While Checking out LCS-21 yesterday evening, a small detail caught my eye. One of the Kingston Class MCDV’s has the Nato Emblem attached to its bridge wing. Frigates get the emblem attached when they join one of the Standing Nato Maritime Groups – SNMG1 or SNMG2.
Nato also operated two Standing Nato Mine Counter Measures groups, or SNMCMG. Its likely that this ship will be joining them. This deployment has not yet been publicly announced to my knowledge.
With the War in Ukrane, Canada has two frigates deployed with NATO. The Ukranian Ports in the Black Sea have been heavily mined, and mines have drifted into open waters, potentially impacting commercial shipping. there is also a move to re-open Ukrainian ports to allow wheat exports. the ports would need to be de-mined first.
the Kingston class MCDV’s were built in the 90’s as Minesweepers. They have since been assigned other patrol duties, and are often used for survey and diving missions.
USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, LCS-21 arrived Sunday for a port visit. The ship is Due to sail tomorrow morning. Like most LCS built at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, the ship stopped in Halifax on her way to her home port.
USS St Louis Bypassed Halifax during Covid in 2020. Early ships faced issues with the Combining Gear – the Gear box that transfers power to the shafts form either the diesel engines or the turbines. Because of these issues, Completed ships were not accepted by the navy untill alterations could be made, which led to 3 visits in November 2019.
Due to the location of the combining gear, it was determined to not be cost effective to repair early ships. USS Freedom was Decommissioned in Sept 2021, and Fort Worth, Detroit and Little Rock are set to be decommissioned this year. 5 Additional ships are currently under construction.
The center mega block for AOPS #4 the future HMCS William Hall, was rolled out for the First time this evening. When i drove past at 7pm, they were just finishing, and removing the transporters.
Typically the Stern Mega Block follows the next day, and looks to be waiting in the right bay of the assembly hall.
William Hall’s bow section looks to be under construction in the left bay, behind where the first mega block was located prior to its roll out.
UPDATE 06/11: the stern Mega Block has now been rolled out.
Good morning from Halifax Shipyard. The centre and aft mega blocks of the future HMCS William Hall (AOPS #4) have been moved from our module hall to land level, where they will soon be joined together for further outfitting. #ShipsForCanadapic.twitter.com/kQSPXAbvSH
The SD Victoria Arrived February 10th, and has been at the dockyard ever since. It recently moved to a more photogenic berth, and i was able to get a picture. The ship is operated by Serco, which holds a contract with the UK MOD to provide support services to the British Armed Forces, and also operates the RCAF Air base in Goose Bay.
The SD Victoria is a support ship used to provide service to the Royal Navy. Its trip here was in support of some diving exercises, and remained to conduct some repairs. the ship is expected to sail next week.
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 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.
AOPS #3, the future HMCS Max Bernays moved into the basin for launch this morning. The barge will now be submerged over the coming hours, with AOPS #3 likely being floated off late this afternoon or early in the evening.
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.