In December 2005, then opposition leader Stephen Harper promised "three new heavy naval ice breakers" and "a new combined military civilian deep water docking facility in the Iqaluit region." However, since Mr. Harper became Prime Minister in February 2006, the project has repeatedly been delayed. It now seems possible that he could leave office before a construction contract for new Arctic vessels is signed. Furthermore, the "three heavy naval ice breakers" have been scaled back to "Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships" (A/OPS) -- essentially, vessels that are supposed to combine the coastal patrol role of the existing, inadequate and soon-to-be-decommissioned Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MC DVs) with a new security role in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the result is a compromise ship that is not very good at either role.
oceans government politics water canada arctic ocean mines national security shipbuilding transport defence canadian armed forces canadian coast guard iceberg northwest passage harry dewolf-class offshore patrol vessel coastal surveillance ccgs amundsen shipbuilding contracts ice class mid-shore patrol vessels fast response cutter hero-class patrol vessel ice breakers minesweeping damen shipyards armidale-class patrol boat sentinel class