg
MM 711 Summerside 28 March 1998 26 September 1998 18 July 1999 CFB Halifax Active HMCS Summerside.jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The /60 after the 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 d e f Macpherson & Barrie 2002, p. 299.
  2. ^ Milner 2010, pp. 285–286.
  3. ^ Milner 2010, p. 305.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wertheim 2013, p. 82.
  5. ^ "'Arctic' misplaced in name of new patrol vessels". Canadian Naval Review. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f Saunders 2009, p. 103.
  7. ^ a b Laffont, Nicolas (16 May 2015). "La Marine évalue un nouveau système d'armement pour ses navires de défense côtière" [Navy assesses new weapons system for its coastal defense vessels]. 45eNord (in French). Archived from the original on 23 January 2021. Retrieved 9 August 2021. L'enlèvement des Bofors 40 mm Modèle 60 Mk 5C a donc été approuvé le 31 juillet 2014 et les systèmes ont été enlevés depuis. Les 12 navires de la classe Kingston restent toutefois équipés de deux mitrailleuses lourdes .50cal, a confirmé à, le capitaine Rick Donnelly, de la Marine royale canadienne.
  8. ^ "Big guns find new life". Lookout; CFB Esquimalt Navy News. 17 October 2018. Archived from the original on 27 February 2021. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Background — CF Remote Control Heavy Machine Gun Project". Canadian American Strategic Review. Archived from the original on 25 May 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  10. ^ Bell, Ryan (27 November 2006). "Summerside trials weapons system" (PDF). Trident News. Government of Canada. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  11. ^ Bell, Ryan (March 2007). "HMCS Summerside Trials: Fleet Weapon System" (PDF). The Naval Reserve Link. Vol. 16, no. 1. Government of Canada. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  12. ^ a b Priestley, Stephen. "The Kingston Class: 'Mid-Life' or Move Over for the MCDV? Reviewing Navy Plans for the Future of the MCDVs [Part 1]". Canadian American Strategic Review. Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  13. ^ "Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-Class Vessels to be Equipped with L-3 MAPPS Degaussing Systems". 7 October 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Sonar On The Royal Canadian Navy's MCDV's To Be Upgraded". Ottawa Citizen. 2 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  15. ^ "Royal Canadian Navy to Field AeroVironment Puma II AE with Mantis i45 Sensor Aboard Coastal Defence Vessels". Bloomberg. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Coyne, Todd (10 February 2020). "Canadian warships depart Vancouver Island for Central American drug operation". CTV News. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Canada, US navies seize 1,000 kg cocaine in Caribbean". Business Standard. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  18. ^ Pugliese, David (15 August 2017). "Royal Canadian Navy ships to conduct operations in Canada's northern waters". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  19. ^ Quon, Alexander & Maclean, Alexa (26 January 2020). "Crews of HMCS Shawinigan and HMCS Glace Bay bid farewell, deploy to Africa". Global News. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  20. ^ Macpherson & Barrie 2002, p. 301.
  21. ^ "Order to cut navy's coastal vessels rescinded". CBC News. 14 May 2010. Archived from the original on 17 May 2010.


  • Macpherson, Ken & Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–2002 (Third ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55125-072-4.
  • Milner, Marc (2010). Canada's Navy: The First Century (Second ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-9604-3.
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2009). Jane's Fighting Ships 2009–2010 (112 ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: Jane's Information Group Inc. ISBN 978-0-7106-2888-6.
  • Wertheim, Eric, ed. (2013). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World (16th ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9-7-815911-4954-5.

External links[edit]