Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and the NSS 

By Les Mader, 17 August 2022

The first steel for Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) 6 - the future HMCS Robert Hampton Gray - was cut only 47 days (see link below) after the keel was laid for AOPS 5 - the future HMCS Frédérick Rolette.  Thus, the Halifax Shipyard currently has three AOPS under construction, with a fourth undergoing pre-acceptance sea trials and final handover preparations.  

This situation leads me to wonder whether the shipyard has got its project management, labour force, production processes, supply chains, etc. ramped up after the pandemic-imposed slowdown to the standards of a world-class shipyard.  If this is the case we may see an accelerated delivery schedule for the navy's AOPS.  

If true, this would raise the question of what will be the subsequent steps for the NSS in Halifax.  Could we see AOPS 7 and 8 delivered as naval warships, rather than as Coast Guard vessels, in order to keep up the pace, while giving the RCN a larger and potentially more multi-purpose AOPS fleet?  HMCS Vaino Partanen?  HMCS Lewis Stringer?  HMCS Michael Kerwin?  HMCS John Stubbs?

Or, might we see an acceleration of the Canadian Surface Combatant program?

Time will tell.  One can always hope.

Link: https://shipsforcanada.ca/our-stories/production-of-canadas-sixth-and-final-arctic-and-offshore-patrol-ship-for-the-royal-canadian-navy-underway-with-cutting-of-first-steel-for-the-future-hmcs-robert-hampton-gray

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