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Canadian Navy commissions its first arctic and offshore patrol ship

HMCS Harry de Wolf commissioning ceremony
Photo: Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) officially welcomed into service the first arctic and offshore patrol ship, HMCS Harry DeWolf, in a commissioning ceremony in Halifax on June 26.

HMCS Harry DeWolf is the first new warship to enter Canadian Navy service in almost 25 years and the first of a new class of ships that will enhance Canada’s capabilities and presence in the Arctic.

The Harry DeWolf-class AOPS will bolster the RCN’s presence in the Arctic and its ability to operate globally. Specifically designed to patrol Canada’s northernmost regions and offshore waters, this new class of ship will be at the core of an enhanced Canadian Armed Forces Arctic presence.

HMCS Harry DeWolf is named in honor of wartime Canadian naval hero Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf. This is the first time in its 111-year history that the RCN is naming a class after a prominent Canadian Navy figure. The remainder in the class will be named to honor other prominent Royal Canadian Navy heroes who served their country with the highest distinction.

HMCS Harry DeWolf, was launched in fall 2018, and was delivered to the RCN on July 31, 2020. It was commissioned on June 26, 2021. Construction of AOPS three, four and five is ongoing, and construction of the sixth ship is expected to begin in 2022.

Photo: Royal Canadian Navy

HMCS Harry DeWolf is scheduled to participate in the maritime portion of operation Nanook in August 2021, following which it will transit through the Northwest Passage, and carry on to circumnavigate North America.

“Following completion of its contribution to Op Nanook, Harry DeWolf will proceed this fall to transit through Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage, and carry on to circumnavigate North America while supporting operations in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Basin,” Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland, Acting Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

“HMCS Harry DeWolf is not only the first of its class, and the first RCN ship to enter service under the National Shipbuilding Strategy – it represents what the future holds for the RCN as we continue to expand our presence in the North, and grow our capability to operate across the globe; it represents the modern and capable ships that the sailors of tomorrow will be crewing; it represents the future, and that future is here.”