Irving to Build Two Arctic Patrol Ships for the Canadian Coast Guard
The Canadian government has finalized a deal with Irving Shipbuilding to build two more Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS), this time for the Canadian Coast Guard.
The first six contracted AOPS hulls are being delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy, and they are also known as the Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessels. Three have been delivered and two more are currently under construction.
The deal to expand the class with a modified variant for the Canadian Coast Guard extends the production run for Irving and its growing workforce. It also brings in new revenue, to the tune of about US$600 million per hull, according to CBC. This is about US$100 million less than the price of the naval version, which was built on an extended timeline to bridge a projected gap in yard activity.
The class has had its share of teething issues. HMCS Harry DeWolf is currently sidelined due to diesel generator failures, and the Royal Canadian Navy recently discovered excess lead in the drinking water system. It has traced the cause back to pipe fittings and valves made of alloys that exceed lead content standards. The same components have also been built into sister ships HMCS Margaret Brooke, HMCS Max Bernays, and HMCS William Hall.
The AOPS contract is part of Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy, the multi-year procurement program that divides federal shipbuilding work between three yards - Seaspan (Vancouver), Irving (Halifax) and the recently-added Davie Shipbuilding (Quebec).