Last year at CANSEC 2023, Vard Marine Inc. (VARD), a distinguished subsidiary of Fincantieri, unveiled VIGILANCE, a cutting-edge solution designed to replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) Kingston Class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV). Positioned as a crucial component under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, VIGILANCE promises to redefine naval capabilities and operational flexibility. Collaborating with key partners, including Ontario Shipyards, Thales Canada, SH Defence, and Fincantieri, Team Vigilance is set to deliver a globally deployable multi-mission naval vessel of unparalleled sophistication.

This strategic collaboration ensures that Team Vigilance is well-equipped to cater to the evolving needs of the RCN’s future fleet. Their focus lies in providing a customized naval solution that strikes the perfect balance between capability and cost, leveraging the life-cycle cost advantages that VARD’s naval designs are renowned for.

In a concerted effort to assemble a robust coalition of Canadian companies, Team Vigilance introduced their Preferred Suppliers Program at DEFSEC 2023 in Halifax last October. This initiative aims to reinforce the commitment to designing, building, and equipping VIGILANCE entirely within Canada. Recently, VARD proudly announced that GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc. (GeoSpectrum) has been designated as a Preferred Supplier to Team Vigilance.

“We are fully committed to the principle that VIGILANCE will be designed, built, and equipped in Canada.  Bringing GeoSpectrum on board as a Preferred Supplier to Team Vigilance, with the potential that their portfolio of innovative and leading-edge products offer, designed and manufactured right here in Canada, is an easy decision,” expressed Derek Buxton, Vice President Business Development, Vard Marine Inc.The fact that their equipment is already deployed in the existing fleet and performing critical functions in support of key RCN missions underscores the importance of their involvement in this program.”

GeoSpectrum brings to the table a diverse array of naval equipment and systems, including comprehensive integrated naval acoustic solutions. Notably, the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS©) stands out as a compact modular system initially developed for and currently deployed on the MCDV. The modular approach adopted by GeoSpectrum for TRAPS© aligns seamlessly with VARD’s design philosophy for VIGILANCE, emphasizing a modular mission payload approach.

“This is a key strategic partnership for not only GeoSpectrum, but all Team Vigilance players and the Royal Canadian Navy. We are proud to provide a capability to Canada that is unsurpassed in the Naval environment while keeping Atlantic Canadians employed in sustainable jobs within the ocean sector,” added Sean Kelly, Vice President Business Development, GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc.

With a successful track record of both domestic and international deployments, GeoSpectrum’s TRAPS©, equipped with the RecView processing suite, has been acquired and deployed by the RCN on both the Kingston Class and the Harry DeWolf Class. The latter, having recently completed a circumnavigation of North America, including a voyage through the Arctic, underscores the system’s reliability and adaptability.

Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS©) on HMCS Shawinigan

Beyond providing the RCN and the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve with modern tools to safeguard Canada’s vital interests, VIGILANCE opens the door for collaboration with industry leaders like GeoSpectrum. These companies serve as international reference players in their respective market segments, highlighting the exceptional contributions of Canadian innovation on the global stage.