Military Wiki
HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331)
HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331).jpg
HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331)
Career (Canada)
Namesake: Vancouver, British Columbia
Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
Builder: Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
Laid down: 19 May 1988
Launched: 8 July 1989
Commissioned: 23 August 1993
Refit: HCM/FELEX May 2013 - May 2014
Homeport: CFB Esquimalt
Motto: Semper vigilans (ever on guard)
Honours and
Aleutians 1942-43, Atlantic 1944-1945
Fate: Active in service
Badge: File:HMCS Vancouver crest.jpg
A square-rigged British ship of the line sailing west on the ocean.

The ship in the badge is intended to represent HMS Discovery. She is the second vessel to carry the designation HMCS Vancouver.
General characteristics
Class & type: Halifax-class frigate
Displacement: 3,995 tonnes (light)
4,795 tonnes (operational)
5,032 tonnes (deep load)
Length: 134.2 m
Beam: 16.5 m
Draught: 7.1 m
Propulsion: 2 × LM2500 Gas turbines
1 × SEMT Pielstick Diesel engine
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: 9,500 nautical miles (17,595 km)
Complement: 225 (including air detachment)
Armament: 24 × Honeywell Mk 46 torpedoes
16 × Evolved Sea-Sparrow SAM
8 × RGM-84 Harpoon SSM
1 × 57 mm Bofors Mk2 gun
1 × 20 mm Vulcan Phalanx CIWS
6 × .50 Caliber machine guns
Aircraft carried: 1 × CH-124 Sea King

The third HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331) is a Halifax-class frigate, of the Royal Canadian Navy launched on 8 July 1989, as the second vessel of her class. She is currently based at CFB Esquimalt.


The Halifax-class frigates of which Vancouver belongs, was ordered by the Canadian Forces in 1977 as a replacement for the aging Saint Laurent, Restigouche, Mackenzie and Annapolis classes of Destroyer Escorts (DDEs), which were all tasked with anti-submarine warfare.[1] In 1983, the federal government approved the budget for the design and construction of the first batch of six new frigates of which Vancouver was a part, out of twelve that were eventually built.[1] To reflect the changing long term strategy of the Navy during the 1980s and 1990s, the Halifax-class frigates was designed as a general purpose warship with particular focus on anti-submarine capabilities.

The design of the Halifax-class frigates reflected many advances in ship construction, such as a move to a prefabricated unit construction method, where the ship, is assembled from prefabricated units in a drydock, instead of the traditional keel-laying.[1] Furthermore, the design of Halifax class frigate incorporated many new technical improvements. For example, the Halifax class is the first to be equipped with the Integrated Machinery Control System(IMCS), which allows for a very high degree of computer control for the machinery plant.

Vancouver was 'laid down' on 19 May 1988 at Saint John Shipbuilding in New Brunswick, the second ship of her class. She was launched on 8 July 1989. After trials, she was commissioned on 23 August 1993 in her namesake city of Vancouver alongside Canada Place, third ship of the class, as sister ship HMCS Toronto commissioned almost a month before her. After commissioning, she was assigned CFB Esquimalt, British Columbia on Vancouver Island as the first Halifax-class frigate to be based out of CFB Esquimalt.


The Halifax-class Frigates have been the backbone of Canadian Navy operations. The ships are considered to be the best ships of their size in the world. With an on board helicopter, towed array sonar, offensive and defensive weapons, they bring a full package of capabilities to any operation. They are a welcome addition to any multi-national fleet and the only non-American ships the USN allows to be fully integrated in the US Surface Action Groups and Carrier Battle Groups.

War On Terror

Since the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, Vancouver and her sisters have been a primary part of Canada's anti-terrorism naval forces in the Middle East. For instance, Vancouver has been an integrated part of an American carrier battle group, led by the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) in 2002. Because of the similarities between the Canadian and American navies, terminology and operating procedures and communications equipment, it is relatively easy for Canadian ships of all classes to serve with their American counterparts.

Operation Apollo

During Operation Apollo, Vancouver had been used to intercept suspicious and unknown vessels at sea, and had on occasion boarded vessels to prevent the escape of fugitives and the transit of contraband. After a distinguished but unremarkable tour of duty in the Arabian Sea, her role in Apollo ended. She was replaced by another Halifax-class frigate to serve much the same role. Vancouver has also spent time flying the Canadian flag more locally, including a trip to Oregon in 2003 and a visit to her namesake city of Vancouver to celebrate the tenth anniversary of her being commissioned.

2011 Libyan civil war

On 10 July 2011, Vancouver left her home port of Esquimalt to join the NATO-led air-sea Operation Unified Protector during the 2011 Libyan civil war.[2] The overall Canadian Forces contribution to Operation Unified Protector is known as Operation MOBILE. She relieved HMCS Charlottetown, which had been on patrol in the region since the early spring. Operation MOBILE closed on 1 November 2011, Vancouver was transferred to the NATO-led Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR in November 2011.

Operation Active Endeavour

On 15 November 2011, HMCS Vancouver carried on operations under the NATO-led Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR. Vancouver set course for her home port of CFB Esquimalt on 10 January 2012.


The ship's badge depicts a square-rigged, Royal Navy ship of the line sailing west along the ocean. The vessel in the badge is intended to represent HMS Discovery, which, under the command of Captain George Vancouver, mapped much of North America's north-western coast and learned more about the area than had hereto been discovered. Among the geographical locations named after Vancouver is the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. The badge has been maintained through the history of all three Canadian vessels named Vancouver.


The modern Vancouver is the third Canadian ship to bear the name. The first Vancouver was a destroyer, among the earliest ships delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy. Formerly HMS Toreador of the Royal Navy; she was paid off in November 1936. Less than six years later, the second Vancouver was commissioned for the Second World War. A Flower-class corvette, Vancouver served until the end of the war, when she was paid off in late June 1945. It would be another forty years until the name Vancouver was once again active in the Canadian navy, when the modern Vancouver was planned as part of the Halifax-class. Vancouver is one of the most often used names in Canadian naval history, with only HMCS Ottawa having been used more frequently.

Refit and Modernization

On 6 May 2013 HMCS Vancouver was turned over Seaspan Marine Corporation's Victoria Shipyards, to start a 18 month mid-life upgrading and modernization.

Lineage - Vancouver

First of Name

 HMCS Vancouver (F6A)
 Destroyer, "S" Class
 Ex - HMS Toreador
 Commissioned 1 March 1928
 Paid off 25 November 1936[3]

Second of Name

 HMCS Vancouver (K225)
 Corvette, Flower Class.
 Commissioned 20 March 1942
 Paid off 22 June 1945[3]

Third of Name

 This is the current ship with the name Vancouver


  2. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". CBC News. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 National Defence and the Canadian Forces (2012) Official Lineages, Volume 2: Ships. Retrieved from

External links

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