Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver made history recently as it became the first modernized Canadian frigate to successfully test surface-to-surface missiles against a shore-based target.
Vancouver launched the Harpoon Block II surface-to-surface missiles during the event that marked the first time ever the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has exercised such a surface-to-surface missile launch capability.
Firing of these missiles in the Coastal Target Suppression mode is also the first time Harpoon Block II missiles and the new Combat Management Systems onboard the RCN’s modernized frigates have been coupled for this purpose.
The launches were part of a Joint Littoral Training Exercise (JoLTEX.) JoLTEX 16 is a training exercise that was recently completed by the RCN at a United States Navy missile firing range off the coast of California. The Exercise was held from March 30 to April 1, 2016.
HMCS Vancouver was among the first Canadian Halifax-class frigates to undergo the $4.3 billion Halifax-Class Modernization/Frigate Life Extension (HCM/FELEX) Program.
In November 2014, Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards completed the mid-life refit and maintenance activities, machinery control and combat equipment upgrades for the HMCS Calgary, HMCS Winnipeg, HMCS Vancouver, HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Regina.
Captain Darren Garnier, Commander Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare Centre, said: “This was a great Navy morning, as the hard work of the past several years culminated in the delivery of a new capability in support of the broader CAF mission.”
“The successful execution of JoLTEX 16 resulted from the coming together of RCN, Special Forces, the materiel group, and our evaluation teams to achieve several firsts for the CAF, including the delivery of combat effect by the RCN in a joint littoral environment. As the Test Director, I offer my appreciation to all involved, but specifically to the crew of HMCS Vancouver who was ‘all in’ in terms of making this happen.”
The Royal Canadian Navy further noted that modernization and life extension of the Halifax-Class frigates is progressing on time and on budget, with all 12 of Canada’s frigates expected to be back in active service by 2018.