Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships

The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS), designated the Harry DeWolf-class, will enhance the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) ability to assert Canadian sovereignty in Arctic and coastal Canadian waters, and support international operations as required.

This is the first time in its 108-year history that the RCN is naming a class after a prominent Canadian Navy figure. The remainder in the class will be named to honour other prominent Royal Canadian Navy heroes who served their country with the highest distinction.

The six Harry DeWolf-class ships are:

Affiliation with Inuit Nunangat

The Harry DeWolf-class will be affiliated with regions of the Inuit Nunangat. The first affiliation between HMCS Harry DeWolf and the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut was formalized in May 2019. The remaining affiliations within the Inuit Nunangat in the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions of Nunavut as well as the Inuvialuit, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut regions - will occur as each AOPS is constructed and enters service. Affiliation between an HMC Ship, its sailors and civilian communities is a long-standing and honoured naval tradition, with relationships lasting throughout the service life of the ship. 

The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship will be capable of:

  • Conducting armed presence and surveillance operations throughout Canada’s waters, including in the Arctic;
  • Supporting Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in sovereignty operations;
  • Participating in a wide variety of international operations, such as anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, and international security and stability;
  • Contributing to humanitarian assistance, emergency response and disaster relief domestically and internationally;
  • Conducting Search and Rescue (SAR) and providing communications relay to other units, as required;
  • Supporting CAF core missions, including capacity building in support of other nations;
  • Supporting Other Government Departments (OGD) in their ability to enforce their respective mandates by providing government situational awareness of activities and events in regions of operation; and
  • Conducting a diverse range of missions worldwide.

Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship specifications and features


  • Length: 103 metres
  • Beam (width): 19 metres
  • Complement (capacity): 65


Integrated Bridge Navigation System

This is a modern integrated bridge, where the ship’s crew can control the navigation, machinery, and damage control systems can be performed.

Multi-Purpose Operational Space

The AOPS provides a multi-purpose space where operational planning and mission execution will be coordinated.

BAE Mk 38 Gun

This 25mm Mk 38 machine gun system that features a highly accurate gun targeting and surveillance system, as well as the M242 Cannon. This system can be employed to support domestic law enforcement roles. The system will be modified for protection against arctic conditions.

Enclosed Focsle and Cable Deck

The enclosed focsle and cable deck will protect machinery on the foredeck and personal workspaces from harsh arctic environments.

Helicopter Capability

The AOPS has an embarked helicopter capability, and depending on mission requirements is able to accommodate ranging from small utility aircraft up to the new CH-148 maritime helicopter.

Cargo and Payloads management

The stern (rear) of the ship is able to accommodate multiple payload options such as shipping containers, underwater survey equipment, or landing craft. The ship is also equipped with a 20-tonne crane, providing self-load and unload capability.

Vehicle Bay

The arctic environment can vary drastically and in order to provide rapid mobility capability to personnel over land or ice, the AOPS has a bay for specialized vehicles such as pickup trucks, ATVs, and snowmobiles.

Diesel/Electric Propulsion

The AOPS will be powered by ‎two 4.5 megawatt (MW) main propulsion (induction) motors, and four 3.6 mega volt ampere (MVA) generators.

Retractable Active Fin Stabilizers

The retractable active fin stabilizers can be deployed to reduce ship roll while conducting open ocean operations, and can be retracted for operations in ice.

Multi-Role Rescue Boats

The multi-role rescue boats boast a top speed of 35+ knots (~65 km/h) and are 8.5 metres long. These water craft will be used in support of rescue operations, personnel transfers and boarding operations.

Bow Thrusters

The bow thrusters provides increased manoeuvrability for the ship and allows for berthing without tug assistance.