Irving Begins Production of Fifth AOPS

May 20, 2021 – Irving Shipbuilding Inc. has cut first steel for the future HMCS Frederick Rolette to officially begin production of Canada’s fifth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Construction of Canada’s future combat fleet begins at Irving Shipbuilding’s Marine Fabricators facility in Dartmouth, where 32 people are involved in the computerized plasma cutting and delivery of 4,000 tonnes of steel each year in support of the AOPS program. The resulting 70,000 pieces are fabricated in a strategic sequence to meet the production schedule at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard, the most modern and largest indoor shipbuilding facility in North America.

The steel weighs 3734 kilograms (more than three tonnes) and will be used in a combination of locations on the ship, including the initial pieces that will begin development of the keel. Upon completion, the future HMCS Frederick Rolette will be 103.6 metres in length, have a 19-metre beam, displace 6,615 tonnes and be comprised of 440,000 parts. Each AOPS vessel has over 300kms of cable and more than 36kms of pipe.

Canada’s second, third and fourth AOPS are currently under construction at Halifax Shipyard. The future HMCS Margaret Brooke recently completed successful Sea Trials and is in the final stages of preparation for delivery to the Royal Canadian Navy. The future HMCS Max Bernays recently moved all Mega Blocks to land level and is undergoing final assembly in preparation for launch later this year. The future HMCS William Hall officially laid the keel in February this year and construction of the bow, mid-ship and stern Mega Blocks is underway. The lead vessel in the class, HMCS Harry DeWolf, was delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy on July 31, 2020.

Halifax Shipyard will construct six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, two AOPS variants for the Canadian Coast Guard, followed by 15 Canadian Surface Combatants for the Navy.

Born in Quebec City in 1785, Lieutenant Frederick Rolette was a naval hero of various actions as a member of the Royal Navy during the war of 1812. Upon the outbreak of war, Rolette immediately captured the American vessel Cuyahoga, marking the first action of the War of 1812, and the first of several American vessels he would take during the war. In addition to his prowess on the water, Rolette participated in land battles at the Capture of Detroit, the Battle of Frenchtown, and the skirmish at the Canard River. Rolette returned home to Quebec City following the war, passing away in 1831 at the age of 45.

To date, the combat shipbuilding program at Irving Shipbuilding has delivered over $3.7 billion in investments and spending commitments across Canada and is generating over 8300 jobs (direct and indirect). Halifax Shipyard is continuing to hire – welcoming over 300 new team members since the new year began.

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