Hull Classification Symbol (Canada)
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Hull Classification Symbol Canada

The Royal Canadian Navy uses hull classification symbols to identify the types of its ships, which are similar to the United States Navy's Hull classification symbol system. The Royal Navy and some European and Commonwealth navies (19 in total) use a somewhat analogous system of Pennant numbers.

In a ship name such as HMCS Algonquin  the ship prefix HMCS for His or Her Majesty's Canadian Ship indicates the vessel is a warship in service to the Monarch of Canada, while the proper name Algonquin may follow a naming convention for the class of vessel. The hull classification symbol in the example is the parenthetical suffix (DDG 283), where the hull classification type DDG indicates that the Algonquin is a guided missile destroyer and the hull classification number 283 is unique within that type. Listed below are various hull classification types with some currently in use and others that are retired and no longer in use.

Auxiliary ships

  • AGOR: Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research (retired)[1][2]
  • AGSC: surveying vessel (retired)[3][4]
  • AOR: Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment[5][6]
  • ARE: Auxiliary Replenishment Escort (retired)[7]
  • ASL: diving support vessel (retired from the Royal Canadian Navy)[8]
  • F: escort armed ships (retired pre World War II passenger ships that were converted to military roles during the war)[9]
  • FHE: Fast Hydrofoil Escort (retired, prototype tested 1968–1971)[10][11]
  • K: sloop and submarine tender (also used for frigates and corvettes)[12][13]
  • KC: sail training[14][15]
  • PCT: Patrol Craft Training (supersedes YAG)[16][17]
  • T: armed trawler (retired)[18]
  • YAG: Yard Auxiliary General (retired training vessels, superseded by PCT)[19]
  • YTB: Yard Tug[20]
  • YTL: Yard Tug[21]
  • YTM: Yard Tug[22]
  • YTR: Yard Tractor tug fireboats[23]

Aircraft carriers

  • CVL: light carrier (retired)[24]
  • D: World War II escort carrier (retired)[25]
  • R: carrier World War II (retired, was also used for destroyers)[26]


  • K: corvette (retired, was also used for frigates and a sloop)[27]


  • C: light cruiser (retired)[28]


  • D: destroyer - World War II era (retired)[29]
  • DD: destroyer - World War II era (retired, DD was used by the United States Navy, I was used by the Royal Canadian Navy for US built DD destroyers)
  • DDE: escort destroyer (retired)[30]
  • DDH: air defence destroyer - helicopter[31]
  • DDG: area air defence - guided missile[32]
  • G: destroyer - World War II era (retired, included Tribal class and G and H classes)[33]
  • H: escort destroyer - World War II era (retired, included Clemson and G and H classes)[34][35]
  • I: destroyer - World War II era (retired)[36]
  • R: destroyer (post World War II retired, was also used for a carrier)[37]


  • F: frigate
  • FFE: escort frigate (post World War II; retired)[38]
  • FFH: multi-role patrol frigate - helicopter[39]
  • K: World War II frigate (was also used for corvettes and a sloop)[40]


  • J: minesweeper (retired, used for World War II era Fundy, Bangor, and Algerine-class minesweepers)[41][42][43]
  • MCB: post World War II minesweeper (retired)[44]
  • MSA: Mine Sweeper Auxiliary: Anticosti class (in use 1989–2000, retired)[45]
  • MM: Mechanical Minesweeper - more recently known as coastal defence vessels[46]


  • CC: World War I era gas powered submarines
  • CH: World War I era diesel-electric submarines
  • S: Submarine (retired Cold War era diesel electric: last used by Oberon-class submarines)[47]
  • SS: Submarine (retired, used for US built Balao (1961-1969) and Tench (1968-1974) class vessels)[48][49]
  • SSK: Hunter-Killer Submarine or long range submarines[50]


