Canadian navy's advanced warship arrives in PH; two more coming

A Canadian navy ship equipped with advanced weapon and sensor systems arrived in the Philippines on Thursday, Sep. 14, as one of the three vessels that Ottawa is sending to the country to flex its military might in the Indo-Pacific.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)'s HMCS Ottawa docked at the Subic Freeport Zone to show "a demonstration of the close and growing relationship between Canada and the Philippines," Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman said.

The port visit also exhibited "Canada's commitment to stability and security in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region," Hartman added.

HMCS Ottawa (Photo courtesy of  Corporal Alisa Strelley/RCN)

Ottawa will be followed by MV Asterix, an auxiliary supply vessel leased to the RCN, that will arrive in Subic on Sep. 16; and by HMCS Vancouver, which already visited Manila last year, that will dock at the Port of Manila at the end of the month.

"As maritime nations, Canada and the Philippines share a common interest in upholding a rules-based international order, and maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific," Hartman said.

Ottawa, with an embarked air detachment operating a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, has 250 highly trained and professional sailors, soldiers, and aviators.

She is one of twelve Halifax-class frigates of the RCN that is equipped with extensive anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare weapons and sensors to complement their substantial anti-air warfare defenses.

The combination of these weapon and sensor systems, coupled with state-of-the-art damage control and machinery control systems, makes these frigates one of the most advanced warship designs in the world, the embassy said.

Ottawa has been deployed since August and Subic is her second stop.

During her visit, Ottawa will host a program that will offer professional development opportunities with the Philippine Navy, community outreach, and local engagements, including a fun run and an exchange of ship's cooks.

Port visits are ideal occasions for sailors, soldiers, and aviators to explore and strengthen the deep connection Canadians have with the Indo-Pacific through people, according to the Canadian embassy.

"Through our ongoing engagements in the Indo-Pacific, the Royal Canadian Navy is reinforcing partnerships with navies from across the region," Commander Samuel Patchell, Commanding Officer of HMCS Ottawa said.

Until the last quarter of the year, Ottawa will be conducting forward naval presence operations, cooperative deployments and participate in international naval exercises with partner nations.

"These activities build interoperability between navies, while reaffirming our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," Patchell said.

"I look forward to working closely with the Philippine Navy throughout our visit to Subic Bay in pursuit of our shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific," he added.