Delivery of first Arctic and offshore patrol ship delayed again

Shipyard workers attend the naming ceremony for Canada's lead Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, in Halifax on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The delivery of the first Canadian Arctic and offshore patrol ship (AOPS) has been delayed once again, the Department of National Defence confirmed to Global News on Monday.

A spokesperson for the Department of National Defence said building “a new class of ships is very complex” and that the additional time is necessary “to ensure that all remaining work and tasks… are completed optimally.”

“Although we had predicted the first delivery for Winter 2020, the schedule has slightly shifted to Spring 2020,” Daniel Lebouthillier said in a statement.

The delay was first reported by the Ottawa Citizen on Friday.

The first vessel, HMCS Harry DeWolfe, was scheduled to be delivered by the end of March and this is only the latest in a series of delays for the vessel.

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The original plan was to have Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax deliver the ship in 2018, before the date was pushed to the end of 2019 and then the first three months of 2020.

Labouthillier said that it is the department’s objective to have the vessel delivered before summer. That gives Irving roughly three more months, although DND admitted that there is still a chance for the delivery date to change.

The delay will also put the timeline for the delivery of the next vessel in flux, although DND says lessons are being learned from the construction of the first vessel that will benefit the seven additional vessels to come.

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Lebouthillier said the timeline for delivery on the remaining vessels is still being assessed, and updates will be shared once available.

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Construction of the third and fourth vessel is already underway.

—With files from The Canadian Press

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