Canada adds third Arctic patrol ship to its fleet

The HMCS Max Bernays was delivered on Sept. 2.

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The HMCS Max Bernays, seen here, is the third of what will be six new Arctic patrol ships built as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. (Canadian Department of National Defence via Nunatsiaq News)

The Canadian Armed Forces has taken possession of its third new Arctic patrol ship, the HMCS Max Bernays.

The ship was delivered Sept. 2 as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, the federal government’s long-term plan to renew the country’s supply of non-combat and combat vessels.

The Arctic offshore and patrol ships are meant to traverse through the North so the armed forces can better assert Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic, the department of National Defense said in a news release. The ships are being built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The HMCS Max Bernays is the third of what will eventually be six new Arctic patrol ships, with two ships already deployed — the HMCS Margaret Brooke and HMCS Harry DeWolf.

This third ship is named for Bernays, a Canadian naval hero who served as a chief petty officer on the HMCS Assiniboine during the Second World War’s Battle of the Atlantic.

Features on the new patrol ships include the ability for helicopters to land on board, as well as space to accommodate small vehicles and deployable boats. The ships are 103 meters long and weigh 6,440 tonnes.

The first Arctic patrol ship, the HMCS Harry DeWolf, joined Operation Nanook last year. Operation Nanook is the armed forces’ yearly operation in the North where Canadian military practice defense exercises and build relationships with communities in the area.

This year, the HMCS Margaret Brooke has taken part in the operation, while the HMCS Harry DeWolf could not sail up North due to a failure in its generators.

While the HMCS Max Bernays is currently in Halifax, in 2023 it will make its way to Victoria, B.C., which will be its home base.