The Canadian Patrol Frigate project began in 1977. Planning, designing, building and delivering operational warships is a long and complex process. In 1983, the federal government approved the budget for the design and construction of six new frigates. The contract was awarded to Saint John Shipbuilding Limited (SJSL). In 1987, construction began on the first ship, HMCS HALIFAX.

It soon became obvious that the original deadlines could not be met. SJSL proposed a new strategy to maximize the amount of pre-outfitting of the erection units before they were joined in the drydock. This approach reduced construction costs and improved quality, but it required more detailed engineering before construction could begin. The delivery dates for the first two ships had to be delayed.

In 1986, Versatile Corporation, whose Montreal firm, Versatile Vickers, held the sub-contract for the building of three frigates, began to experience financial difficulties. In 1987, Versatile was replaced by Marine Industries Limited. By 1987, the White Paper on Defence was published, outlining a total modernization plan for the Canadian Forces, including procurement of an additional six frigates. The CPF contract was amended accordingly. As a result the frigates were built in two batches of six each sometimes referred to as the 'Montreal' and 'Halifax' batches. All the ships are named after Canadian cities.

On September 28, 1996, HMCS Ottawa, the last of the twelve Halifax Class patrol frigates was commissioned into the Canadian Navy thus completing a new class of Canadian warship.

HMCS St. John's is executing a hard turn. Taken in 2002, the ship was operating in and around the Gulf of Oman as part of Operation APOLLO, Canada's military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism. (Photo by: MCpl Michael Durand, Formation Imaging Services, Halifax)

Displacement: 4,750 tonnes
Dimensions: Length 440' x Beam 53'8" x Draught 15'1
Speed: 30+ knots
Endurance: 7,100 nm at 15 knots (diesel)
                  4,700 nm at 15 knots (gas)
Machinery: 1 Pielstick Model PA6, 20 cylinder cruise diesel. (10,000 SHP)
2 GE LM 2500 gas turbines; (50,000 SHP) 2 shafts
Twin Inward Turning Controllable Reversible Pitch.
Crew : 229
Helicopter:  One CH-124 Sea King 
Torpedoes:  Honeywell Mk 46 Mod 5 (Ship or Helicopter launched) 
Missiles: 16 Raytheon Vertical Launched Sea Sparrow (surface to air).  8 Boeing Harpoon (surface to surface) 
Guns: One 57mm Bofors MK2
          One Vulcan Phalanx MK 15 20 mm Close-In Weapons System (CIWS). Six .50 Calibre Heavy Machine Guns 
Power is generated by four diesel generator sets which supply two electrical switchboards. Each of these generators are mounted in individual acoustic enclosures, and are located in the auxiliary machinery rooms, two forward and two aft. The separation of these generators ensure that one or more will remain operational despite battle damage occurring to a section of the ship. These four diesels combine to provide up to 3.4 megawatts of power.
CALGARY 335 CGAF 15/6/1991 28/08/1992 12/05/1995
HALIFAX 330 CGAP 19/3/1987 30/04/1988 29/06/1992 
REGINA 334 CGAE 6/10/1989 25/01/1992 29/12/1993
TORONTO 333 CGAD 22/4/1989 18/12/1990  29/07/1993 
VANCOUVER 331 CGAR 19/5/1988 8/07/1989  23/08/1993 
VILLE de QUEBEC 332 CGAC 16/12/1988 16/05/1991 29/03/1993
CHARLOTTETOWN 339 CGAJ 18/12/1993 1/10/1994 9/9/1995
FREDERICTON 337 CGAN 25/4/1992 26/6/1993 10/9/1994
MONTREAL 336 CGAG 9/2/1991 26/2/1992 21/7/1994
OTTAWA 341 CGAL 29/4/1995 4/5/1996 28/9/1996
ST. JOHN'S 340 CGAK 24/8/1994 26/8/1995 24/6/1996
WINNIPEG 338 CGAI 20/2/1993 5/12/1993 23/6/1996

* Combat data system: SHINPADS combat management system
* Helicopter: 1 x CH 124A Sea King
* Surface to air missiles: Sea Sparrow
* Surface to surface missiles: Harpoon
* Guns: Bofors 57mm/70 Mk 2 GWS. 220 rounds per minute to a height of 17 km (9 nm)
* Close in weapon system: Phalanx


