Built at Davie Shipbuilding Ltd. In Lauzon, Quebec, HMCS ATHABASKAN, the third warship of her class, was launched on November 27th, 1970 and commissioned on September 30th, 1972.
Her primary weapons were anti-submarine which included mortars, homing torpedoes and two CH-124 SEA KING helicopters armed with torpedoes. The SEA KING is an all-weather aircraft, which can operate at speeds of up to 150 knots. For defense against air and surface threats, HMCS ATHABASKAN originally had the Canadian Sea Sparrow missile system and a 5" 54 caliber gun. Both these systems were radar controlled.
August 24th, 1990, forty years after her predecessor sailed for Korea, ATHABASKAN accompanied by the destroyer TERRA NOVA and the supply ship PROTECTEUR, sailed for the Persian Gulf to support a multi-national naval blockade following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. There, as the flagship of Canada's naval Task Group, she enforced UN sanctions and later participated in Operation Desert Storm, the campaign to liberate Kuwait.
In April 1991, ATHABASKAN returned to Halifax to commence her TRUMP conversion, which prepared her for modern day warfare. After having a very busy few years and acting as a Flagship for the Commodore of the Canadian Fleet Atlantic, ATHABASKAN is getting ready to commence her refit program in 2012 and give the honorable duty of the Flagship to HMCS IROQUOIS.