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The Royal Canadian Navy uses hull classification symbols to identify the types of its ships, which are similar to the United States Navy's Hull classification symbol system. The Royal Navy and some European and Commonwealth navies (19 in total) use a somewhat analogous system of Pennant numbers.

In a ship name such as HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283) the ship prefix HMCS for His or Her Majesty's Canadian Ship indicates the vessel is a warship in service to the Monarch of Canada, the proper name Algonquin may follow a naming convention for the class of vessel. The hull classification symbol in the example is the parenthetical suffix (DDG 283), where the hull classification type DDG indicates that the Algonquin is a guided missile destroyer and the hull classification number 283 is unique within that type. Listed below are various hull classification types with some currently in use and others that are retired and no longer in use.

Auxiliary Ships

  • AGOR: Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research (retired)[1][2]
  • AGSC: surveying vessel (retired)[3][4]
  • AOR: Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment[5][6]
  • ARE: Auxiliary Replenishment Escort (retired)[7]
  • ASL: diving support vessel (retired from the Royal Canadian Navy)[8]
  • F: escort armed ships (retired pre World War II passenger ships that were converted to military roles during the war)[9]
  • FHE: Fast Hydrofoil Escort (retired, prototype tested 1968–1971)[10][11]
  • K: sloop and submarine tender (also used for frigates and corvettes)[12][13]
  • KC: sail training[14][15]
  • PCT: Patrol Craft Training (supersedes YAG)[16][17]
  • T: armed trawler (retired)[18]
  • YAG: Yard Auxiliary General (retired training vessels, superseded by PCT)[19]
  • YTB: Yard Tug[20]
  • YTL: Yard Tug[21]
  • YTM: Yard Tug[22]
  • YTR: Yard Tractor tug fireboats[23]

Aircraft Carriers

  • CVL: light carrier (retired)[24]
  • D: WWII escort carrier (retired)[25]
  • R: carrier World War II (retired, was also used for destroyers)[26]


  • K: corvette (retired, was also used for frigates and a sloop)[27]


  • C: light cruiser (retired)[28]


  • D: destroyer - World War II era (retired)[25]
  • DD: destroyer - World War II era (retired, DD was used by the United States Navy, I was used by the Royal Canadian Navy for US built DD destroyers)
  • DDE: escort destroyer (retired)[29]
  • DDH: air defence destroyer - helicopter[30]
  • DDG: area air defence - guided missile[31]
  • G: destroyer - World War II era (retired, included Tribal class and G and H classes)[32]
  • H: escort destroyer - World War II era (retired, included Clemson and G and H classes)[33][34]
  • I: destroyer - World War II era (retired)[35]
  • R: destroyer (post WWII retired, was also used for a carrier)[36]


  • F: frigate
  • FFE: escort frigate (post WWII; retired)[37]
  • FFH: multi-role patrol frigate - helicopter[38]
  • K: World War II frigate (was also used for corvettes and a sloop)[39]


  • J: minesweeper (retired, used for World War II era Fundy, Bangor, and Algerine-class minesweepers)[40][41][42]
  • MCB: post WWII minesweeper (retired)[43]
  • MSA: Mine Sweeper Auxiliary: Anticosti class (in use 1989–2000, retired)[44]
  • MM: Mechanical Minesweeper - more recently known as coastal defence vessels[45]


  • CC: WWI era gas powered submarines
  • CH: WWI era diesel-electric submarines
  • SSK: Hunter-Killer Submarine or long range submarines[49]


