HMCS Max Bernays: First Mega Blocks Unite

The first two mega-blocks for the future HMCS Max Bernays were safely and successfully transferred from the Halifax Shipyard Assembly Hall to land level dockside in preparation for final assembly and launch later this year as part of Canada’s combat ship package under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Halifax Shipyard is the most modern and largest indoor shipbuilding facility in North America.

The mega-blocks were moved in two stages using self-propelled modular transporters with 128 axels. The move of the 2,900 tonne center mega-block took place on Friday, January 22, 2021, followed by the move of the 1,600 tonne stern mega-block on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

“Our 2,100 shipbuilders are really hitting their stride for this new class of ship for the Royal Canadian Navy, as this third ship is 50% more complete than the first ship at the same stage,” said McCoy. “With ship 1 delivered, ship 2 already in the water, ship 3 at land level, ship 4 under construction in the Assembly Hall and first steel for ship 5 in the coming weeks, we are very well positioned for AOPS 7 & 8 for the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Surface Combatant program that will give Canada’s navy the most advanced and sophisticated combat ship in their history.”

Joining of the center and stern mega-blocks is now underway with a team of welders, fitters and steel workers, as well as a support team that includes Accuracy Control, Programs, Quality Control and Engineering. The mega-blocks were aligned using laser technology bringing the giant pieces together with less than 2mm separation when the move was completed. The bow mega-block is under construction and will be brought to land level later this spring for the final assembly.

“It takes a country to build these great ships for Canada’s Navy. To date $2.58 billion has been spent on business services and investments in the AOPS program with a coast-to-coast-to-coast supply chain of 317 businesses across Canada,” said McCoy.

Halifax Shipyard is building six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, to be followed by two AOPS variants for the Canadian Coast Guard and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants for the Royal Canadian Navy under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

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