Irving Shipbuilding cuts first steel for the future Canadian OPV Robert Hampton Gray

According to a press release published by Irving Shipbuilding on August 15, 2022, the firm has cut the first steel for the future HMCS Robert Hampton Gray to officially begin production of Canada’s sixth and Final Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) for the Royal Canadian Navy built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Steel cutting ceremony for the future Harry DeWolf class OPV HMCS Robert Hampton Gray (Picture source: Irving Shipbuilding)

Construction of Canada’s future combat fleet begins at Irving Shipbuilding’s Marine Fabricators facility in Dartmouth, where 32 people are involved in the computerized plasma cutting and delivery of 4,000 tonnes of steel each year in support of the AOPS program.

The resulting 70,000 pieces are fabricated in a strategic sequence to meet the production schedule at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard, the most modern and largest indoor shipbuilding facility in North America.

The steel weighs 3734 kilograms (3.7 tonnes) and will be used in a combination of locations on the ship, including the initial pieces that will begin development of the keel.

Upon completion, the future HMCS Robert Hampton Gray will be 103.6 metres in length, have a 19-metre beam, displace 6,615 tonnes and be comprised of 440,000 parts. Each AOPS vessel has over 300kms of cable and more than 36kms of pipe.

The vessels have a diesel-electric powertrain with four 3.6-megawatt (4,800 hp) diesel generators producing electricity for two 4.5-megawatt (6,000 hp) propulsion motors.

The OPV will be armed with one BAE Mk 38 25 mm (0.98 in) gun and two M2 Browning machine guns. They will have a complement of 65 and accommodation for 85 or 87.