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Irving Shipbuilding and the Government of Canada celebrate start of construction of the third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship


Today the first piece of steel was cut for the Royal Canadian Navy’s third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS Max Bernays, at Irving Shipbuilding’s Marine Fabricators facility.

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Service and Procurement Canada, pressed the button on the plasma cutting table to officially start construction of the third AOPS, cutting a piece of steel that will form part of the keel unit below the propulsion systems.

“Today's steel cutting is an important milestone for Irving Shipbuilding, Canada and the National Shipbuilding Strategy. We are equipping our Navy and Coast Guard with the vessels they need, creating and sustaining jobs from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and re-invigorating a world-class shipbuilding industry here in Canada,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

Named in honour of Chief Petty Officer Max Leopold Bernays, a Canadian naval hero who served as the Coxswain of His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Assiniboine during the Battle of the Atlantic, the future HMCS Max Bernays is the third AOPS under construction as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. 

 AOPS Third Ship Steel Cutting
 Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding, Commodore Craig Skjerpen, Commander of Canadian Fleet Atlantic, Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax, Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Service and Procurement Canada, the Honourable Scott Brison, Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants and President of the Treasury Board, and the Honourable Labi Kousoulis, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Labour and Advanced Education

“Today’s start of construction of the third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship clearly shows that the National Shipbuilding Strategy is working very effectively. Our 1,800 shipbuilders are now hard at work constructing the first three Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Canada is well on its way to re-establishing the nation’s shipbuilding industry,” said Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding.

The first AOPS of the Harry DeWolf-class, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, is structurally assembled at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard. Further outfitting is ongoing and the ship is scheduled to be launched in 2018. 

Construction on the second AOPS, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke, is well underway with 28 of the ships 64 units in production.

The Government of Canada launched the National Shipbuilding Strategy in 2010 to replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. Through a competitive, open and transparent process, Irving Shipbuilding was selected to construct the Royal Canadian Navy’s future combatant fleet, consisting of the construction of five to six AOPS, followed by the construction of 15 Canadian Surface Combatants.

To date, Halifax Shipyard and its major subcontractors have more than $1.9 billion in spending commitments with over 250 organizations across Canada as part of the Halifax Shipyard’s facility modernization and AOPS program.

Halifax Shipyard’s spending commitments span from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia, including most provinces and territories in between such as Nunavut, Ontario and Quebec. The company forecasts more than $3.17 billion of economic activity across Canada between 2013-2022 from the Halifax Shipyard’s facility modernization and AOPS construction. 

To stay up to date on the Halifax Shipyard’s progress building the Royal Canadian Navy’s future combatant fleet visit

About Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is the most modern shipbuilder and in-service ship support provider in North America. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, our skilled team and innovative facilities provide efficient building, fabrication, conversion, and servicing of vessels and offshore platforms. As Canada’s chosen shipbuilder, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is working with the Royal Canadian Navy on the next class of Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) and Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) vessels under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). We are proud to continue our long history as a trusted partner in Canadian shipbuilding. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is a member of the J.D. Irving, Limited group of companies, a diverse family owned company with operations in Canada and the United States. 

Learn more at or Twitter: @IrvingShipbuild

Sean Lewis 
Director, Communications
Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
Office: 902-484-4595 
Mobile: 902-240-6964