February 1, 2018

MV Asterix accepted by the Royal Canadian Navy

Filed under: Cancon, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

With the Queenston-class AOR ships still pinned to the drawing board, the Royal Canadian Navy has been reduced to borrowing support ships from allies and friendly nations to allow our combat ships to operate further from shore than a local fishing boat, the delivery and acceptance of the MV Asterix has to count as good news:

MV Asterix
Photo via Canadian Defence Review

Davie Shipbuilding and Federal Fleet Services announced that following an intensive period of at-sea trials and testing, Asterix has been formally accepted by the Department of National Defence and has now entered full operational service with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

As planned, Asterix performed daily replenishment-at-sea (RAS) exercises with the RCN and conducted extensive RCAF CH-148 Cyclone helicopter operations to prove and demonstrate the world-leading capabilities of the Resolve-Class Naval Support Ship. These exercises have included everything from dual RAS operations to helicopter landing, take-off and vertical replenishment trials.

Spencer Fraser, CEO of Federal Fleet Services commented “To deliver the first Canadian naval ship in over twenty years, the first supply ship in almost 50 years, and to reach FOC so efficiently and in such a short period of time is a testament to the hard work, dedication and dynamism of the teams at Davie and FFS. We are all very proud of our achievement and appreciative of the professional support we have received from DND and PSPC.”

Asterix has been leased by the government, and will be operated by a blend of merchant seamen and RCN/RCAF personnel as required for any given mission. She’ll remain an MV, not an HMCS and is not expected to be operated in “hot” environments where combat could occur. She will remain with the fleet at least until the planned-but-not-yet-started Queenston class ships are ready for service. Davie has offered to refit another ship for the RCN to lease (so we’d have one AOR for the East coast and one for the West), but so far the Trudeau government has resisted the offer.

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