* Electronic support measures: CANEWS
* Electronic countermeasures Ramses: AN/SLQ-503
* Chaff and IR flare decoy: Shield decoy launcher
* Torpedo decoy: AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed decoy


* Air search: Raytheon SPS-49(V)5 long range air search radar operating in the C/D bands.Capable of detecting
 a 2 meter target at 457 km and tracking 250 targets.
* Medium range search: Ericsson SPS 505 Sea Giraffe 150 HC/CPF. G and H bands. It provides cover against low flying aircraft and missiles in conditions of heavy 'clutter' to a range of 55 nm (100km).
* Fire control:  Two Thales Nederland (formerly Signaal) SPG-503 (STIR 1.8) fire control radars are installed – one on the roof of the bridge and one on the raised radar platform immediately forward of the helicopter hangar.
* Navigation: Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 . I band (may now be upgraded)
* IFF: Hazeltine APX-72 Mk XII Transponder


GD-C = General Dynamics Canada  formerly Computing Devices of Canada

* GD-C CANTASS Canadian Towed Array;
* GD-C AN/SQS-510 Hull Mounted Sonar;
* GD-C AN/UYS-503 Sonobuoy Processing System

In April 2006, the Canadian navy placed an order for 13 Sirius long-range Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems with DRS Technologies Canada and Thales Nederland as major subcontractor. Sirius is a dual waveband (3-5 and 8–12 micron) surveillance system. Twelve systems are destined for the Halifax frigates and one for land-based training. The systems will be delivered between 2008 and 2011.

This original equipment manifest reflects the comms fitting when these ships entered service in the 1990's and was provided by the Canadian Navy. As of early 2007, it is not known how much of this equipment is in service, however it does represent an accurate snapshot of the way it was in the beginning. This list does not indicate the quantity of each piece of communications gear carried aboard each ship. Because the ships were built in two batches any upgrades are also also done on a two-batch scheduling system so their electronics fir may not be identical at any given time. As a result, the Halifax and Montreal batches do not look identical in all respects. This is the way it was explained by a CPF project engineer.

AN/SRT504 T 5086A/URT  HF Transmitter 1.5 - 30 MHz Harris
AS-3772/AU Whip Ant (35 ft) 5.5 - 15 MHz CHU Associates [11]
AS-5199/U HF Fan Antenna 2 - 6 MHz Eldyne [14]
AS-3770/AU Whip Antenna 11 - 30 MHz CHU Associates 
  R-5095 B/G RF Harris Receiver 10 KHz to 30 MHz Harris
RF-1985 HF Antenna .01 - 30 MHz Harris
R-5080/SRR LF Distress Rcvr 500 KHz .(Obsolete as of 1999) Redifon [13]
R-5081/SRR HF Distress Rcvr 2.182 KHz Redifon
AN/SRC 514 RT 5073/WSC3 UHF LOS Transceiver [5] 225 - 400 MHz E-Systems
AS-5169 UHF LOS Antenna 225 - 400 MHz Sinclair
AN/SRC 515 RT 5073/WSC3 UHF Emergency Receiver 225 - 400 MHz E-Systems
R 5113/SRR UHF LOS Distress 243 MHz Redifon
OE-82C/WSC-1  UHF Satcom Antenna 240 - 318 MHz Datron [10]
AN/SRR 1A AS 2815/SRR UHF Satcom Broadcast 
receive antenna 
249 - 259 MHz Motorola
AN/SRC 509 RT 5056 VHF Maritime Mobile 
156 - 163 MHz Sinclair
AS 5170 VHF Whip Antenna 148 - 174 MHz Sinclair
AN/VRC 512 RT 246A/VRC VHF Land Forces 
Support Transceiver
30 - 76  MHz [1]  E-Systems
AS 1729 VHF Antenna 30 - 76 MHz E-Systems
AN/PRC 520 RT 5095/PRC VHF Tactical Portable 
151 - 164 MHz Motorola
SLR-225-HD VHF Antenna 148-174 MHz Sinclair
  VHF Sonobuoy 
Receive System 
162-173 MHz.
31 simultaneous receive channels
AN/URN 25   TACAN 962 - 1215 MHz NavCom
  DF Set; migration towards "netted" shipboard DF radiolocation system References to AN/SRD-503 and 504 have been noted on the web. Southwest
AN/SPN 501 LC360 Integrated Loran-C/GPS receiver [3]  Internav [12]
AN/SRN 502 Omega II Omega Receiver 0.01 [2] Tracor 
-- VX3 Entertainment Receiver AM/FM Sony 
-- SR-20 TA Entertainment Antenna AM/FM Wingard
-- KV 1114  Trinitron TV Receiver VHF/UHF Sony
AN/APX-72 RT-859A/APX-72 Mk XII IFF Transponder L-band.  Rx- 1090 MHz; Tx 1030 MHz Hazeltine
 -- AS-2188  IFF Interrogator Antenna for SPS-49(V)5   Hazeltine
 -- AS-2694  IFF Interrogator Antenna for SPS-505   Hazeltine
--  1007 Navigation radar I Band Kelvin-Hughes [15]
  Radar jammer   Thorn (now Thales) and Lockheed Martin Canada.
  NIXIE  Towed Acoustic Decoy    Argon ST (formerly Sensytech)
Naval Communicators

