Thordon Bearings has been awarded a contract to supply seawater-lubricated bearings for installation to the first of two modified versions of the Harry DeWolf-class of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS). The new ships for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) are on order and will be built at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard.
The CCG AOPS are versions of the six AOPS that Halifax Shipyard is building for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), all of which feature Thordon’s seawater-lubricated bearings.
Three RCN ice-capable AOPS have already been delivered, with the fourth in the series, the future HMCS William Hall, currently fitting out.
The first AOPS in the red and white livery of a CCG vessel, scheduled for delivery in 2027, will feature a pair of seawater-lubricated COMPAC propeller shaft bearings machined to fit 480mm (18.8in) diameter shafts. Thordon’s Water Quality Package and SXL rudder bearings are also included in the scope of supply.
“The performance and reliability of the Thordon arrangement aboard the first three RCN AOPS – HMCS Harry DeWolf, HMCS Margaret Brooke, and HMCS Max Bernays, which are now operational – together with a long history supplying navies and coast guards around the world, is the primary reason Thordon is continually trusted to deliver critical components to Canadian built combatants and patrol vessels,” said Scott Groves, Thordon Bearing’s VP Sales.
In an article published on its website, Irving Shipbuilding explained how Thordon Bearings supports the future growth of Canada’s naval fleets: “As environmental considerations increase in shipbuilding, a number of partners are helping to ensure that the power produced by Canada’s new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) will move the vessels in an efficient, reliable, and environmentally safe manner. Thordon Bearings, an Ontario-based designer and manufacturer of high-performance bearings, seals, and other shaft line products for the global marine industry, is a key part of these efforts.”
The shipbuilder furthered: “Thordon invests heavily in innovation and research and development at its Canadian facility, seeing much of its growth from developing new products in-house. Thordon brings highly skilled labor to the local economy, bolstering Canada’s contribution and reputation by exporting into world markets with market-leading products.”
The article went on to state how Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy gives domestic companies like Thordon Bearings the opportunity to launch new technologies, continue to grow, and find future export opportunities.
“We are delighted that Irving Shipbuilding continues to invest in Canada’s homegrown products for its supply chain,” said Jeffrey Butt, Business Development Manager – Navy & Coast Guard.
“The National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) introduced in 2010, to which we both remain committed, not only strengthens Canada’s shipbuilding industry but it helps promote Canada’s marine engineering and manufacturing might around the world, which is a huge benefit to the Canadian economy in the long term,” he said. “As Irving says on its website: ‘When Irving Shipbuilding builds in Canada, it invests in Canada’.”
In addition to its involvement in the AOPS program, Thordon Bearings has played a key role in the success of the RCN Halifax-class frigates which the Type 26 design will replace. The company is also the preferred supplier of seawater-lubricated bearings and seals to over 50 navies and coast guards, including the CCG, Royal Australian Navy, French Navy, Brazilian Navy, German Navy, and the United Arab Emirates Coast Guard.