The History of the COUGAR

The Orca class consists of eight steel-hulled Royal Canadian Navy Training Tenders. Loosely based on the Australian-designed Pacific-class patrol boat, the Orca class was constructed by Victoria Shipyards between November 2004 and November 2008, at a total project cost of C$90.7 million. All eight are based at CFB Esquimalt in British Columbia. They replaced the 1950s-era wooden hulled YAG 300 class.

The primary use of the Orca class is the training of naval officers and at-sea familiarization for sea cadets. Each ship is normally operated by a core crew of five, but has the bunking arrangements for an additional 19 instructors and trainees, for a total of 24 bunks.

At a top speed of 20 knots, these vessels are relatively fast. To meet the training requirement, the Orcas are fitted with a larger-than-normal bridge and carry warship-grade navigational equipment.

While all eight vessels have a hard-point for the fitting of a .50 calibre machine gun, none are currently fitted. However, three of the craft were temporarily fitted with .50-cal machine guns for port security operations that occurred during Operation Podium, the Canadian Forces' support of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

COUGAR Statistical Data

  • Pendant: 61
  • Type: (PCT) Training Vessel
  • Class: Orca
  • Displacement: 210 tonnes
  • Length: 33 m / 108.3 ft
  • Width: 8.34 m / 27.4 ft
  • Draught: 2 m / 6.6 ft
  • Speed: 20+ kts
  • Compliment: 5 crew plus 19 trainees Officers and Crew
  • Arms: Optional .50 cal machine guns.
  • Builder: Victoria Shipyards, Victoria, BC
  • Keel Laid:
  • Date Launched: 28-Aug-08
  • Date Commissioned: 2-Oct-08
  • Paid off:


The ORCA class are not actually commissioned ships. The commissioned date above shows the date that the vessel was accepted by the navy.

On 15 June 2017, Cougar struck the submarine HMCS CHICOUTIMI, which was docked in the Esquimalt Dockyard. Superficial damage to the CHICOUTIMI’s outer casing and minor damage to Cougar's propeller occurred.

Additional Information

Keywords: COUGAR, Royal Canadian Navy Ship, (PCT) Training Vessel, Orca Class