Canadian navy's vessels visit Philippine ports

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


Two vessels of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), which visted the Subic Port last week, and another one expected to arrive at the end of the month, are a "demonstration of the close and growing relationship between Canada and the Philippines," Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman said in a statement on Sept. 14 upon the arrival of HMCS Ottawa at the Subic Port.   

It is also Canada's "commitment to stability and security in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region," he said.

RCN's Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa—an advanced ship belonging to Halifax-class frigates—was the first to arrive in Subic on Sept. 14.

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

Ottawa has an extensive anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare weapons as well as sensors that complement its substantial anti-air warfare defenses—the known features for Halifax-class frigates.

According to the Canadian Embassy in Manila, the combination of such weapon and sensor systems, coupled with state-of-the-art damage control and machinery control systems, makes the frigate one of the most advanced warship designs in the world.

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MV Asterix (Photo courtesy of Vice Admiral Vam Angus Topshee/RCN)

The second that arrived on Sept. 16 was the MV Asterix, an auxiliary supply vessel that is being leased to the RCN.

Asterix is a Canadian commercial container ship intended to act as an interim replacement of the decommissioned Protecteur-class replenishment oiler and the upcoming Protecteur-class auxiliary vessel.

In March 2023, Asterix, along with frigate Montreal, was deployed to the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific.

The ship's previous big deployment was in August 2020, when it was sent off to the Arctic as part of Operation Nanook, along with HMCS Glace Bay and HMCS Ville de Québec from the Royal Canadian Navy and with warships from the Danish, French, US navies, according to the official website of the US Navy.

HMCS Vancouver (Photo courtesy of HMCS Vancouver X account).jpg

HMCS Vancouver (Photo courtesy of HMCS Vancouver X account)

By the end of September, the Philippines is expecting another RCN ship—HMCS Vancouver will visit the Port of Manila.  It also visited the country last year.
Vancouver also belongs to the Halifax-class frigate, like Ottawa.

The current Vancouver was the third RCN vessel to be named as such. The first one belonged to an S-class destroyer, while the second was a Flower-class corvette.

She was commissioned in 1993, according to the Canadian government website, and "continues to conduct operations in support of Canada's domestic and international policies."
The Philippines is among the select stops of Canada's marine assets as Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, during her visit to Manila in May, identified the country as the "core" of its Indo-Pacific strategy.