The Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), Harry DeWolf, has set sail on its maiden operational deployment.
During its four-month deployment, the AOPS will take part in Operation Nanook in the Arctic region, conducting surveillance patrols and other activities.
The vessel will perform this mission alongside HMCS Goose Bay and US Coast Guard partners.
It will also support Operation Caribbe in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea to obstruct the controlled narcotics flow and other illicit cargo.
In addition, HMCS Harry DeWolf will circumnavigate North America and transit through the Northwest Passage.
Ship commanding officer commander Corey Gleason said: “HMCS Harry DeWolf now has thousands of miles on its odometer, and we’re about to embark on a patrol that hasn’t been done in more than 64 years. It’s no small feat.”
Harry DeWolf was officially commissioned in June this year and delivered to the RCN in July.
The 103m-long ship is designed to patrol Canada’s northernmost regions and offshore waters.
In the last year, the vessel was put through a series of tests and trials to assess and demonstrate its operational performance in both the Arctic’s freezing conditions and warm southern waters.
Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA) commander rear-admiral Brian Santarpia said: “This is a mission that fully demonstrates the capabilities of our ship and the new capabilities of the RCN. This goes far beyond just focusing on sovereignty in the north, we’ll be doing all that this class of ship can do.”
The vessel is the lead ship of six Harry DeWolf-class AOPSs being built by Irving Shipbuilding for the RCN under a $2.3bn contract awarded in January 2015.
Last month, the Canadian shipbuilder delivered the second AOPS HMCS Margaret Brooke to the service.