In the Frigates , the Communications section is the result of the amalgamation of the old Naval Signalmen and Naval Radio Operators. This new section provides one stop shopping for all the ship's communications needs. The Naval Communicator section is responsible for setting up and maintaining all operational circuits, transmitting and receiving inter-ship and ship-shore messages, and distributing messages to command and various other departments.  They are also responsible for encoding and decoding tactical signals, for all visual signalling, for shipboard ceremonial procedures, and for the maintenance of all computer software and information technology hardware.

At one time, amateur radio was the main method of providing personal communications for ship's crew but new technology has now changed all that. The amateur radio station has now faded away as a viable means of communication. Bob Canning of the Canadian Navy explains. "When someone is posted for sea duty, they are given a DND E-mail account which gives them 24 hour by 7 day satellite Internet access. This is very convenient for e-mailing loved ones, relatives and keeping in touch. Voice Over IP (VOIP)  phones are also found aboard ships but are primarily used for business. Ocassionally they are used for short calls home but only when absolutely necessary.

Each ship issues phone cards to crew for personal use.  Personnel sign up for 15 minutes at a time on the phone cards.  When the alottment is exhausted, they have the card re-activated. This ensures that everyone will get equal phone time.  The phone cards are used with the "MINI-M" phones, which is the name on the phone . These are separate from the VOIP phones and ships usually carry three of them. Everyone onboard just calls them Quality of Life phones because they help to provide a better quality of life aboard ship.

Satellite Internet links, ranging from 128 kbps to 512 kbps, are fitted in the the Halifax Class frigates. There are at least 5 telephone lines assigned to IP phone service in Halifax which are available on a 24 hour by 7 day basis regardless of where the ship is sailing in the world".

Halifax Class radar suite. (FC= Fire control). The primary weapon against airborne targets is the semi-active guided Sea-Sparrow missile. It homes on targets illuminated by one of two Separate Tracking and Illuminating fire control radars (STIR). Electronic countermeasures such as RAMSES, and Shield II chaff/IR decoys provide soft kill capability by decoying enemy missiles away from the ship. If the target penetrates the above defences, the Vulcan Phalanx CIWS is used. (Graphic courtesy Cnadian Navy Industry Day presentation)

As-built External Features
Comm Antennas
Radio Equipment
Radar, IFF and Navigation
Halifax Class Modernization 

