Category Archives: Navy

Update on large naval tugs

Today the feds gave an update on the Large Naval tug project. this project will see 4 new tugs commissioned to replace the current fleet of Glen Tugs currently in use. The tugs are being built by Ocean Industries, at their Isle-aux-Coudres, Quebec shipyard.

The first two tugs (Haro and Barkerville) are scheduled to be delivered by sealift to the RCN’s Maritime Forces Pacific in Esquimalt, British Columbia, in 2022. The other two (Canso and Stella Maris) will sail to Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2023 and 2024.

The new tugs are named as follows.

  • Naval Large Tug #1 Haro – This name is taken from the Haro Strait, which connects the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca in British Columbia, and is frequently transited by Royal Canadian Navy vessels proceeding north from Esquimalt, the home of our Pacific Fleet. 
  • Naval Large Tug #2 Barkerville – This name is taken from the Second World War-era Ville-class tug of the same name, which capsized and sank at the entrance of Bedwell Harbour, British Columbia, on December 17, 1945, while towing His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Hespeler to its mooring. 
  • Naval Large Tug #3 Canso – This name is taken from the Canso Strait separating Nova Scotia from Cape Breton Island. This is a region that figures prominently in Canada’s formative history. It also reflects the Royal Canadian Navy’s past with HMCS Canso, a minesweeper that served in the Pacific and Atlantic during the Second World War, and was on hand at D-Day.
  • Naval Large Tug #4 Stella Maris – This name was selected in recognition of the valiant actions of the crew of the tug that came to the assistance of the French munitions ship, SS Mont-Blanc on December 6, 1917, in Halifax Harbour. The tug crew tried to fight a fire on board Mont-Blanc, and recognizing that they had insufficient water to quench the fire, selflessly attempted to tow the burning vessel away from shore. The tug was severely damaged and 19 personnel on board perished when Mont-Blanc then erupted in the disaster known as the Halifax Explosion.  

HMCS Montreal on the Synchrolift

HMCS Montreal on the sychrolift at the dockyard for maintenance. I understand that there is not currently a dry facility in Halifax capable of maintaining the new AOPS, nor the Type 26 CSC. The Navys future fleet will necessitate some upgrades at the dockyard, and Halifax Shipyard.

Halifax Shipyard of course was able to accommodate panamax vessels until it retired and sold the NovaDock, which is now in service at International ship repair in Tampa Florida. That dock was owned by the province, and leased to the yard, untill it was quietly transferred to the shipyard as part of ships start here. Halifax Shipyards then sold it, claiming it was in disrepair.

RCN Sailpast

Sadly timing didnt work out for me to catch the RCN Sailpast and Fly over today. I Say RCN, as the Americans sailed early, and the french were late, but 3 frigates, 4 MCDV’s, a submarine and Asterix sailed out of the harbour today for Exercise Cutlass Fury 21, which runs to Sept 16th.

Ships Anchored in the basin starting at 0930 this morning. FS Aquiaine (Below) of the French Marine Nationial, and (Above) Asterix and HMCS Moncton wearing a western approaches disruptive paint scheme.

AOPS Updates on ships 2 and 3

Halifax Shipyard achieved two milestones this week. The HMCS Margaret Brooke completed several days of sea trials off the coast of Nova Scotia. The Ship departed the shipyard the afternoon of the 7th, and returned Tuesday morning.

The bow mega block was rolled out May 8th for ship number 3, the future HMCS Max Bernays, and positioned to join the rear two thirds of the ship already outside. The ship is scheduled to enter the water in the fall. 

HMCS Windsor In the Basin

HMCS Windsor has completed her recent work period and has spent the past week exercising in the Bedford Basin. Windsor is currently the only sub on the east coast, Corner Brook, Chicoutimi and Victoria are all currently on the west coast.

Trot Buoy Service.

RMI Seafox and a barge were seen out in the basin servicing some of the Navy’s Mooring Buoys. These buoys are anchored to the seabed, and allow navy vessels to tie up via their bow Fair lead.

This particular trot Buoy is located just south of the DRDC Barge. Below is a diagram of the setup of such a buoy.

AOPS #3 Mega Block Rollout

This Friday morning brought the rollout of Megablock #1 for AOPS #3, the future HMCS Max Bernays. The Stern block moved onto the ramp Saturday.

AOPS #2 was Launched Nov 10 2019. Its Bow was Added May 3 2019, and the first two blocks rolled out Sept 21/18. if the Harry DeWolf schedule is any indication, the AOPS #2, the Margaret Brooke should be ready for trials soon. AOPS #1, Harry DeWolf, began trials 10 days after the The Margaret Brooke was launched. The Margaret Brooke powered up Jan 5th for the first time using its own power.

ISI Photo via Twitter
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