  1. ^ Example includes: HMCS Endeavour 
  2. ^ "ENDEAVOUR". Retrieved .
  3. ^ Example included: HMCS Cedarwood 
  4. ^ "SeaWaves Today in History September 22, 2008". Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Examples include: HMCS Protecteur  and HMCS Preserver 
  6. ^ "Canadian Navy: HMCS PRESERVER - Ship Home". Archived from the original on 2010-11-02. Retrieved .
  7. ^ Examples included: HMCS Cape Breton  and HMCS Cape Scott 
  8. ^ Example included: HMCS Cormorant 
  9. ^ Examples included: HMCS Prince David , HMCS Prince Henry (F70), and HMCS Prince Robert (F56)
  10. ^ Example included: HMCS Bras d'Or 
  11. ^ "Skimming the Waves - Canada Science and Technology Museum". Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Example included: HMCS Shearwater 
  13. ^ "BRAS d'OR". Retrieved .
  14. ^ Example includes: HMCS Oriole 
  15. ^ "Canada's Navy: HMCS ORIOLE". Archived from the original on 2010-05-13. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Examples include: Orca (PCT 55), Raven (PCT 56), Caribou (PCT 57), Renard (PCT 58), Wolf (PCT 59), Grizzly (PCT 60), Cougar (PCT 61), and Moose (PCT 62)
  17. ^ "Canadian Navy: MARPAC - Maritime Forces Pacific - Pacific Fleet: Patrol Craft Training (PCT)". Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Example included: HMCS Baffin 
  19. ^ Examples included: CFAV Grizzly (YAG 306), CFAV Cougar (YAG 308), CFAV Otter (YAG 312), CFAV Caribou (YAG 314), CFAV Badger (YAG 319), CFAV Lynx (YAG 320)
  20. ^ Examples include: CFAV Glendyne (YTB 640), CFAV Glendale (YTB 641), CFAV Glenevis (YTB 642), CFAV Glenbrook (YTB 643), CFAV Glenside (YTB 644)
  21. ^ Examples include: CFAV Lawrenceville (YTL 590), CFAV Parksville (YTL 591), CFAV Listerville (YTL 592), CFAV Merrickville (YTL 593), and CFAV Marysville (YTL 594)
  22. ^ Example includes: CFAV Tillicum 
  23. ^ Examples include: CFAV Firebrand  and CFAV Firebird (YTR 561)
  24. ^ Examples included: HMCS Bonaventure , HMCS Magnificent , and HMCS Warrior 
  25. ^ Examples included: HMS Nabob  and HMS Puncher 
  26. ^ World War II carrier example included: HMCS Warrior 
  27. ^ Examples included: HMCS Alberni  and HMCS Windflower 
  28. ^ Example included: HMCS Quebec 
  29. ^ Examples included: HMCS Skeena  and HMCS Saguenay 
  30. ^ Examples included: HMCS Chaudière  and HMCS Columbia 
  31. ^ Examples include: HMCS Iroquois , HMCS Huron , and HMCS Athabaskan 
  32. ^ Example includes: HMCS Algonquin 
  33. ^ Examples included: HMCS Athabaskan , HMCS Iroquois , HMCS Huron , and HMCS Haida 
  34. ^ A Clemson-class destroyer example included: HMCS Buxton 
  35. ^ An H-class examples included: HMCS Chaudière  and HMCS Ottawa 
  36. ^ Examples included: HMCS St. Francis , HMCS Annapolis , HMCS Caldwell , HMCS Chelsea , HMCS Columbia , HMCS Georgetown , HMCS Hamilton 
  37. ^ World War II destroyer examples included: HMCS Algonquin  - V-class and HMCS Crescent  - C-class
  38. ^ Examples included: HMCS Antigonish , HMCS Cap de la Madeleine , HMCS Fort Erie , HMCS New Glasgow , HMCS Penetang , and HMCS Toronto 
  39. ^ Examples include: HMCS Halifax , HMCS Calgary , HMCS St. John's , and HMCS Ottawa 
  40. ^ Examples included: HMCS Annan , HMCS Hallowell , and HMCS Kokanee 
  41. ^ Fundy-class minesweeper examples included: HMCS Nootka , HMCS Comox , HMCS Fundy , and HMCS Gaspe 
  42. ^ Bangor-class minesweeper examples included: HMCS Ungava , HMCS Granby , and HMCS Sarnia 
  43. ^ Algerine-class minesweeper examples included: HMCS Kapuskasing , HMCS Oshawa , HMCS Border Cities , and HMCS New Liskeard 
  44. ^ Examples included: HMCS Chaleur , HMCS Comox , HMCS Fortune , and HMCS Miramichi 
  45. ^ Examples included: HMCS Anticosti  and HMCS Moresby (MSA 112)
  46. ^ Examples include: HMCS Kingston  and HMCS Summerside 
  47. ^ Examples included: HMS Olympus , HMS Osiris , HMCS Ojibwa , HMCS Onondaga , and HMCS Okanagan  (1968-2000)
  48. ^ Balao-class submarine example included: HMCS Grilse 
  49. ^ Tench-class submarine example included: HMCS Rainbow 
  50. ^ Examples include: HMCS Chicoutimi , HMCS Corner Brook , HMCS Victoria , and HMCS Windsor  (2000- )


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