New Arctic patrol ship delivered to Royal Canadian Navy

Future HMCS Harry DeWolf to be commissioned next summer

The first Arctic and offshore patrol ship, the Harry DeWolf, was delivered to the Government of Canada on July 31 in Halifax. (Photo courtesy of the Royal Canadian Navy)

By Dustin Patar

Canada’s first Arctic and offshore patrol ship is now in the hands of the Government of Canada.

The future Harry DeWolf, the first new navy ship in nearly a quarter of a century, was delivered in Halifax on July 31 after undergoing sea trials last fall.

“This is a big deal, not just for the RCN, but for all of Canada,” said Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, in a news release.

“This ship will give us new capabilities in our North while also being able to operate offshore and internationally. It is truly a ship for coast to coast to coast.”

The Harry DeWolf, which bears the name of a wartime naval officer, is the first of six patrol ships of its kind. Three others are currently being built, with the next vessel scheduled to be delivered in 2021.

This new class of Arctic offshore patrol ships will conduct presence and surveillance missions along Canada’s maritime borders.

With the ability to operate in up to 120 cm of first-year sea ice and to transport cargo, small vehicles, deployable boats and a Cyclone helicopter, the ships will also support other government agencies, such as the Canadian Coast Guard, in ensuring the safe navigation of shipping in the Arctic.

“This ship, with its fuel reserves and northern fuelling station, will enable Canada to routinely sail through our Arctic Archipelago and help safeguard Canada’s interests and sovereignty in the North,” said McDonald.

The Nanisivik fuel depot near Arctic Bay, which was originally slated to be operational last year, 12 years after the project was announced, is now anticipated to be operational by September next year.

In addition to the normal logistical challenges of building in the Arctic, the fuel depot project has also been affected by the ongoing pandemic.

“Due to COVID-19 delays, a small amount of contractors are expected to return to the site in August to start the 2020 work season. This means that the season will be much shorter than planned and will only allow for a limited amount of work to be completed,” said Jessica Lamirande, a Department of National Defence spokesperson, in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

In the meantime, the Harry DeWolf still requires additional tests and trials to make the ship fully operational.

The ship’s future crew members are also undergoing training and operational-readiness exercises in order to familiarize themselves with the new ship.

The navy is planning a deployment near Newfoundland and Labrador in the fall to further prepare the crew.

Following its formal commissioning ceremony next summer, the Harry DeWolf will be deployed to the Arctic.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by Oh Ima on

    For the amount of money some nice social housing would have been built in Inuit Nunanga! Now the Canadian Government will have a stronger occupation! Now the force relocation to declare sovereignty is complete!

  2. Posted by Ken on

    Cost overruns and delays, 4.1 billion later, this is why we can’t have nice things in the North, it cost too much for the government.

    How much was it when they bought the plans from Norway and how much was it going to cost if they had purchased the ships from Norway instead? Billions less!

    An inquiry should be done into this gong show. Wasting so much tax payer money (billions) on the ultra rich Irving family and paying way too much on these ships. The extra money used could of been spent on badly needed infrastructure in the north, not the ultra rich.

    • Posted by Depths of misery on

      The true northern mentality, everything nice must come via government spending, there is no other way it would seem. Do you think that’s how the rest of the world operates? I don’t

  3. Posted by Sam on

    Canada get with the program this is 2020 the new ship should have been named after Jose Kusugak, Simon merkosat,or any number of Inuit elders, who is Harry DeWolf. And I don’t really care,

    • Posted by Give me a break on

      When Nunavut buys its own Navy it can name the ships whatever it wants. Not everything is about you in this world. Believe it or not.

  4. Posted by Learn some history on

    Harry DeWolf was one of the Royal Canadian Navy’s best and most honoured captains, commanding HMCS Haida during World War 2 and leading to its reputation as probably the most famous warship in Canadian history.
    The next ship is named the Margaret Brooke, after a naval nurse who was decorated for her heroism during the sinking of the passenger ferry SS Caribou. The rest of the ships are:
    Max Bernays (nominated for the Victoria Cross for heroism in World War 2)
    William Hall (third Canadian, first Nova Scotian, and first Black person ever to win the Victoria Cross)
    Frédérick Rolette (French-Canadian who fought in the War of 1812 with the Royal Navy and was honoured for heroism defending the country from the Americans), and
    Robert Hampton Gray (the last Canadian to win the Victoria Cross, and one of the very last to die in World War 2, his body was never recovered after he was shot down by the Japanese).
    So, how incredibly odd that the Royal Canadian Navy would name warships after Canadians recognized for their bravery instead of an Inuit politician. You might not know who they are, but the navy those ships belong to certainly do.

  5. Posted by Patriot on

    A greater country we would have if we only could get away from thinking of our narrow self interests first. The benefit to our country should be the priority. Thinking “Canada First” would make a better Canadians

  6. Posted by Mark Bennett on

    I know the shipyard is getting faster building ships I could see it when I worked there.Theirs a lot of good people working there.They can make the schedules for the next ships but I think they will have to work 3 shifts a day.

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