List of current ships of the Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is tasked to provide maritime security along the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic coasts of Canada, exercise Canada's sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago, and support Canada's multi-national and bilateral interests overseas. The RCN fleet comprises the Pacific Fleet at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt, and the Atlantic Fleet at CFB Halifax. CFB Esquimalt is located on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, and is home to 15 vessels and 6,000 staff, the headquarters for Maritime Forces Pacific, Her Majesty's Canadian (HMC) Dockyard Esquimalt, Fleet Maintenance Facility – Cape Breton (FMF-CB), Fire Fighting and Damage Control School, the Naval Officer Training Centre (NOTC Venture), and extensive housing. CFB Halifax is home port for the 18 vessels of the Canadian Atlantic Fleet and situated in Halifax, Nova Scotia. CFB Halifax employs 7,000 civilians and military staff, and hosts the Canadian Atlantic Fleet headquarters, HMC Dockyard Halifax, FMF Cape Scott, extensive maritime research facilities, an ammunition depot, and the four maritime squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force that serve aboard the fleet.[1][2] The Canadian Armed Forces are currently constructing a new naval facility at Nanisivik, Baffin Island, to provide a summer port for RCN patrols in the Canadian arctic.[3]

With the loss of command-and-control and resupply capabilities in 2015, the RCN is classified as a Rank 5 navy (offshore regional coastal defence) on the Todd-Lindberg classification system, dropping from Rank 3 (multiregional power projection).[4] In 2011, the government restored the traditional name of the Royal Canadian Navy, removed at the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968. Commissioned vessels are designated as 'Her Majesty's Canadian Ship' (HMCS), minor ships as 'Patrol Craft Training' (PCT) and auxiliaries as 'Canadian Forces Auxiliary Vessel' (CFAV).[5]


The Victoria class are British built diesel-electric fleet submarines designed in the late 1970s to supplement the Royal Navy's nuclear submarine force. They were decommissioned at the end of the Cold War. In 1998, Canada purchased the submarines to replace the aging Oberon-class submarines. Refit for Canadian service included the removal of Sub-Harpoon missile firing and mine-laying capabilities, installation of torpedo launch systems and upgrades to weapons and fire control systems. Each vessel holds 53 crew.[6]

Ship Pennant Armament Displacement Propulsion Service
Builder Laid down Commissioned Fleet
HMCS VictoriaSSK 876
  • 2,220 t surfaced
  • 2,439 t submerged
  • 2 GEC, 5,000 kW (6,700 hp) motor-generators
Cammell Laird12 August 1987December 2000Pacific
HMCS WindsorSSK 877 Cammell Laird13 March 1990October 2003Atlantic
HMCS Corner BrookSSK 878 Cammell Laird10 January 1989March 2003Pacific
HMCS ChicoutimiSSK 879
  • 2,296 t surfaced
  • 2,540 t submerged
Vickers Shipbuilding and EngineeringFebruary 1983September 2015Pacific


The Halifax-class frigates are multi-role vessels with anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-ship capability. In response to recent global security interests, the role of the class has shifted from open ocean to littoral engagement. Innovations in operational tactics have allowed the vessels of this class to adapt to new asymmetric surface threats. To ensure effective long-term capacity in this new threat environment the ships are undergoing a refit, including passive and active weapons, radars, and new combat architecture to meet the modern requirements. To date, seven of the twelve ships have been refitted. Each holds a complement of 225 officers and crew. All ships of the class are named after major Canadian cities.[7][8]

Ship Pennant Armament Displacement Propulsion Service
Builder Laid down Commissioned Fleet
HMCS HalifaxFFH 330
  • 3,995 t (light)
  • 4,795 t (operational)
  • 5,032 t (deep load)
Saint John Shipbuilding19 March 198729 June 1992Atlantic
HMCS VancouverFFH 331 Saint John Shipbuilding19 May 198823 August 1993Pacific
HMCS Ville de QuébecFFH 332 Davie Shipbuilding16 December 198814 July 1994Atlantic
HMCS TorontoFFH 333 Saint John Shipbuilding22 April 198929 July 1993Atlantic
HMCS ReginaFFH 334 Davie Shipbuilding6 October 198929 December 1993Pacific
HMCS CalgaryFFH 335 Davie Shipbuilding15 June 199112 May 1995Pacific
HMCS MontréalFFH 336 Saint John Shipbuilding8 February 199121 July 1994Atlantic
HMCS FrederictonFFH 337 Saint John Shipbuilding25 April 199210 September 1994Atlantic
HMCS WinnipegFFH 338 Saint John Shipbuilding20 March 199323 June 1995Pacific
HMCS CharlottetownFFH 339 Saint John Shipbuilding18 December 19939 September 1995Atlantic
HMCS St. John'sFFH 340 Saint John Shipbuilding24 August 199416 June 1996Atlantic
HMCS OttawaFFH 341 Saint John Shipbuilding29 April 199528 September 1996Pacific

