New AOPVs progressing at shipyard

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Crowsnest - Spring 2017 / April 26, 2017

By Darlene Blakeley

Three mega-block pieces of the Royal Canadian Navy’s newest ship are currently being assembled in the Halifax Shipyard.

Irving Shipbuilding is using a progressive build approach to construct the new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPVs). Over the course of time, 63 smaller units become 21 larger blocks, which then become three mega-blocks.

The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship project will deliver six ice-capable ships, designated as the Harry DeWolf Class, after Canadian wartime naval hero Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf.

“The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship program at the Halifax Shipyard is moving along very well,” says Sean Lewis, Director of Communications for Irving. “We currently have the first two AOPVs, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf and the future HMCS Margaret Brooke, under construction.”

Steel was first cut on Harry DeWolf in September 2015. Its centre mega-block is now fully erected, and the bow and stern mega-blocks are in full production. This summer, the centre and stern mega-blocks will be moved outside to land level at the Halifax Shipyard for joining and further outfitting.

Steel was cut on Margaret Brooke in August 2016 and construction began shortly thereafter.

“As expected, production efficiencies are already being realized on the second AOPV compared to the first,” says Mr. Lewis. “This will continue ship over ship as our workforce and suppliers become more experienced at building this class of ship.”

Construction of the third AOPV, Max Bernays, will begin later this year.

The new AOPVs will be capable of armed sea-borne surveillance of Canada's waters, including the Arctic; providing government situational awareness of activities and events in these regions; and cooperating with partners in the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments to assert and enforce Canadian sovereignty, when and where necessary.