AN/SQR-501 CANTASS. This is a passive, critical angle, towed array sonar system.  The system provides frequency and bearing analysis of acoustic emissions at long  ranges. (Photo and copy courtesy Canadian Navy)
This is the dome for the hull mounted AN/SQS-510 sonar. It is a medium frequency (2 to 8 KHz) active sonar and is optimized for performance in three specific scenarios: shallow water submarine detection, mine avoidance and torpedo detection. The range is 1,835 to 55,045 metres.  (Photo and copy courtesy Canadian Navy)

halifax_slq501_canews.jpg CANEWS. AN/SLQ-501. The Canadian Electronic Warfare System (CANEWS) is the ESM system used by the Canadian Navy.  This system was introduced into the Canadian Navy as part of the Destroyer Life Extension (DELEX), TRIBAL Class Update and Modernization (TRUMP) and Canadian Patrol Frigate (CPF) programs.  (Photo and copy courtesy Lockheed Martin) 
halifax_slq503_ramses.jpg RAMSES. AN/SLQ-503. The Reprogrammable Advanced Multimode Shipboard Electronic Countermeasures System (RAMSES) [6] is deployed on the HALIFAX Class frigates RAMSES has a multi-target capability and provides a range of  jamming techniques to counter all stages of missile attack. (Photo and copy courtesy Lockheed Martin) 
halifax_uyk507_computer.jpg The AN/UYK-507 is a fully militarized naval mission computer that serves as the heart of the HALIFAX Class frigate command and control system. The SHINPADS [8] data bus is a fault tolerant data bus, with separate command and data channels, that interconnects the HALIFAX Class frigate distributed processing architecture. (Photo and copy courtesy Lockheed Martin) 
xwave,[7] a trusted partner of the Department of National Defence for over 20 years, provides some additional background on CANEWS.
"Under contract to Lockheed Canada, xwave developed the software for this state-of-the-art Electronic Support Measures (ESM) System. CANEWS identifies and classifies emitted radar signals for threat detection and warning purposes. The system is fitted to all Canadian frigates and destroyers including the Tribal Class Update and Modernization Program (TRUMP) ships and the Canadian Patrol Frigates. The system is comprised of two AN/UYK-505 computers, a SHINPADS [8] standard display and radar receiver and interfacing equipment. Software for CANEWS is written in CMS-2M and Ultra-16 in a VMS/HOST-16 development environment.
Developments under-taken by xwave were primarily for human-machine interface, signal- processing algorithms, and interface to Command and Control systems.

The Department of National Defence and Lockheed Canada are also in the development of an interim Advanced Development Model, the next generation maritime ESM system. This development, CANEWS-2, is focused on the design of a system architecture, design of a hardware test bed, and the specification and implementation of a suite of signal processing algorithms. CANEWS-2, as currently implemented, forms a functioning ESM prototype consisting of a multiprocessor hardware suite and signal-processing software".

Command and Control System 330 (CCS330) named after the lead ship in the class. This system integrates the various detection systems, weapons platforms, and communication systems with sophisticated multi-purpose computers to detect, track, and engage all hostile threats. Only 15 out of the 28 tactical computers are shown in this graphic.

The International Systems web page offers this additional information . "The SHipboard INtegrated Processing And Display System (SHINPADS) is a Canadian Forces Trademark and is not really a system. Rather, it is rather a concept of ship integration—not combat system integration or propulsion and machinery system integration but ship integration.  It encompasses the entire ship system including all combat system equipments, marine engineering systems, and extending into administrative support hardware.  Other aspects of the concept include standardization of hardware, software, and interfacing".  (Graphic courtesy Canadian Navy Industry Day Presentation)

The SHips INtegrated COMmunication system (SHINCOM) employs digital technology to integrate and control internal and external communications systems. The SHINCOM system enables the patrol frigate to utilize voice, radio, data link, and satellite communications, as well as providing an effective way to communicate with other ships in company and within the ship.
Halifax class Operations Room. (Image courtesy Canadian Navy) 

This is a proposal to reconfigure the Ops Room in Halifax class ships. Taken from a November 2006 Canadian Navy Industry Day presentation. (Graphic courtesy Canadian Navy)

/halifax_man_aloft_s.jpg This image reflects Toronto's outfit during her Operation Artemis deployment to the Arabian Sea.  Included is SIRIUS, the muzzle velocity radar on her new 57 mm Mk.3, gun and perhaps a few other goodies. This board was on display  in the main flat, so there is nothing classified here. Click on image to enlarge. Can anyone confirm if this a man aloft board? If so, please contact  (Photo by Sandy McClearn)

