Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship Woes

By Dr. Ann Griffiths, 19 December 2022

Would it be fair to say that there have been serious teething problems with the new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships? Not long after the navy celebrated the successful voyage of the first ship, HMCS Harry DeWolf, through the Northwest Passage, down the West Coast, through the Panama Canal and back to Halifax, things start to unravel a bit. Harry DeWolf is now out of service until spring because of ongoing mechanical problems, including problems with the diesel generators and fire suppression system. Irving will not cover repairs because the one-year warranty on the ship has already expired. The third ship Max Bernays has had problems with the bow thruster which affects the ship’s manoeuvrability. And now there are problems with the water systems aboard the ships, due apparently to higher-than-acceptable lead content in the fittings. New classes of ships inevitably experience problems but it’s discouraging that the problems seem to be multiplying.

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