Construction Officially Begins On The First Canadian Coast Guard Arctic And Offshore Patrol Ship

Renewing the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet ensures our personnel can continue carrying out critical work with modern and safe equipment, while creating good skilled jobs in our shipbuilding and marine industries across the country.

Today, Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard was joined by the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities to celebrate the steel cutting milestone on the first of the two future Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships for the Canadian Coast Guard, marking the official start of construction of the vessel undertaken by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Canadian Coast Guard-Construction officially begins on the first
Canadian Coast Guard’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships Specifications (CNW Group/Canadian Coast Guard)Ships Specifications (CNW Group/Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian Coast Guard’s new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships will operate as a primary platform to support fisheries enforcement missions on Canada’s east coast, including Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization patrols. They will also support search and rescue and icebreaking operations on the east coast, strengthening Canada’s presence in the low Arctic.

In addition to their primary missions, the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships will be able to support environmental response and aids to navigation, allowing greater flexibility and adaptability for the Canadian Coast Guard’s operations. Outfitted with science equipment and a medical facility onboard, these modern and versatile ships will be able to conduct scientific research and support humanitarian assistance missions.

The two ships are built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy’s large vessels construction pillar. Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Government of Canada continues to make significant investments in modernizing the Canadian Coast Guard fleet while creating good skilled jobs in our shipbuilding and marine industries across the country.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships project will contribute to more than $125M annually to Canada’s GDP, and create or maintain close to 1,250 jobs annually in the Canadian shipbuilding industry over the 2022-2030 period.

The first Canadian Coast Guard Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship is expected to be delivered in 2026. By 2027, the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet is expected to include two new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.

Quotes

“Our Coast Guard members are essential in keeping our waterways clean, safe and accessible. Today, as we celebrate the start of the construction of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, we are proud to invest in the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet of the future and provide state-of-the-art equipment to our personnel.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Government of Canada is providing the Canadian Coast Guard with the ships needed to carry out work for Canadians, while creating skilled jobs in our shipbuilding and marine industries across the country. The start of construction on the Coast Guard’s first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship is a milestone worth celebrating. It will give Coast Guard members greater capability to deliver critical services on a wide range of missions.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada

“Today’s announcement will improve critical project infrastructure to enhance and accelerate construction of the Canadian Surface Combatants. Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, our government is helping to restore our shipyards, rebuild our marine industry and create good Canadian jobs, including right here in Nova Scotia, while ensuring our sovereignty and protecting our interests at home and abroad. ”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“Today marks an important milestone for the Canadian Coast Guard as construction of our first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship officially begins. With their versatility and endurance, these vessels will serve Canada as an important platform for patrol, icebreaking operations, and science research, while being able to carry out a variety of other vital missions.”

Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard

“The official construction start of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship 7, the first of two which will be delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard, is an important milestone for the Halifax Shipyard. We’re proud to be building this ship right here in Atlantic Canada, as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, in support of Canada and our Coast Guard partners.”

Dirk Lesko, President of Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

Quick Facts

  • In May 2019, the Government of Canada announced that, as part of an investment to renew the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. would build 2 Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships for the Canadian Coast Guard in addition to the six being built for the Royal Canadian Navy. The ships will be adapted to the Canadian Coast Guard’s needs, including modifications to the bridge layout, to the accommodations and to mission spaces.
  • The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships will replace two of the Canadian Coast Guard’s existing five Offshore Patrol Vessels. The vessels are 103 metres long, 19 metres beam, with approximately 6,677 metric tons displacement.
  • To date, three large vessels and 16 small vessels have been delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This includes three Offshore Fishery Science Vessels, 14 Search and Rescue lifeboats and two Channel Survey and Sounding Vessels.
  • In November 2019, the engineering design contract for the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships project was awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. In November 2022, the build contract was amended to include the construction of the two AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard, in addition to the six AOPS being built for the Royal Canadian Navy.

