EXCLUSIVE: First look at Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship under construction

The Royal Canadian Navy is expecting its first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship to be delivered in 2018. Supplied photo: Irving Shipbuilding / Global News

Global News has an exclusive look at Canada’s first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) being constructed in Halifax.

Canada has ordered six ships capable of armed sea-borne surveillance, including in Arctic waters. The powerful ships are capable of plowing through ice-packed waterways.

READ MORE: New Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship to be named after Nova Scotia hero

Construction of the ships began last September, with the first — to be named HMCS Harry DeWolf — scheduled to be delivered in 2018.

Each vessel will be 103 metres long and have a vehicle bay, helicopter capability and a remote-controlled 25 mm machine gun, the BAE mk 38.

Story continues below advertisement

The ships will “assert and enforce Canadian sovereignty, when and where necessary,” according to the Canadian Navy website.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

READ MORE: Atlantic Canadians eagerly attend Irving Shipbuilding’s job fair in Fort McMurray

The $26.2 billion contract for the construction of the six AOPS and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants is a big boost for Halifax, with Irving Shipbuilding anticipating growing its workforce to 2,500 at times of peak production.

WATCH: Halifax Shipyard cuts steel for first arctic patrol ship

Sponsored content