Irving Shipbuilding has commenced the construction of the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) fifth Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and offshore patrol ships (AOPS), the future HMCS Frédérick Rolette.

The beginning of construction was marked by a keel laying ceremony held at the Halifax Shipyard in Nova Scotia on 29 June.

During the event, a coin selected by the RCN was placed on the ship by Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA) commander, rear admiral Brian Santarpia.

This was followed by welding of the coin onto the vessel’s hull.

The future Harry DeWolf-class ship has been named after RCN’s Charles Frédérick Rolette.

A native of Québec City, Rolette joined the RCN as a midshipman during his teenage years. He was later posted as lieutenant in command during the war of 1812.

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The 103.6m-long future HMCS Frédérick Rolette will have beam of 19m and consist of approximately 440,000 parts.

Irving Shipbuilding is under contract to build six Harry DeWolf-Class AOPS vessels for the RCN, as part of the Canadian Government’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

Apart from the six ships, the Halifax Shipyard will also construct two AOPS variants for the Canadian Coast Guard and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants for the RCN.

The shipyard has already delivered more than C$4.7bn ($3.63bn) in investments across Canada, generating more than 8,300 jobs.

Halifax Shipyard has continued to recruit people, preparing to build the Canadian Surface Combatants in 2024.

Last month, the RCN officially named two Harry DeWolf-class AOPS ships as Margaret Brooke and Max Bernays.

The service has already taken delivery of its second ship in this class, while the third vessel is expected to be handed over later this year.