We discussed our Arctic Patrol Cutter earlier. This announcement of a alliance between Canada’s Washington Marine Group and European defense contractor Thales, to compete for a contract to build Canada’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) sounds more like a company news release than real reporting, but it gives an idea what the Canadians are doing–six ice breaking patrol ships at an estimated cost of $2B (presumably Canadian $).
The ships would have patrol duties in other waters when the Arctic is not accessible. Who will operate these ships is still an open question. The stated intention is that they will be Canadian Coast Guard, but many in Canada feel they should be operated by the Navy, because the Canadian Coast Guard is more that of a civilian agency than a military force.