HCMS Montréal sets to sea as X-Ship
The Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) HMCS Montréal has commenced operations as an experimental ship, the navy announced on 7 November 2016.
The Halifax-class frigate has undergone a number of modifications to allow it to advance new concepts in all areas of warship deployment, crewing and sustainment.
Known as X-Ship, the vessel has embarked on a sea programme that will see its crew carry out combat enhancement training, crew trials and operational testing and evaluation of the new Cyclone shipborne helicopter.
Montréal is currently transiting south with the rest of the Canadian Task Group and Spanish Navy replenishment oiler ship Patino, conducting force generation and force development work. This trial will be used to validate a new, experimental crewing model.
This evaluation will require X-Ship to conduct a modified work-ups scenario with its full crew of 217, with crew tasked to conduct watches, departmental work including maintenance, meetings, fitness and meals, in accordance with their regular shipboard routine.
The crew will fill out daily questionnaires on their activities and wear sensors to monitor work/rest balance. The intent is to confirm that estimates made with respect to the time needed to complete evolutions and the time available for activities other than watches and evolutions is consistent with reality. This data will enable improvements to be made to the model and inform crew requirements for future platforms.
Montréal will continue to participate in scheduled engineering repair, docking work periods and fleet training exercises alongside its five-year stint for the RCN’s experimental programme.
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