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Canada issues tender for disposal of country’s last destroyer

Family, veterans, and dignitaries watch as the HMCS Athabaskan makes its final sail in the Halifax Harbour during the ship's paying off ceremony in Halifax on Friday, March 10, 2017.
Family, veterans, and dignitaries watch as the HMCS Athabaskan makes its final sail in the Halifax Harbour during the ship's paying off ceremony in Halifax on Friday, March 10, 2017. Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

The Canadian government is preparing to lay its final destroyer to rest after a 44-year-long career came to an end earlier this year.

The government issued a tender for the disposal of the former HMCS Athabaskan on Thursday, asking potential companies to dispose of the Iroquois-class ship.

Built in Quebec, the warship’s hull was laid down on June 1, 1969.

READ MORE: Hundreds of sailors return home to Halifax aboard HMCS Athabaskan

It was was commissioned on Sept. 30, 1972, and was the most modern anti-submarine warship in Canada at the time.

In addition to taking part in the Gulf War, the ship also helped in disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2006 and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

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It was officially retired after it completed its final voyage on March 18, 2017.

According to the tender documents, whoever is awarded the contract will be responsible for transferring the 129-metre ship to an approved site for the vessel’s demilitarization — essentially mutilating the vessel so that the restoration of the ship would be impossible.

WATCH: HMCS Athabaskan wraps up a 44-year career serving Canada

Click to play video 'HMCS Athabaskan wraps up a 44 year career serving Canada' HMCS Athabaskan wraps up a 44 year career serving Canada
HMCS Athabaskan wraps up a 44 year career serving Canada – Mar 8, 2017

They’ll then dismantle, dispose of and recycle the vessel.

The tender requires the former Athabaskan to be moved out of the Halifax Dockyard by March 31, 2018, and the dismantling process to be completed within 18 months of the contract being awarded.

The tender closes on Jan. 4, 2018.

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— with files from Alexa MacLean