Maritime coastal defence vessels

The Kingston-class coastal defence vessels are multi-role vessels built and launched from the mid- to late-1990s and are crewed by a combination of Naval Reserve and Regular-Force personnel. Each vessel displaces 970 t and runs with a complement of between 31 and 47 officers and crew. Their main missions are counter narcotics, coastal surveillance, sovereignty patrol, route survey, and training. The ships' capabilities include a mechanical minesweeping system, a route survey system, and a bottom object inspection vehicle.[9][10]

Ship Pennant Armament Displacement Propulsion Service
Builder Laid down Commissioned Fleet
HMCS KingstonMM 700 970 t
  • 2 × Jeumont DC electric motors
  • 4 × 600VAC Wärtsilä SACM V12 diesel alternators
Halifax Shipyards12 December 199421 September 1996Atlantic
HMCS Glace BayMM 701 Halifax Shipyards28 April 199526 October 1996Atlantic
HMCS NanaimoMM 702 Halifax Shipyards11 August 199510 May 1997Pacific
HMCS EdmontonMM 703 Halifax Shipyards8 December 199521 June 1997Pacific
HMCS Shawinigan MM 704 Halifax Shipyards 26 April 1996 14 June 1997 Atlantic
HMCS Whitehorse MM 705 Halifax Shipyards 26 July 1996 17 April 1998 Pacific
HMCS Yellowknife MM 706 Halifax Shipyards 7 November 1996 18 April 1998 Pacific
HMCS Goose Bay MM 707 Halifax Shipyards 22 February 1997 26 July 1998 Atlantic
HMCS Moncton MM 708 Halifax Shipyards 31 May 1997 12 July 1998 Atlantic
HMCS Saskatoon MM 709 Halifax Shipyards 5 September 1997 5 December 1998 Pacific
HMCS Brandon MM 710 Halifax Shipyards 6 December 1997 5 June 1999 Pacific
HMCS Summerside MM 711 Halifax Shipyards 28 March 1998 18 July 1999 Atlantic

Patrol craft training vessels

Orca-class patrol vessels are primarily used for one-to-six-week long 'at sea' naval officer training. Regular force boatswains, engineers and naval communicators serve in these ships to train junior officers and non-commissioned sailors. They also patrol coastal waters for pollution infractions and fishing violations, and are frequently tasked for search and rescue operations. They operate year-round in the coastal waters of British Columbia.[11][12]

Name Pennant number Commissioned Builder Fleet
OrcaPCT 559 November 2006Victoria ShipyardsPacific
RavenPCT 5615 March 2007Victoria ShipyardsPacific
CaribouPCT 5731 July 2007Victoria ShipyardsPacific
RenardPCT 5813 September 2007Victoria ShipyardsPacific
WolfPCT 5929 November 2007Victoria ShipyardsPacific
GrizzlyPCT 6019 March 2008Victoria ShipyardsPacific
CougarPCT 612 October 2008Victoria ShipyardsPacific
MoosePCT 6227 November 2008Victoria ShipyardsPacific

Support and auxiliary vessels

Sail training ship

Torpedo and sound ranging vessels

  • CFAV Sikanni (YTP 611)
  • CFAV Stikine (YTP 613)

Yard diving tenders

  • Unnamed (YDT 11)
  • CFAV Granby (YDT 12)
  • CFAV Sechelt (YDT 610)
  • CFAV Sooke (YDT 612)



Yard auxiliary general

  • CFAV Pelican (YAG 4)
  • CFAV Gemini (YAG 650)
  • CFAV Pegasus (YAG 651)
  • CFAV Albatross (YAG 661)
  • CFAV Black Duck (YAG 660)

Development and procurement

The RCN is undergoing a complex program of capacity expansion, ship life extension, modernization and fleet procurement. The Nanisivik Naval Facility currently under construction on Baffin Island in the arctic will provide shore services for fleet operations in the arctic during the four month summer season.[14][15] The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy will invest more than $30 billion into the development of Arctic capable patrol vessels, frigate-class surface warships, and long-range auxiliary supply vessels. Construction has begun on the five to six Harry DeWolf-class vessels under the Arctic Patrol Ship Project. The commercial containership MS Asterix is currently in service as a fleet supply vessel, to meet operational requirements until the two new Protecteur-class auxiliary vessels are completed.[16][17] While up to 15 warships of the Single Class Surface Combatant Project remain in the planning stages, the RCN is upgrading all current frigates with advanced systems and life extension maintenance to maximize operational capability into the 2030s.[18] In addition to the fleet component, the Canadian Armed Forces have begun replacing aging CH-124 Sea King helicopters serving in the RCN, with the CH-148 Cyclone. The first six Cyclones were delivered June 2015[19][20] followed by a further two "Block 1.1" Cyclones in November/December 2015.


