The Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessels are warships of the Royal Canadian Navy built by the Government of Canada Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship procurement project

The Royal Canadian Navy launched the third Harry DeWolf-class ship, the Max Bernays (432) recently, on October 23, 2021. The launch of the third of six offshore patrol ships marks an important step forward in Canada’s shipbuilding strategy, adding strength to the Royal Canadian Navy’s active fleets.

HMCS Harry DeWolf (430) is the lead ship of the class, was ordered in 2011, laid down in 2016 and launched in 2018, and was commissioned on June 26, 2021.

HMCS Harry DeWolf (430
HMCS Harry DeWolf (430

The Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessels are designed for use in the Arctic regions of Canada for patrol and support within Canada’s exclusive economic zone. The vessel is 103.6 m long overall with a beam of 19.0 m. The ship has a displacement of 6,615 tons. She has an enclosed foredeck that protects machinery and work spaces from Arctic climates.

The vessel is powered by a diesel-electric system composed of four 3.6-megawatt (4,800 hp) generators and two diesel engines rated at 4.5 megawatts (6,000 hp) driving two shafts. Harry DeWolf is capable of 17 knots in open water and 3 knots while icebreaking in new year ice of 1-metre thickness.

The ship is also equipped with a bow thruster to aid during manoeuvres and docking procedures without requiring tugboat assistance. The ship has a range of 6,800 nautical miles and an endurance of 85. Harry DeWolf is equipped with fin stabilizers to decrease roll in open water but can be retracted during icebreaking.

Harry DeWolf is able to deploy with multiple payloads, including shipping containers, underwater survey equipment or landing craft. Payload operations are aided by a 20-ton crane for loading and unloading. The ship is equipped with a vehicle bay which can hold pickup trucks, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. The ship also has two 8.5-m multi-role rescue boats capable of over 35 knots.

The ship is armed with one BAE Mk 38 25 mm (0.98 in) gun, and two M2 Browning machine guns. The patrol ship has an onboard hangar and flight deck for helicopters up to the size of a Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone. Harry DeWolf has a complement of 65 and accommodation for 85 or 87.

Canada is developing a national shipbuilding strategy with the goal of replacing the active surface fleets of the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard. Under the contracts, Halifax Shipbuilding will complete and deliver six offshore patrol boats and 15 surface combat ships to the Royal Canadian Navy and two offshore patrol boats to the Canadian Coast Guard.


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