HMCS WHITEHORSE is the 6th of 12 ships built under the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel Project. The current HMCS WHITEHORSE is the second warship to proudly carry that name. She was christened in a traditional ceremony in Saint John on 25 June, 1994. HMCS WHITEHORSE first sailed from the builder's yard on 05 September, 1994.
HMCS WHITEHORSE was officially accepted by the navy on 11 October, 1994, and then manned by her first official crew. After a series of readiness inspections and performance trials, WHITEHORSE sailed from Halifax on 16 January 1995, bound for her new home port of Esquimalt, BC via the Panama Canal. She arrived there on 17 February, 1995.
WHITEHORSE was commissioned into Her Majesty's service on 10 May, 1997 in a traditional ceremony held in Esquimalt. She now serves proudly as part of Canada's Pacific Fleet.
The Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel project will provide the Navy with twelve steel-hulled ships designed for multi-roled operations, including coastal surveillance and patrol, training and limited mine countermeasures. The basic equipment configuration includes surveillance radars, 40mm gun and .50 calibre weapons, a modern communications suite and state-of-the-art navigation systems.
Specific mine countermeasures roles are achieved through the use of modular, transportable and easily installed 'payloads' for ocean-floor mapping, minesweeping and bottom-object inspection.
These vessels will also provide support to other government departments such as Customs and Fisheries, can support search and rescue operations and environmental disaster response.
The Naval Reserve has been tasked with the mission to carry out this mandate of maritime presence, and all but two positions out of a crew of approximately 35 are filled by members of the Naval Reserve. The first of the class, HMCS KINGSTON, was commissioned in the fall of 1996, and the last, HMCS SUMMERSIDE, was accepted by the Navy in 1999.
HMCS Whitehorse is currently alongside for maintenance.