Related products

  • Backgrounder: Canadian Coast Guard’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships

Associated Links

The Canadian Coast Guard Fleet
The National Shipbuilding Strategy
Start Your Career with the Canadian Coast Guard

Backgrounder: Canadian Coast Guard’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships

As part of its fleet renewal plan, the Canadian Coast Guard is acquiring two Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) to replace two of the five existing offshore patrol vessels. The new AOPS will support offshore patrol of international fisheries surveillance and Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization patrols, and offshore search and rescue on Canada’s east coast and in the Arctic.

The AOPS are versatile and modern ships that will allow greater flexibility and adaptability for Canadian Coast Guard’s operations, including icebreaking, science research, humanitarian assistance and aids to navigation.

The AOPS are designed with a hull form and strength capable of supporting icebreaking operations in the low Arctic during the summer and on the east coast during the winter. They are also outfitted with a medical cabin and shipping container accommodation, which allow the vessels to provide humanitarian assistance and support resupply operations to communities when needed. Equipped with a robust crane and A-frame on the stern of the ship, the AOPS will be capable of supporting aid to navigation operations and science research, providing greater capacity for important science missions and helping protecting our waters as part of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan.

Project Summary

In 2019, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. from Halifax, Nova Scotia was awarded the contract for the engineering design review for the AOPS variants for the Canadian Coast Guard. In November 2022, the build contract was amended to include the construction of the two AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard, in addition to the six AOPS being built for the Royal Canadian Navy. Construction of the first AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard officially began on August 8, 2023, marked by the steel cutting ceremony at Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

The construction of the AOPS falls under the Large Vessels construction pillar of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Their construction represents an important contribution to the Government of Canada’s efforts to renew the Canadian Coast Guard fleet and revitalize the Canadian shipbuilding industry, in addition to equipping Canadian Coast Guard personnel with the ships they need to carry out their essential work across the country.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy is a long-term investment that is delivering results now: ships for the Canadian Coast Guard and good jobs for Canadians working in the shipbuilding and marine sectors. To date, three large vessels and numerous small vessels have been delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard, and many more are under construction across Canada.

It is expected that the first AOPS will be delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard in 2026, followed by the second planned delivery in 2027.

Vessel modifications for the Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard’s AOPS will be built on the basis of the Royal Canadian Navy’s base design of the ship and will be modified to comply with the requirements for civilian vessels and meet Canadian Coast Guard needs to conduct its range of missions and operations.

These vessel modifications include removal of weapons, as well as changes to the bridge layout, to the accommodations, to mission spaces, to the working deck, and tailoring of selected spaces for science missions. Main components of the vessel such as hull, engines and propulsive systems will remain unchanged.

The AOPS procurement project will allow better cooperation between the Navy and the Coast Guard for offshore patrol and border presence while promoting learning and skill-sharing of the crews who will be working on these state-of-the-art ships.

Vessels general specifications
The AOPS are highly capable and versatile ships in comparison to the existing offshore patrol vessels, enabling them to perform as an at-sea operations centre. The AOPS can operate beyond 120 nautical miles including outside the Exclusive Economic Zone, have a top speed of 17 knots and can stay at sea for up to 48 days.

Other main specifications of the ships include:

  • 103 metres long
  • 19 metres beam
  • approximately 6,677 metric tons displacement
  • can accommodate a crew of 31 members with berths for 57 in total
  • available command and control spaces
  • equipped with 20-tonne crane in the back of the vessel to support aids to navigation operations, and an A-frame designed to support science missions, and;
  • shipping container capability for resupply missions.

The new AOPS have a helicopter pad and hangar that will allow the ships to accommodate both light (Bell 429) and medium lift (Bell 412 EPI) Canadian Coast Guard helicopters, as well as National Defence’s Cyclone helicopters. This advanced helicopter capability will increase cooperation and sharing of information with the Royal Canadian Navy to help protect lives at sea and strengthen border security on our coasts.

Press Release

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