2005: HMCS Toronto. Port side view of bridge showing the signalman position. The VHF radio on top of the console is a Sealand 66. (Photo by Jerry Proc)
2005: HMCS Toronto. Helmsman's position. (Photo by Jerry Proc)
2005: HMCS Toronto. Damage Control Board on the port side of the Machinery Control Room. (Photo by Jerry Proc)
Rear view of the 57 mm Bofors gun with the maintenance door opened up. The locally-controlled  operations  panel is at the very left. (Photo by Jerry Proc)

These rare aerial views were taken from a lift bridge as HMCS Halifax made a transit of the Welland Canal in mid-May 2007. (Photo by Darren Scannell)

This recorder is situated on the bridge and its purpose is to record audio and video (people movement) on the bridge. Having such a device is invaluable in case any situation needs to be analyzed in more detail. (Photo by Jerry Proc)

Old Meets New. This is the scene at Pier 9 Hamilton on July 30, 2005 as HMCS Toronto is shadowed by HAIDA's distinctive Tribal bow. (Photo by Jerry Proc)


[1] Waterway restricted to 30 - 50 MHz; 72 - 73 MHz; 75.2 - 76 MHz only.
[2] The Omega navigation system shut down worldwide in 1997.
[3] 100 KHz for Loran 'C' ; 1227/1525 MHz for GPS. Loran 'C' no longer used for navigation in the Canadian Navy.
[4] Per Toronto Scientific and Surplus web page.
[5] LOS= Line of Sight
[6] RAMSES originally was developed by Hollandse Signaal Apparaten (HSA) and was a joint development of HSA and MEL which were both Philips defence industry companies.
[7] The company's name is all lower case.
[8] The International Systems web page offers this additional information . "The SHipboard INtegrated Processing And Display System (SHINPADS) is a Canadian Forces Trademark and is not really a system. Rather, it is rather a concept of ship integration—not combat system integration or propulsion and machinery system integration but ship integration.  It encompasses the entire ship system including all combat system equipments, marine engineering systems, and extending into administrative support hardware.  Other aspects of the concept include standardization of hardware, software, and interfacing".
[9] This sensor was added after 2001, during the Operation Apollo deployments. Condor Systems Inc. declared   bankruptcy in 2002. Their assets were bought up by EDO Reconnaissance & Surveillance Systems.
[10] Datron became part of the Titan Group. Titan is now part of the L-3 Communications group of companies. As of 2007, L-3 calls itslef  L-3 Communications Titan Group .
[11] CHU Associates is now part of the EDO Corp.
[12] Internav is located in Sydney N.S. Part of
[13] Now part of Thales.
[14] Acquired by Titan Corp. around 1996.
[15] This is a high definition surface and low altitude search and navigation radar operating at 9,410 MHz, with an integral Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA) function. It is believed that this radar type is now superseded with other equipment.

Credits and References:

1) Marc Poitras  <Marc.Poitras(at)>
2) Lockheed-Martin
3) Canadian Navy Day Presentation November 15, 2006. Ottawa Ont. on-line PPF file
4) Frigate Building Program.  HMCS Halifax.  Toronto
5)  Cadillac of Destroyers by Ron Barrie and Ken Macpherson. Vanwell Publishing.  St. Catharines, Ont. 1996.
6) HMCS Toronto
7) Ships Dates reference. Wikipedia.
8) Ships Dates reference. Aye Readye Aye
9) Shinpads
10) Pat Barnhouse <pat.barnhouse(at)>
11) Naval Communicartors
12) SRD502/3 -
13) Dave Shirlaw <djshirlaw(at)>
14) Canews Info
15) Various Halifax-class photos
16) Nixie
17) Sensor Information - Naval Technology web page.
18) Canadian Warships since 1956, Roger G. Steed. 1999, Vanwell Publishing. St. Catharines Ont.
19) Bob Canning <canning.m(at)>
20) David Blazenko <Blazenko.DM(at)>
21) Darren Scannell <hawkone(at)>
22) Alexander (Sandy) McClearn <smcclearn(at)>

Additional credits and references in each sub-section.

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Feb 24/15