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Canada unveils first "Hero" class vessel


15:47, November 10, 2011

OTTAWA, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Canada on Wednesday unveiled the first of its nine "Hero" class mid-shore patrol vessels in a costal city.

The "Hero" class patrol vessels, currently being built by Irving Shipbuilding Incorporated in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will serve as the Canadian Coast Guard's new generation of fleet. They are named after Canadian heroes who have given their lives for Canada.

The first vessel, named for Victoria Cross recipient Private James Peter Robertson who was killed during World War I, will serve in the Great Lakes area.

The "Hero" class vessels, which support a crew of eight and up to six police or fishery officers, are approximately 43 meters in length, have a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km). They are able to stay at sea for two weeks without replenishing supplies.

The main task for these vessels will be for maritime security and fisheries enforcement off Canada's Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Other tasks include marine search, rescue and marine pollution control.

The Canadian government announced in October that shipyards on Canada's Atlantic and Pacific coasts will share in contracts to build 21 combat and seven non-combat vessels for Canada's Navy and Coast Guard.

The total value of both packages is 33 billion Canadian dollars (33.8 billion U.S. dollars) and will last 20 to 30 years.

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