Operations Order 103.00 - Ship Naming Policy


Annex A: Definition of vessel classes and Naming Criteria

Class Abbreviation
(French)
Definition Naming criteria
Polar Icebreaker Polar
(polaire)

A very large multitasked icebreaker (approx. 140 metres in length), capable of sustained operations in the Arctic archipelago over 3 seasons per year.

Has the capacity to overwinter in the Arctic.

Has the capacity to deliver a large suite of Government of Canada programs.

Former Canadian prime ministers
Heavy Icebreaker HI
(BL)

A very large multitasked icebreaker (approx. 130 metres in length), capable of sustained operations in the Arctic archipelago over 2 seasons per year and escort operations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and East Coast of Newfoundland.

Has capability to deliver a variety of Government of Canada programs including many CCG programs and scientific missions.

Former Canadian prime ministers
Medium Icebreaker MI
(BM)

A large icebreaker (approx. 80-100 metres in length) capable of sustained icebreaking and escort operations in the Arctic archipelago over 2 seasons per year, the Great Lakes, River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Atlantic coast in winter.

Has capability to deliver a variety of Government of Canada programs including many CCG programs and scientific missions.

Former Canadian leaders who made significant contributions to Canada through their work in politics, the marine environment, charitable efforts, business ventures, or public service
Multipurpose Vessel MPV
(NMF)

A large (approx. 80 metres in length), multitasked vessel with the capacity to operate off of Canada’s coasts and within major waterways.

Multitasking, icebreaking and heavy lift capabilities, with innovative mission modular design concepts permitting them to adjust to evolving demands.

The Multipurpose Vessel class consolidates 3 former classes of vessels: the High Endurance Multi-tasked Vessel, the Medium Endurance Multi-tasked Vessel, and the Offshore Patrol Vessel.

Former Canadian leaders who made significant contributions to Canada through their work in politics, the marine environment, charitable efforts, business ventures or public service
Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel OOSV
(NHRO)

A large (approx. 90 metres in length), multitasked offshore vessel, capable of extended missions of 4 to 6 weeks with a 10,000 nautical mile (NM) range; can deliver programs in ice-infested waters.

Equipped with wet labs and has bottom and water-column sampling capability.

Primarily used for ecosystem and fishery science, oceanographic missions, geological and hydrographic surveys.

Former Canadian scientists or explorers of Canada
Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel OFSV
(NHRH)

A large (approx. 55 to 65 metres in length), multitasked offshore vessel capable of extended missions of 4 to 6 weeks with an 8,500 NM range; can deliver programs in ice-infested waters.

Equipped with wet labs and able to do trawl surveys and some water column sampling.

Primarily used for ecosystem and fishery science research.

Former Canadian scientists or explorers of Canada
Mid-shore Patrol Vessel MSPV
(PSH)

A medium-sized vessel (approx. 40 metres in length) that can operate up to 120 NM offshore and stay at sea up to 14 days.

Designed to support law enforcement; primarily used for maritime security and fisheries enforcement.

Former recipients of the Victoria Cross, Star of Military Valour, Medal of Military Valour, Meritorious Service Medal, Cross of Valour, Star of Courage, Medal of Bravery, Order of Merit of the Police Forces, RCMP Honour Roll or Fisheries and Oceans Canada or CCG members who died in the line of duty
Air Cushion Vehicle ACV
(VCA)

A medium-sized, fast (up to 45 knots), multi-tasked vessel which rides on a cushion of air (hovercraft), capable of working in very shallow areas and littoral zones.

Primarily used for search and rescue, aids to navigation, environmental response, and icebreaking.

Indigenous words relating to the marine environment
Special Navaids Vessel  

A shallow draught, flat-bottom vessel (approx. 50 metres in length); self-supporting for up to 28 days; and able to sustain repeated groundings due to shifting river channels.

Primarily used for navigational aids on the Mackenzie River.

Indigenous words relating to the marine environment
SAR Lifeboat L/B
(B/S)
Small (approx.13 to 17 metres in length) shore-based self-righting lifeboat; capable of search and rescue operations up to 100 NM from shore. Geographical features - Uniform by class:
  • Canadian capes for high-speed lifeboats
  • Canadian bays for high-endurance lifeboats
  • Canadian sounds for response boats - medium
Mid-shore Science Vessel MSSV
(NSHR)

Medium-sized vessel (approx. 40 metres in length) capable of sustained operations away from port for up to 14 days with endurance for 21 days.

Primarily used for ecosystem fishery science, oceanographic missions, and geological and hydrographic surveys.

Former dominion hydrographers of Canada or former explorers of Canada
Channel Survey and Sounding Vessel CSSV
(NHSC)

Small vessel (approx. 20 to 25 metres in length).

Primarily used to conduct depth survey operations.

Former dominion hydrographers of Canada or former explorers of Canada
Near-shore Fishery Research Vessel NSFRV
(NSHRH)

Small (approx. 20 metres to 25 metres in length) fishery research vessel with minimal ice capability to transit light ice-infested waters.

Has some lab capacity and is primarily used to conduct trawl surveys.

Former Canadians who made a contribution to:
  • marine and fishery research
  • fisheries management
Specialty Vessel  

Small (under 150 GRT), shallow draught vessel of various designs.

Used for marine and fishery research, conservation and protection patrols, science, and aids to navigation.

Former Canadians who made a contribution to:
  • marine and fishery research
  • fisheries management
  • maritime safety or security
  • marine transportation
Small Craft SC
(PE)
Any vessel less than 15 GRT – approx. 12 metres in length or less. Not typically named; sequentially numbered with CG or GC prefix.
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