First Contract for Canada’s new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships

Canada has taken its first concrete step toward providing six to eight ships to patrol its arctic waters.

“The Public Works department says Irving will use the $9.3 million to analyze a preliminary Arctic vessel design already put together by another company and determine how much work will be required before actual, detailed design work can commence.

We have talked about this program before, here and here. Tom C gave us this pdf which was dated February 2012

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
  • Speed 17

These specifications are very close to those of the Norwegian Coast Guard ship  Svalbard.

(Thanks to our Canadian friend Ken White for the link)

15 thoughts on “First Contract for Canada’s new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships

    • Chuck, I agree that the OPC is meant to be more of a traditional warship and I think that is highly encouraging that the USCG is moving in that direction. That being said, from the deckplate view it seems that DHS would be much more interested in our vessels being much less focused on maritime defense and more in line with us being just a further extension of Customs and Border Patrol. I say all that to quantify why I think this Canadian OPC might influence a DHS alternative to the USCG’s stated requirements for the OPC.

  1. I am glad a valuable Ally is building up its fleet of ice breakers. Does the United States have a joint plan with Canada to police these regions so we are sharing cost in enforcing and protecting these areas.

  2. Some additional commentary here, questioning the wisdom of making one class to patrol the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans.

    In view of the decision to include ice belts on all the OPCs, we might ask a similar question, although the compromises to the OPC design have much less effect on the open ocean patrol capabilities.

  3. I imagine the cost of adding the ice belt as being unnecessary
    for every boat. Why make an entire fleet ready for the ice when only a handful will be in the area to deal with ice. It’s common to have ships of the same class with different abilities.

    • It is not just the expense, it will also require some trade-offs in weight, meaning either the the ship will have to be made larger than it would have otherwise or it will be less capable than it would have been without the belt.

      This approach is not unusual in the Coast Guard. All the 255s were built with ice-strengthened hulls.

      • It seems smart to have mix capabilities. But I do see your point about affecting the ship design.

      • The Icebelt is going to increase weight. Either other weight (fuel for endurance, stores, or potential payload) will have to be sacrificed if the tonnage remains the same or if these are not to be sacrificed, the size of the ship needs to be increased, increasing horsepower requirements, increasing fuel requirement.

        I also think it is practical to make variations within the class, including some with icebelts and some without. But those with, will have their potential payload limited in some way. It might be that it just eats into their reserve for future growth.

    • Tim Colton’s Maritime Memos comments, “Unfortunately, most of this not insignificant sum will be passed through to Odense Maritime Technology, in Denmark, a company known for its containership designs. Oh, well, those Canadians must know what they’re doing or they wouldn’t be in charge, right?”


  4. Maritime Memos ( again references information about this project which appears headed for trouble. A report from the Halifax Herald indicates ” The Defence Department is stonewalling the federal budget watchdog’s investigation into the national shipbuilding program.”

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