July 14, 2017 7:56 pm
Updated: July 14, 2017 10:01 pm

‘This is the future’: Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship revealed in Halifax

The first 'mega-block' of Canada's newest navy vessel was rolled out of the Halifax Shipyard, Friday afternoon.

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A glimpse into the future of the Royal Canadian Navy basked in the summer sun for a crowd to admire on Friday.

“I came down here [Halifax Shipyard] to see this because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s here in Halifax and it’s extraordinary, it’s wonderful, this is the future,” said Eddie Carvery, one of several community members who came to the Irving shipyard.

Canada’s new fleet of Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships [AOPS] will include six ships in total and is part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

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“It’s been an incredible journey. That’s one of the reasons why just about every shipbuilder is bringing their family this weekend. So they can see the pride and craftsmanship that goes into these ships,” said Kevin McCoy, the president of Irving Shipbuilding.

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Irving Shipbuilding was awarded the multi-billion dollar federal contract in October 2011.

The first ship in the class is named HMCS Harry DeWolfe, in honour of the late Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolfe, a naval wartime hero who served as a Commander in the Second World War.

“We’re setting it up [shipbuilding] for generations to come, for our kids and our grand-kids. It’s the shipyards first opportunity to actually build ships, they’ve been doing maintenance up until now, so hopefully it creates jobs for my little boy and for his son,” said Chad Batterton, a project employee, who came to the shipyard with his family to witness the ‘big’ reveal.

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HMCS Harry DeWolfe will be assembled together in three separate ‘mega-blocks.’

The centre block was revealed Friday afternoon, the stern is set to roll out on Saturday.

“The first piece is about 40 metres in length, it’s about 3,000 tons. It contains really the guts of the propulsion plant. So four big diesel engines, driving four big generators, that will eventually propel the ship through the water and all the way up to the bridge of the ship so it’s really the main section of the ship,” said McCoy.

When the stern and centre piece are connected, they will represent about 70 per cent of the ships total length.

The ships will provide armed surveillance of Canada’s Arctic waters.

“These are very complex vessels, built by a great team of shipbuilders and I think when the community and the nation sees the size of these ships and the industrial capability that we have here, they’re going to be very proud,” said McCoy.

The first ship is expected to be in the water by next spring.

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