The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) commissioned its second arctic and offshore patrol ship (AOPS) HMCS Margaret Brooke in a ceremony in Halifax on October 28.
The ceremony took place after the ship was officially launched in November 2019. It included a symbolic presentation of the commissioning pennant, as well as the symbolic presentation of the “keys to the ship” to the commanding officer, Commander Nicole Robichaud.
“Today’s commissioning ceremony truly is the culmination of the effort and dedication that our ship’s crew has put forth leading up to today. The commissioning of a ship is symbolic, and although we have been tirelessly at work for many months including our deployment on operation Nanook and operation Lentus – today’s ceremony is significant as HMCS Margaret Brooke flies its commissioning pennant and is welcomed to the fleet,” Commander Robichaud said.
Measuring 103 meters in length and displacing 6,615 tons, AOPS are the largest RCN ships built in Canada in 50 years. They will patrol Canada’s oceans, including the Arctic, and are suited for missions abroad to support international partners, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, search and rescue, and drug interdiction.
HMCS Margaret Brooke is one of six ships in the class that will be built for the RCN. The lead ship in the class was commissioned in June 2021, and the service officially received its third unit in September this year. Construction of the final AOPS began with a steel cutting event on August 15, 2022, with delivery set for 2025.
With their considerable space to transport cargo and the capacity to embark a Cyclone helicopter, small vehicles, and deployable boats, the AOPS have the versatility to support a full range of CAF operations at home and contribute to global peace and security.
Each of the AOPS will be capable of carrying three 12-meter landing craft that will be used to transfer personnel and equipment to shore where there are little or no port services available. The craft will carry up to 4 tons of cargo, vehicles, or personnel and transfer them to a beach or pier via a bow door or an installed crane. When it comes to armament, the ships will be equipped with a BAE Systems Mk 38 25 mm gun and M2 Browning machine guns.
The names of the six Harry DeWolf-class AOPS honor prominent Canadian naval figures who served Canada with the highest distinction. For the first time in its 110-year history, the RCN has named a class of ships after prominent Canadian naval figures, proudly honoring their leadership, achievements and heroism while serving Canadian interests at sea.