HMCS Protecteur

A ship travelling on the water.

HMCS Protecteur

There has been only one vessel named Protecteur in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Protecteur (509) / Operational Support Ship

Protecteur was commissioned at Saint John, New Brunswick on 30 August 1969. During 1973 she joined the NATO Standing Naval Force Atlantic for a five-month tour along with HMCS Margaree. This was the first time two Canadian units worked with this group and the first time an Auxiliary Oil Replenishment ship was assigned to this fleet. 

Protecteur left Halifax on 24 August 1990 as a participant in Operation Friction, Canada’s contribution to the economic embargo of Iraq following that country’s invasion of Kuwait. She returned home 7 April 1991. In the fall of 1991 Protecteur made visits to ports in Newfoundland, and a year later journeyed south to offer aid to victims of Hurricane Andrew in Florida. She sailed from Halifax on 15 October 1992 to begin a two-year refit at Esquimalt, returning to service in August 1995.

On 9 July 1993, she was effectively transferred to the west coast fleet. On 16 September 1999 she departed Esquimalt to join the multinational forces responding to the crisis in East Timor. After serving as the force logistics co-ordinator for five months, she returned home on 2 March 2000. A major refit began in 2001 and on 22 May 2002 Protecteur departed Esquimalt to replace Preserver in the Arabian Sea for Operation Apollo, Canada's military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism.

By the time she returned to Esquimalt in November 2002, Protecteur had sailed more than 50,000 nautical miles (92,600 km) and delivered over 150,000 barrels of fuel. Over the next decade she was a fixture of Maritime Forces Pacific in national and international exercises such as Trident Fury and Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), and on several occasions served as the allied mid-Pacific oiler. Returning to Esquimalt from one such deployment, on 27 February 2014 she suffered a major engine room fire that disabled the ship, causing her to be towed first into Pearl Harbor and then to Esquimalt to be paid off.

Builder: Saint John Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Saint John, NB

Laid down: 17 October 1967

Launched: 7 November 1968

Commissioned: 30 August 1969

Paid off: 14 May 2015

Displacement: 24,385 tonnes with full load

Dimensions: 169.2 m x 23.2 m x 9.1 m

Speed: 20 knots

Crew: 227

Badge of HMCS ProtecteurARMAMENT: two 3-inch, two 40-mm, two Phalanx CIWS

HMCS Protecteur 509MOTTO: “ggs avec Courage” (Support with Courage) 




Speed: 20 knots

Crew: 227

Armament: two 3-inch, two 40-mm, two Phalanx CIWS (Close-in Weapon System)

Badge of HMCS Protecteur.

Badge of HMCS Protecteur.

Motto: “Soutien avec Courage” (Support with Courage) 

Battle honours


  • Gulf and Kuwait
  • Arabian Sea
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