ORCA (55)


The History of the ORCA

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.

ORCA Statistical Data

  • Pendant: 55
  • 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: 9-Aug-06
  • Date Commissioned: 9-Nov-06
  • 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.

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