HMCS Ojibwa (S72)

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3 Oberon Subs Halifax Harbour Dartmouth 2010 April 21.JPG
HMCS Ojibwa, HMCS Okanagan and ex-HMS Olympus docked in Halifax
United Kingdom
Name: Onyx
Builder: Chatham Dockyard, Chatham
Laid down: 27 September 1962
Fate: Sold to Canada while under construction
Name: Ojibwa
Namesake: Ojibwa First Nations people
Launched: 29 February 1964
Commissioned: 23 September 1965
Decommissioned: May 1998
Status: As of November 2012 - now in Port Burwell, Ontario on permanent display
Badge: Blazon Azure, an escallop shell erect argent irradiated by nine ears of wild rice or, all issuing from two barrulets wavy of the last, in base.
General characteristics
Class & type: Oberon-class submarine
  • Surfaced: 2,030 t (2,000 long tons)
  • Submerged: 2,410 t (2,370 long tons)
Length: 295.25 ft (89.99 m)
Beam: 26.5 ft (8.1 m)
Draught: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Propulsion: 2 diesel electric engines
  • Surfaced: 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
  • Submerged: 17.5 kn (32.4 km/h; 20.1 mph)
Range: 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi)
Endurance: 56 days
Test depth: 120 metres (390 ft)-180 metres (590 ft)
Complement: 69
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Type 187 Active-Passive sonar
  • Type 2007 passive sonar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
MEL Manta UAL or UA4 radar warning
Armament: 8 × 21 in (530 mm) tubes (6 bow, 2 stern), 18 torpedoes

HMCS Ojibwa was an Oberon-class submarine that served in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and later the Canadian Forces Maritime Command (MARCOM). Originally intended for service with the Royal Navy as HMS Onyx, the submarine was transferred to Canadian ownership before completion, and entered RCN service in 1965. Ojibwa operated primarily with Maritime Forces Atlantic until her decommissioning in 1998. In 2010, Ojibwa was laid up at CFB Halifax awaiting disposal, with the Elgin Military Museum planning to preserve her as a museum vessel. The submarine was towed to Port Burwell, Ontario in 2012, and was opened to the public in 2013. She is now the new focal point of a planned Museum of Naval History to be built alongside.

Design and construction

The submarine was initially ordered for the Royal Navy as HMS Onyx, with Chatham Dockyard laying the keel down on 27 September 1962.[1] Sometime prior to launching on 29 February 1964, the submarine was transferred to the RCN, and was launched as HMCS Ojibwa.[2] Ojibwa was commissioned on 23 September 1965.[1] The submarine was named after the Ojibwe First Nations people, and was assigned the pennant number 72.[1]

Operational history

She served virtually her entire career with Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) in the North Atlantic, except for a short deployment to British Columbia with Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) in 1977 and 1997.

Decommissioning and fate

She was decommissioned from MARCOM in May 1998.

In May 2005, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald announced that MARCOM was looking to sell Ojibwa for scrap metal, along with three other Canadian Oberons. MARCOM stated that the submarines were not in suitable condition to be used as museum ships and predicted that each submarine would sell for between C$50,000 and C$60,000.[3]

On 11 June 2010, it was reported that Ojibwa would be moved by BMT Fleet Technology Ltd to become part of the collection of the Elgin Military Museum at St. Thomas, Ontario.[4] If so, it will be the tenth boat from a class of 27 to be preserved as a museum ship.[citation needed]

On 2 December 2011, it was announced that the Department of National Defence had approved the transfer of Ojibwa to the Elgin Military Museum Press Release Here subject to satisfaction of financial requirements.

On 26 May 2012, Ojibwa started her trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Hamilton, Ontario by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The submarine was transferred with the help of the tugs Florence M and Lac Manitoba and tow HM-1. She stayed in Hamilton at Heddle Marine Dockyards being repainted and fitted with specialized transport cradles that would allow her to be moved across land. On 18 November 2012, Ojibwa, on the barge HM 08, made the final leg of her journey by way of the Welland Canal and then Lake Erie from Hamilton to Port Burwell, while being towed by the tugs Lac Manitoba and Seahound.[5][6]

The sub arrived in Port Burwell on 20 November after a short journey and became part of a new Museum of Naval History. The site opened for tours on 29 June 2013.[7] During April 2015, financial issues dealing with the transfer of the submarine to Port Burwell were widely circulated, as Royal Bank of Canada called on the community to pay the $6 million loan.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  2. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  3. "For sale: 4 submarines, not shipshape". CBC News. 25 May 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Elgin Military Museum Partners with BMT Fleet Technology to relocate". BMT Group Ltd. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. [1][dead link]
  6. Walter, Karena (19 November 2012). "Sub's journey through Welland Canal 'history in the making'". St. Catharines Standard. Retrieved 24 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Abbott, Chris (27 November 2014). "HMCS Ojibwa wins prestigious Canadian tourism award". Tillsonburg News. Retrieved 24 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Powell, Betsy (3 April 2015). "Cold War-era sub at centre of controversy in tiny Ontario town". Toronto Star. Retrieved 24 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links