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MV Asterix

October 17, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

The MV Asterix is a Royal Canadian Navy replenishment ship. It is was privately converted and leased to the navy with a civilian crew which is unusual.

Type: Auxiliary replenishment vessel
Displacement: 26,000 tonnes (full load)[3]
Length: 182.5 m (598 ft 9 in)[4]
Beam: 25.2 m (82 ft 8 in)[4]
Draught: 7 m (23 ft 0 in)
Propulsion: 1 engine[5] plus retractable bow thruster
Speed: >20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: >10,000 nmi (19,000 km)[6]
Boats & landing
craft carried:
  • 400 t/day of fresh water[7]
  • F76 marine diesel: 10,497 m3 (10,497,000 l)
  • F44 aviation fuel: 1,332 m3 (1,332,000 l)[3]
Complement: 350 (HaDR)[3]
Crew: 150
Armament: (provisions for but not fitted)3 × Phalanx 20 mm CIWS[8]
Aircraft carried: 2 × Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclones
Aviation facilities: 1 landing spot and 2 hangars capable of holding Chinook size helicopters.[6

The ship was selected for the Royal Canadian Navy's Project Resolve, where in conjunction with Davie Shipbuilding of Quebec, a ship would be leased by the RCN and converted for use as a naval auxiliary supply vessel. The work converting the ship was initially to be done partially at the AECON shipyard in Pictou, Nova Scotia before being completed at Davie Shipbuilding in Quebec;[14] instead, the ship was sent directly to Davie Shipbuilding.[15] Pending an official agreement between the shipyard and the Canadian government, the vessel was to be ready by mid-2017.[16] The ship is planned to be under contract with the Royal Canadian Navy until 2021 when the second of the two Protecteur-class support ships (renamed from the Queenston class) would be completed.[17] The ship was reportedly acquired for $20 million.[18]

In September 2015, it was announced that L-3 MAPPS (a subsidiary of L-3 Communications) was selected as partner in the conversion for its Integrated Platform Management System.[19] Hepburn Engineering was chosen to provide new state of the art Replenishment at Sea equipment.[15] OSI Maritime Systems was chosen by Davie Shipyards to install their integrated navigation and tactical system aboard the converted ship.[20]

In November 2015, the Liberal government delayed final approval of the $700 million seven-year deal for two months.[21] On 30 November 2015, the Liberal government reversed that decision and gave final approval for the project, allowing Davie to go ahead with the conversion.[22] As of October 2016, the conversion was ahead of schedule, with 60% of the conversion completed.[23]

On 20 July 2017 Davie Shipbuilding unveiled Asterix in a public ceremony with the traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne. This honour was performed by Pauline Théberge, spouse of J. Michel Doyon, the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.[24] The vessel was re-launched on 15 October 2017 at Quebec City. Sea trials were scheduled to begin on 16 November in Gaspé Bay.[25] The vessel arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 27 December 2017 to embark naval complement to begin training in January 2018.[26] While shifting position within Halifax Harbour in preparation for a storm, the ship lost power. No damage was done to Asterix and the vessel made it safely to the new position.[27] The vessel completed sea trials and was formally accepted into service with the Royal Canadian Navy in January 2018.[28]

MV Asterix

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