Halifax Shipyard has launched the second of six Arctic and offshore patrol ships (AOPS) for the Royal Canadian Navy in the Bedford Basin.

The 103m future HMCS Margaret Brooke was launched during a ceremony on 10 November.

The ships are being constructed as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) and are intended to bolster the navy’s combatant fleet.

The shipbuilders prepared for the launch by transitioning the second AOPS from the shipyard’s land level facility to a submersible barge.

Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin McCoy said: “Congratulations to our more than 2,000 shipbuilders on today’s successful launch of the future HMCS Margaret Brooke.

“It is exciting to have two Arctic and offshore patrol ships in the water and closer to being in use by the Royal Canadian Navy’s sailors.”

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Halifax Shipyard workers will continue work on the future HMCS Margaret Brooke to prepare it for planned sea trials. The ship is expected to be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy next year.

The future HMCS Harry DeWolf is the lead vessel in the AOPS programme and is scheduled to undergo initial builder sea trials at the end of the month.

The third and fourth AOPS, the future HMCS Max Bernay, and the future HMCS William Hall are in various phases of construction.

Through the NSS programme, the government aims to replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Halifax Shipyard will also build 15 Canadian Surface Combatants for the navy and two AOPS for the Coast Guard.