The new vessel is intended to help strengthen the Canadian Navy’s mission capabilities while sustaining hundreds of highly skilled middle-class job opportunities at Irving Shipbuilding’s shipyards.
The vessel will be deployed by the RCN to patrol the country’s territorial waters, including the Arctic. It will also patrol the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, allowing the navy to protect Canadian Arctic sovereignty.
In addition, the patrol ship will be used for a range of international missions to support international partners and provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief, as well as performing search-and-rescue and drug interdiction operations.
RCN commander vice-admiral Ron Lloyd said: “I could not be more pleased with the decision to proceed with the construction of the sixth AOPS.
“These ships will enhance the RCN’s capacity to operate in the north while continuing to contribute to a wide range of security, humanitarian and capacity building operations at home and around the world.”
Furthermore, the new vessel will help enhance the capability of the Canadian Navy to deploy the AOPS fleet simultaneously, both at home and abroad.
While three ships of the class are currently in full production, steel cutting for the fourth vessel is expected to be conducted over the next few months.
The first AOPS, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, is expected to be delivered to the RCN in mid-2019.
The $2.3bn AOPS Build Contract for construction of the fleet was awarded to Irving Shipbuilding by the Canadian Government in January 2015.
Recently, the Public Services and Procurement Canada has awarded three contracts with a combined value of approximately C$7bn ($5.34bn) to Irving Shipbuilding, Chantier Davie Canada and Seaspan Victoria Shipyards for maintenance support services for the RCN’s 12 Halifax-class frigates.