At the CANSEC 2023 exhibition, Vard Marine Inc. (VARD), a subsidiary of Fincantieri, proudly introduced their latest innovation, VIGILANCE. This new vessel is designed to replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) aging Kingston Class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) as part of Pillar Two of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). Collaborating with industry partners such as Thales Canada, Ontario Shipyards, SH Defence, and Fincantieri, VARD aims to provide a lightweight, highly flexible, and globally deployable naval asset. VIGILANCE is set to exceed the capabilities of the current MCDVs and the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPV), especially in littoral warfare scenarios.

The partnership between these companies ensures that VIGILANCE will meet the RCN’s future needs by offering a customized naval solution that balances capability and cost. VARD’s naval designs are renowned for their life-cycle cost efficiency, which this new project aims to uphold.

Team Vigilance is building a strong coalition of Canadian companies to provide essential services and equipment for the program. This strategy underlines the commitment to design, build, and equip VIGILANCE entirely within Canada. Last October, Team Vigilance launched their Preferred Suppliers Program at DEFSEC 2023 in Halifax to support this objective.

Dominis Engineering Joins Team Vigilance

VARD has recently announced that Dominis Engineering Ltd. (Dominis) will be a preferred supplier for Team Vigilance. Dominis, established in 1985, is Canada’s only “design to build” propeller manufacturer. The company specializes in the design, machining, and measurement of marine propellers, water jet impellers, and hydro turbine runners. Dominis has pioneered advanced CNC milling technology for sculpted surfaces, delivering precision without the need for manual or robotic grinding.

Propeller blade for CPF in production in Dominis facility in Ottawa
Propeller blade for CPF in production in Dominis facility in Ottawa. Image source –

“We remain fully committed to the principle that VIGILANCE will be designed, built and equipped in Canada. Quite obviously, propellers are a fundamental component for any ship and the ability to manufacture propeller blades right here in Canada is therefore a fundamental element in developing a true sovereign domestic shipbuilding capability. Bringing Dominis into the Preferred Suppliers Program is an easy decision given their long-term and successful track record of supplying critical components for installation on RCN combatant vessels,” explained Derek Buxton, Vice President Business Development, Vard Marine Inc.

Dominis’s innovative methods produce high-quality products that outperform traditional manufacturing in terms of efficiency and noise reduction. Their extensive experience with full 5-axis machining of mono-block propellers, blades, and water jet impellers underpins their impeccable reputation.

Since the 1990s, Dominis has been a trusted supplier for the RCN, notably providing propeller blades for the Canadian Patrol Frigates (CPF). With decades of experience in delivering superior naval components, Dominis is well-positioned to supply VIGILANCE with top-tier propellers and water jet impellers.

Bodo Gospodnetic, president of Dominis Engineering Ltd., said, “Always strive for perfection. Good enough is not good enough.”

VIGILANCE aims to provide the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve with cutting-edge tools to protect Canada’s interests domestically and internationally. By leveraging the best of Canadian industry, such as the reliable expertise of Dominis, VIGILANCE will enhance the strategic capabilities of the Canadian shipbuilding sector. This collaboration not only reinforces national defence but also promotes the ongoing development of a robust shipbuilding value chain in Canada.