Explore History

The Later Cold War
A Changing Fleet

Canada's navy changed and shrank in the latter part of the Cold War, but continued to face threats and meet alliance obligations. Despite the addition of some newer vessels, by the late 1970s it faced "rust-out" due to the gradual deterioration of ships and equipment.

HMCS Athabaskan
HMCS Athabaskan

The Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan was one of four Iroquois class anti-submarine destroyers that entered Canadian service in the early 1970s.

The photograph highlights one of the ship's main anti-submarine systems: the landing deck and hangar for two Sea King helicopters (centre). Thanks to the Canadian-developed "bear trap" system that allowed large helicopters like the Sea King to land on small warships, even in rough seas, Athabaskan and other helicopter-equipped Canadian ships could carry out anti-submarine warfare operations in virtually all types of weather, a critical military advantage.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19910109-164

HMCS Iroquois, Artist's Concept
HMCS Athabaskan
Model, HMCS Bras d'Or
HMCS Bras d'Or
HMCS Ojibwa
HMCS Ojibwa Model
Uniform, Lieutenant Commander Edward Ross Murray
Model, HMCS Assiniboine
HMCS Gatineau
HMCS Gatineau
Model, HMCS Nipigon
Naval Chaff Launcher
The Watch Below – Engine Room – HMCS Yukon
Hands to Supper – Galley and Steamline – HMCS Yukon
FN C1D Rifle
Diving Knife
Soviet Naval Aircraft
Soviet Aircraft Carrier and Bombers
HMCS Huron and HMCS Kootenay, 1990
Baltic Patrol