VIDEO: Thordon Bearings picked for Canadian Coast Guard AOPS newbuilds

Written by Nick Blenkey
Rendering of AOPS vessel

Like their Royal Canadian Navy counterparts, the Canadian Coast Guard AOPS vessels will feature seawater-lubricated bearings.[Image: Irving Shipbuilding]

Thordon Bearings has been awarded a contract to supply seawater-lubricated bearings for installation on the first of two modified versions of Canada’s Harry DeWolf-class of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS). The new ships are on order for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard, where steel for the first was cut on August 8.

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 480 mm (18.8 inch) 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.

“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,” says Irving Shipbuilding. “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 added that 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.

In addition to its involvement in the AOPS program, Thordon Bearings has played a key role in the success of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigates. Those ships are set to be replaced by the new Canadian Surface Combatants, based on BAE Systems Type 26 frigate design. Irving Shipbuilding is set to build up to 15 of these ships under the National Shipbuilding Strategy and just yesterday was awarded a CAD $463 million contract modification to upgrade its infrastructure for the project.

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