In March, HMCS Athabaskan, the last Canadian guided-missile destroyer, was retired from service. The 5,000-ton ship was built in Canada and entered service in 1972. She was the third of the four-ship Iroquois class. Originally designed with an emphasis on antisubmarine warfare, the class underwent an upgrade in the early 1990s, changing the primary role to air warfare. Modifications included replacing the five-inch gun with a 29-cell Mk-41 VLS system, installing a three-inch gun forward of the bridge, and adding a Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS atop the helo hangar. During her 44 years, the Athabaskan supported the 1991 Gulf War, NATO operations in Afghanistan, and disaster relief efforts in the United States following Hurricane Katrina. A new class of multirole warships is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s to replace the Iroquois-class and Halifax-class frigates in the Canadian Navy.
Naval Press Service (M. Nitz)