Canada’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS)

Ran across an interesting presentation of the design of Canada’s projected Arctic Offshore Patrol ship (pdf). This apparently dates back to 2008, but it is the most detailed presentation I have seen on their concept.

While probably not as capable as the Healey, which is more than twice as large, something similar might be able to fill the Coast Guard’s stated requirement for two additional medium icebreakers.

The design has several interesting features

  • It is designed to IACS Polar Class 5, “Year-round operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions” with a double acting hull form.
  • It includes three RHIBs and a landing craft, in addition to two 70 man covered lifeboats.
  • Flight Deck and hanger sized to support a helicopter larger than the H-60 (the CH-148).
  • Propulsion is diesel electric using Azipods. Power is provided by four generators¬† (Can’t say I’m comfortable with how they achieved redundancy by using a centerline bulkhead to split two main machinery spaces into four).
  • It incorporates provision for carrying five containers, and has a 10 ton crane on the main deck aft.
  • Requires a relatively small crew (45) but includes provision for an additional 40.

Compared to the Wind Class Icebreakers that once made up most to the Coast Guard fleet, they are slightly larger (6,940 tons vs 6,500), much longer (359.5 ft vs 269), narrower (59.7 ft vs 63.5), much more powerful (20,100 HP vs 12,000), and faster (20 knots vs 16.8).

Compared to the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel Svalbard on which it is based it is 50% more powerful.

We can’t be sure at this point, that this is the ship the Canadian’s will build, but it’s probably pretty close.




34 thoughts on “Canada’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS)

    • Thanks, Nice presentation. That is a lot of boats, (Up to five). The speed (17) is a little disappointing, but of course the ship is a compromise. Not using Azipods after all.

      Updated specs from the pdf:

      LOA 98.0 m
      LWL 91.0 m
      LBP 86.4 m
      BOA 19.0 m
      BWL 18.4 m
      T 5.75 m
      Displacement 5874 tonnes
      Installed Power
      (Gensets) 4 x 3300 kW
      (Propulsion Motors) 2 x 4500 kW

  1. I really confused about the propulsion system of polar-class5,some magazine says it has a double-shaft propulsion,but in you text it has diesel electric using Azipods.I want to know which is ture.
    And,I’m a layman, i guess wether we can equip them all.Using the double-shaft thruster for main propulsion,and the Azipods act as a Auxiliary power?

    I’m looking forward your reply!~

  2. Pingback: “Moving North–Arctic Capable Ships Enable Navies, Coast Guard to Patrol Extreme Latitudes”–Seapower | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  3. There’s some talk about building two additional AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard:

    For now, it mainly seems to be a production-line extension to support Irving, not something that the CCG has requested.

    My primary fear is that with the AOPS being “ice-capable”, someone may think it’s a perfect replacement for CCG’s ageing medium-heavy icebreaker fleet.

    • I don’t understand it either, why so lightly armed, The ship could support a BAE 57mm or 40mm, One thought, with the all electric propulsion and 9MW (not sure if that alot) maybe they are thinking they can add laser weapon system in the future.

    • @Alan, Canadians are very nice and polite. Maybe they think everyone else is.

      These ships are closely related to Norwegian ship Svalbard which has a 57mm. The same 57mm gun on USCG cutters is also on Canadian frigates so it is in their inventory. The much smaller Danish ice strengthened Cutters have 76mm and the option of using STANFLEX modules for other weapons including missiles.

      The ability to forcibly stop a ship seems to me to be a minimum requirement.

  4. The first of class is conducting trials. Also latest specs.

    overall length of 103.6 m (339 ft 11 in)
    beam of 19.0 m (62 ft 4 in)
    displacement of 6,615 metric tons (6,511 long tons; 7,292 short tons)
    two 8.5-meter (27 ft 11 in) multi-role rescue boats capable of over 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)
    crew of 65 sailors and accommodations for 85 people.
    powered by a diesel-electric system composed of four 3.6-megawatt (4,800 hp) generators and two diesel engines (pretty sure this is two electric motors, for about 12,000 total shaft HP–Chuck) rated at 4.5 megawatts (6,000 hp) driving two shafts.
    speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) in open water and 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) while icebreaking in the new year ice of 1-meter (3 ft 3 in) thickness.
    weapons: one BAE Mk 38 25 mm (0.98 in) gun and two M2 Browning machine guns

    • This is a big programme. It reminds me of the Ozzie OPV program in scope.

      I wish the RN would buy a pair of them,

      At this rate in 10 years time the RN will be third fleet in the White Commonwealth. (The carriers are going to be USMC assets for all intents and purposes.)

      • @X, don’t really think you have much to worry about with regard to Canada and Australia having more powerful navies than the Mother Country. I do like to point out that in terms of manpower the USCG, is larger than the Royal Navy, but we don’t have any SSNs or SSBNs, and no aircraft carriers. Canada and Australia may reach the point of having as many escort vessels as the UK, and maybe more OPVs, but as long as they don’t have SSNs or SSBNs, they will not be considered in the same league.

        The use of USMC F-35s on the RN carriers is just temporary until more UK F-35s become available.

  5. Pingback: Canada’s HMCS Harry DeWolf Class AOPS | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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