OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Navy is entering a new era today as it officially welcomes the long-overdue HMCS Harry deWolf into its fleet.
The deWolf is the first armed warship to have been finished through the federal government’s multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan.
It is also the first of six new vessels purpose-built for the navy to conduct military operations in the Arctic in decades.
Rob Huebert, an expert on the Arctic at the University of Calgary, says that heralds a significant shift for the navy, which has tended to focus on the rest of the world and leave Canada’s Far North to the Canadian Coast Guard.
More and more countries are starting to increase their interest — and military footprints — in the Arctic as it becomes easier to access due to climate change.
Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax was supposed to have started delivering the Arctic offshore patrol vessels in 2018 but the project was plagued with delays and cost increases.