  1. Example includes: HMCS Endeavour (AGOR-171)
  2. "ENDEAVOUR". Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  3. Example included: HMCS Cedarwood (AGSC 539)
  4. "SeaWaves Today in History September 22, 2008". Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  5. Examples include: HMCS Protecteur (AOR 509) and HMCS Preserver (AOR 510)
  6. "Canadian Navy: HMCS PRESERVER - Ship Home". Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  7. Examples included: HMCS Cape Breton (ARE 100) and HMCS Cape Scott (ARE 101)
  8. Example included: HMCS Cormorant (ASL 20)
  9. Examples included: HMCS Prince David (F89), HMCS Prince Henry (F70), and HMCS Prince Robert (F56)
  10. Example included: HMCS Bras d'Or (FHE 400)
  11. "Skimming the Waves - Canada Science and Technology Museum". Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  12. Example included: HMCS Shearwater (K02)
  13. "BRAS d'OR". Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  14. Example includes: HMCS Oriole (KC 480)
  15. "Canada's Navy: HMCS ORIOLE". Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  16. Examples include: Orca (PCT 55), Raven (PCT 56), Caribou (PCT 57), Renard (PCT 58), Wolf (PCT 59), Grizzly (PCT 60), Cougar (PCT 61), and Moose (PCT 62)
  17. "Canadian Navy: MARPAC - Maritime Forces Pacific - Pacific Fleet: Patrol Craft Training (PCT)". Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  18. Example included: HMCS Baffin (T275)
  19. Examples included: CFAV Grizzly (YAG 306), CFAV Cougar (YAG 308), CFAV Otter (YAG 312), CFAV Caribou (YAG 314), CFAV Badger (YAG 319), CFAV Lynx (YAG 320)
  20. Examples include: CFAV Glendyne (YTB 640), CFAV Glendale (YTB 641), CFAV Glenevis (YTB 642), CFAV Glenbrook (YTB 643), CFAV Glenside (YTB 644)
  21. Examples include: CFAV Lawrenceville (YTL 590), CFAV Parksville (YTL 591), CFAV Listerville (YTL 592), CFAV Merrickville (YTL 593), and CFAV Marysville (YTL 594)
  22. Example includes: CFAV Tillicum (YTM 555)
  23. Examples include: CFAV Firebrand (YTR 562) and CFAV Firebird (YTR 561)
  24. Examples included: HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22), HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21), and HMCS Warrior (CVL 20)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Examples included: HMS Nabob (D77) and HMS Puncher (D79) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "d" defined multiple times with different content
  26. World War II carrier example included: HMCS Warrior (R31)
  27. Examples included: HMCS Alberni (K103) and HMCS Windflower (K155)
  28. Example included: HMCS Quebec (C66)
  29. Examples included: HMCS Chaudiere (DDE 235) and HMCS Columbia (DDE 260)
  30. Examples include: HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280), HMCS Huron (DDH 281), and HMCS Athabaskan (DDH 282)
  31. Example includes: HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283)
  32. Examples included: HMCS Athabaskan (G07), HMCS Iroquois (G89), HMCS Huron (G24), and HMCS Haida (G63)
  33. A Clemson-class destroyer example included: HMCS Buxton (H96)
  34. An H-class examples included: HMCS Chaudière (H99) and HMCS  Ottawa (H31)
  35. Examples included: HMCS St. Francis (I93), HMCS Annapolis (I04), HMCS Caldwell (I20), HMCS Chelsea (I35), HMCS Columbia (I49), HMCS Georgetown (I40), HMCS Hamilton (I24)
  36. World War II destroyer examples included: HMCS Algonquin (R17) - V-class and HMCS Crescent (R16) - C-class
  37. Examples included: HMCS Antigonish (FFE 301), HMCS Cap de la Madeleine (FFE 317), HMCS Fort Erie (FFE 312), HMCS New Glasgow (FFE 315), HMCS Penetang (FFE 316), and HMCS Toronto (FFE 319)
  38. Examples include: HMCS Halifax (FFH 330), HMCS Calgary (FFH 335), HMCS St. John's (FFH 340), and HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341)
  39. Examples included: HMCS Annan (K297), HMCS Hallowell (K666), and HMCS Kokanee (K419)
  40. Fundy-class minesweeper examples included: HMCS Nootka (J35), HMCS Comox (J64), HMCS Fundy (J88), and HMCS Gaspe (J94)
  41. Bangor-class minesweeper examples included: HMCS Ungava (J149), HMCS Granby (J264), and HMCS Sarnia (J309)
  42. Algerine-class minesweeper examples included: HMCS Kapuskasing (J326), HMCS Oshawa (J330), HMCS Border Cities (J344), and HMCS New Liskeard (J397)
  43. Examples included: HMCS Chaleur (MCB 144), HMCS Comox (MCB 146), HMCS Fortune (MCB 151), and HMCS Miramichi (MCB 150)
  44. Examples included: HMCS Anticosti (MSA 110) and HMCS Moresby (MSA 112)
  45. Examples include: HMCS Kingston (MM 700) and HMCS Summerside (MM 711)
  46. Examples included: HMS Olympus (S12), HMS Osiris (S13), HMCS Ojibwa (S72), HMCS Onondaga (S73), and HMCS Okanagan (S74) (1968-2000)
  47. Balao-class submarine example included: HMCS Grilse (SS 71)
  48. Tench-class submarine example included: HMCS Rainbow (SS-75)
  49. Examples include: HMCS Chicoutimi (SSK 879), HMCS Corner Brook (SSK 878), HMCS Victoria (SSK 876), and HMCS Windsor (SSK 877) (2000- )


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