HMCS Shawinigan (MM 704)

HMCS Shawinigan at Rimouski in 2009
Name: Shawinigan
Namesake: Shawinigan, Quebec
Builder: Halifax Shipyards Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia
Laid down: 26 April 1996
Launched: 15 November 1996
Commissioned: 14 June 1997
Homeport: CFB Halifax
Honours and
Atlantic, 1942–44; Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1942, 1944[1]
Status: Active
General characteristics
Class and type: Kingston-class coastal defence vessel
Displacement: 970 long tons (990 t)
Length: 55.3 m (181 ft 5 in)
Beam: 11.3 m (37 ft 1 in)
Draught: 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in)
  • 4 × Jeumont ANR-53-50 alternators, 4 × 600VAC Wärtsilä UD 23V12 diesel engines, 7.2 MW (9,700 hp)
  • 2 × Jeumont CI 560L motors, 3,000 hp (2,200 kW)
  • 2 × LIPS Z drive azimuth thrusters
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 8 kn (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
Complement: 37
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Kelvin Hughes navigation radar (I-band)
  • Kelvin Hughes 6000 surface search radar (E-F band)
  • Global Positioning System
  • AN/SQS-511 towed side scan sonar
  • Remote-control Mine Hunting System (RMHS)

HMCS Shawinigan is a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel that has served in the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Navy since 1997. Shawinigan is the fifth ship of her class which is the name for the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel Project. She is the second vessel to use the designation HMCS Shawinigan. The ship is assigned to Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and is homeported at CFB Halifax.

Design and description

The Kingston class was designed to fill the minesweeper, coastal patrol and reserve training needs of the Canadian Forces, replacing the Bay-class minesweepers, Porte-class gate vessels and Royal Canadian Mounted Police coastal launches in those roles.[2] In order to perform these varied duties the Kingston-class vessels are designed to carry up to three 6.1-metre (20 ft) ISO containers with power hookups on the open deck aft in order to embark mission-specific payloads.[3] The seven module types available for embarkation include four route survey, two mechanical minesweeping and one bottom inspection modules.[2]

The Kingston class displace 970 long tons (990 t) and are 55.3 metres (181 ft 5 in) long overall with a beam 11.3 metres (37 ft 1 in) and a draught of 3.4 metres (11 ft 2 in).[2] The coastal defence vessels are powered by four Jeumont ANR-53-50 alternators coupled to four Wärtsilä UD 23V12 diesel engines creating 7.2 megawatts (9,700 hp). Two LIPS Z-drive azimuth thrusters are driven by two Jeumont CI 560L motors creating 3,000 horsepower (2,200 kW) and the Z drives can be rotated 360°. This gives the ships a maximum speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) and a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph).[4]

The Kingston class is equipped with a Kelvin Hughes navigational radar using the I band and a Kelvin Hughes 6000 surface search radar scanning the E and F bands. The vessels carry an AN/SQS-511 towed side scan sonar for minesweeping and a Remote-control Mine Hunting System (RMHS). The vessels are equipped with one Bofors 40 mm/60 calibre Mk 5C gun and two M2 machine guns.[4][lower-alpha 1] The Kingston-class coastal defence vessels have a complement of 37.[2]

Operational history

Shawinigan was laid down on 26 April 1996 by Halifax Shipyards Ltd. at Halifax, Nova Scotia and was launched on 15 November 1996. The ship was commissioned into the Canadian Forces on 14 June 1997 at Trois Rivières, Quebec and carries the hull number MM 704.[5]

After commissioning she was assigned to Atlantic fleet. On 28 June 1998 Shawinigan took part in the 75th anniversary of the naval reserves at Halifax and was featured on a commemorative stamp issued for the event.[5]

In August 2014, Shawinigan took part in Operation Nanook, an annual joint military exercise performed in northern Canada.[6] During that deployment, Shawinigan set the record for traveling the furthest north of any ship in the history of the Royal Canadian Navy, reaching a maximum latitude of 80 degrees and 28 minutes north. In March 2015, as part of Operation Caribbe, Shawinigan, along with sister ship Goose Bay and the US frigate USS Kauffman, intercepted a vessel in the Caribbean Sea carrying 1,017 kilograms (2,242 lb) of cocaine.[7][8]

In August 2016, the ship sailed with Moncton to the Arctic to take part in Operation Nanook.[9][10] Once the operation is over, Shawinigan partnered with the Canadian Coast Guard vessel CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier to continue the archaeological examination of the sunken vessel HMS Erebus and to aid in the search for HMS Terror.[11] Shawinigan and Moncton returned to Halifax on 30 September.[12]



  1. The 60 calibre denotes the length of the gun. This means that the length of the gun barrel is 60 times the bore diameter.


  1. "Volume 2, Part 1: Extant Commissioned Ships – HMCS Shawinigan". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Macpherson and Barrie, p. 299
  3. Saunders (2008), p. 95
  4. 1 2 Saunders (2004), p. 92
  5. 1 2 Macpherson and Barrie, p. 303
  6. Pugliese, David (21 August 2014). "Operation NANOOK 14 scenario includes response to grounding of cruise ship". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  7. "Canada, US navies seize 1,000 kg cocaine in Caribbean". Business Standard. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  8. Pugliese, David (9 March 2015). "HMCS Goose Bay and HMCS Shawinigan take part in drug bust in Caribbean Sea". Defence Watch. Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  9. "HMC Ships depart for Northern Operations". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  10. Pugliese, David (11 August 2016). "Royal Canadian Navy sending HMCS Shawinigan and HMCS Moncton to Arctic". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  11. Kylie, Aaron (23 August 2016). "Archaeologists to resume search for Sir John Franklin's HMS Terror". Canadian Geographic. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  12. "Two navy vessels return to Halifax from Arctic mission". Global News. The Canadian Press. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.


  • Macpherson, Ken; Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–2002 (Third ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-072-1. 
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2004). Jane's Fighting Ships 2004–2005 (107 ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: Jane's Information Group Inc. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1. 
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2008). Jane's Fighting Ships 2008–2009. Jane's Fighting Ships (111th ed.). Surrey: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2845-9. OCLC 225431774. 
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