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Canadian Frigates come to Portsmouth

Three Canadian Frigates of the Halifax class spent a weekend in Portsmouth following Exercise Joint Warrior off Scotland in October 2020. HMCS Toronto, Halifax and Ville de Quebec spent time alongside while their support ship Asterix went to Southampton.

The Halifax class frigate, also known as the City class, is a class of multi-role patrol frigates that have served the Royal Canadian Navy since 1992. The class is the outcome of the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project, which dates to the mid-1970s.

HMCS Halifax was the first of an eventual twelve Canadian-designed and Canadian-built vessels which combine traditional anti-submarine capabilities with systems to deal with surface and air threats as well.

Members of the class are named after a major city in each province: St Johns, Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Quebec City, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver, in addition to the cities of Ottawa and Montreal.

The Halifax class underwent a modernization program, known as the Halifax Class Modernization (HCM) program, in order to update the frigates’ capabilities in combatting modern smaller, faster and more mobile threats.

This involved upgrading the command and control, radar, communications, electronic warfare and armament systems. Further improvements, such as modifying the vessel to accommodate the new Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter and satellite links will be done separately from the main Frigate Equipment Life Extension (FELEX) program.

Report and photos by Trevor Boston

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