The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) officially welcomed His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Margaret Brooke into naval service with a commissioning ceremony. This ceremony marks a significant achievement for both the RCN and the Canadian shipbuilding industry. The introduction of a second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which sustains thousands of jobs annually in Canada, will enhance the RCN’s ability to enforce sovereignty and meet the future defence challenges in Canada’s offshore and Arctic waters. The AOPS also augments Canada’s presence offshore, and will be capable of conducting a wide variety of operations abroad.
This is the first time in its 111-year history that the RCN is naming a class after a prominent Canadian Navy figure, Harry DeWolf. The remainder in the class will be named to honour other prominent Royal Canadian Navy heroes who served their country with the highest distinction. A ship’s commissioning ceremony is both a long-standing naval tradition, and, a special event for the ship’s company – proud sailors who – have just returned from the ship’s first deployment where they assisted communities in Atlantic Canada affected by Hurricane Fiona. The commissioning of HMCS Margaret Brooke included a symbolic presentation of the commissioning pennant, as well as the symbolic presentation of the “keys to the ship” to the Commanding Officer, Commander Nicole Robichaud.
“HMCS Margaret Brooke and the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships enable the Royal Canadian Navy to patrol and protect Canada’s sovereignty in our offshore and Arctic waters, bringing enhanced presence and awareness to this important region. These modern ships bring new capabilities to Canada’s prosperity, defence and security. As the ship is commissioned today, I extend my congratulations to HMCS Margaret Brooke, and thank its officers and crew, for all of their efforts and dedication in service of Canada,” the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence said.
“Welcoming a ship into service with the Royal Canadian Navy is a major milestone. Today, we celebrate with time-honoured tradition the hard work and dedication of the Margaret Brooke’s crew. The Commanding Officer and crew have successfully completed months of trials and readiness training and recently proved their readiness to support Canadians through their contributions to Hurricane Fiona relief efforts. This class of ship enables the Navy to expand its presence throughout our Arctic and around the globe,” Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy said.
HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV 431) is the second Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessel for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Margaret Brooke was ordered in 2011, laid down in 2016 and launched in 2019. The vessel began contractor sea trials in May 2021, and it was delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy for post-acceptance sea trials on 15 July 2021. The official naming ceremony for the ship was conducted on 29 May 2022 in conjunction with that for sister ship Max Bernays. The Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessels are designed for use in the Arctic regions of Canada for patrol and support within Canada’s exclusive economic zone. The ship has an enclosed foredeck that protects machinery and work spaces from Arctic climates.
Margaret Brooke is able to deploy with multiple payloads, including shipping containers, underwater survey equipment or landing craft. The vessel is 103.6 m (339 ft 11 in) long overall with a beam of 19.0 m (62 ft 4 in). The ship has a displacement of 6,615 metric tons (6,511 long tons). Payload operations are aided by a 20-metric-ton (20-long-ton; 22-short-ton) crane for loading and unloading. The ship is equipped with a vehicle bay which can hold can pickup trucks, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. The ship also has two 8.5-metre (27 ft 11 in) multi-role rescue boats capable of over 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph). The ship is armed with one BAE Mk 38 25 mm (0.98 in) gun and two M2 Browning machine guns. The patrol ship has an onboard hangar and flight deck for helicopters up to the size of a Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone. Margaret Brooke has a complement of 65 and accommodation for 85 or 87.