January 16, 2018 8:15 pm
Updated: January 17, 2018 3:17 pm

Canada’s newest supply ship — MV Asterix — begins training

FILE - MS Asterix transfers fuel for the first time to HMCS Toronto on Jan. 15, 2017.

Canadian Armed Forces

Canada’s newest supply ship has carried out its first at-sea refueling.

MV Asterix, a converted civilian container vessel, is seen refueling one of Canada’s frigates, HMCS Toronto, in photos tweeted on Tuesday by Rear Admiral Craig Baines, Commander of Canada’s East Coast fleet.

“They’re at sea, carrying out trials as we speak,” said Baines, earlier on Tuesday.

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The navy is leasing the vessel from private-sector builder Federal Fleet Services Inc. for five years, with a five-year option afterward.

Canada has the ability to purchase the vessel at any time during the lease.

Capable of replenishing food, fuel and ammunition of Canada’s navy vessels, MV Asterix is currently being put through its paces by a combined crew of civilians and military personnel.

MS Asterix transfers fuel for the first time to HMCS Toronto on Jan. 18, 2017.

Canadian Armed Forces

The ship’s general operations, including ship maintenance and watchkeeping, will be carried out by private-sector sailors while navy personnel will focus on specialized operations, such as handling military cargo and transferring fuel.

The Canadian Press reported in December that the training is estimated to last two to three months, with the Canadian Navy having the final word on when the vessel is ready for its first mission.

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Baines added that HMCS Montreal will soon join HMCS Toronto and MV Asterix as the vessels continue their exercises.

— with files from the Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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