Displacement Ship displacement at full load
Propulsion Number of shafts, type of propulsion system, and top speed generated
Service The dates work began and finished on the ship and its ultimate fate
Laid down The date the keel began to be assembled
Launched The date the ship was launched

See also


  1. Navy, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian. "Royal Canadian Navy: Home". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  2. Gimblett, Richard. "Royal Canadian Navy". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  3. Bird, Michael (4 March 2015). "Making waves: The Navy's Arctic ambition revealed". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. Gilmore, Scott. "The Sinking of the Canadian Navy". Maclean's. Maclean's. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  5. Navy, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian. "Fleet & Units | Royal Canadian Navy". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  6. Navy, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian. "Submarines / Fleet & Units / Royal Canadian Navy". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  7. Navy, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian. "Frigates / Fleet & Units / Royal Canadian Navy". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  8. "Halifax Class Frigates, Canada". Naval Technology. Kable. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  9. Navy, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian. "Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels | Fleet & Units | Royal Canadian Navy". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  10. Saunders, Stephen (ed.) (2008). Jane's Fighting Ships 2008–2009. Jane's Fighting Ships (111th ed.). Surrey: Jane's Information Group. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-7106-2845-9. OCLC 225431774.
  11. "Fast tests keep new Canadian navy training ships on schedule". Diesel Progress North American Edition (April 2007).
  12. Navy, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian. "Orca Class | Minor Vessels | Fleet & Units | Royal Canadian Navy". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  13. Macpherson, Ken (2002). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–2002. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vandall. ISBN 1-55125-072-1.
  14. Rogers, Sarah (6 March 2015). "Nanisivik naval fuel station postponed until 2018: National Defence". NunatsiaqOnline. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  15. Bird, Michael (4 March 2015). "Making waves: The Navy's Arctic ambition revealed". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  16. Rosamond, Jon (4 October 2015). "Canada turns to Asterix for stop gap at-sea support". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  17. Navy, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian. "Joint Support Ship (JSS) | The Fleet | Royal Canadian Navy". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  18. Defence, Government of Canada, National. "National Defence | Canadian Armed Forces | Backgrounder | Halifax-Class Modernization (HCM) / Frigate Life Extension (FELEX)". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  19. Navy, Government of Canada, National Defence, Royal Canadian. "Royal Canadian Navy: Home". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  20. "Maritime Helicopter Project". National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Government of Canada. Retrieved 19 March 2016.

Bibliography and further reading

  • Blatherwick, F.J. (1992). Royal Canadian Navy Honours, Decorations, Medals, 1910–1968. FJB Air Publications, New Westminster. 
  • The Canadian Navy List 1914 to 1945. King's Printer, Ottawa. 
  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. 
  • Dittmar, F.J.; College, J.J. (1972). British Warships, 1914–1919. Alan, London. 
  • Douglas, W.A.B.; et al. (2004). No Higher Purpose: The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, 1939–1943. Volume II, Part I. Vanwell, St. Catharines. 
  • Douglas, W.A.B.; et al. (2007). A Blue Water Navy: The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War – 1943–1945, Volume II, Part 2. Vanwell, St. Catharines. 
  • Gimblett, Richard H., ed. (2009). The Naval Service of Canada 1910–2010: The Centennial Story. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-4597-1322-2. 
  • Gimblett, Richard H.; Hadley, Michael L., eds. (2010). Citizen Sailors: Chronicles of Canada's Naval Reserve. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55488-867-2. 
  • Johnston, William; Rawling, William G.P.; Gimblett, Richard H.; MacFarlane, John (2010). The Seabound Coast: The Official History of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1867–1939. 1. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55488-908-2. 
  • 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. 
  • Milner, Marc (2010). Canada's Navy: The First Century (Second ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-9604-3. 
  • Office of Naval Intelligence (1944). Index to Warships of the British Commonwealth (PDF). US Government Printing Office. 
  • Tucker, Gilbert (1952). The Naval Service of Canada: Its Official History. Vol 2: Activities on Shore During the Second World War. King's Printer, Ottawa. 
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