The Government of Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. have identified Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. as the preferred bidder to provide the design and design team for the Royal Canadian Navy’s future Canadian Surface Combatant vessels.
The Lockheed Martin-led team called the Canada’s Combat Ship Team submitted its final proposal for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project to the prime contractor Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, earlier this year.
Canada’s Combat Ship Team includes Lockheed Martin Canada, BAE Systems, CAE, MDA, L3 Technologies and Ultra Electronics. The team is offering a variant of the BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship design.
While the selection represents a significant milestone in the competitive process, more work is required before a contract is awarded, according to Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).
Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. must now go through the “due diligence process,” which includes:
+ negotiations with the company on intellectual property rights
+ an assessment of combat systems performance
+ an assessment of the company’s financial capability to deliver the project, together with the verification of various other administrative matters
The PSPC said in a statement that if the preferred bidder not successfully demonstrate to Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. that it meets all of the due diligence requirements, then the next highest ranked compliant bidder will become the preferred bidder. The new preferred bidder will then have to successfully demonstrate that it meets all of the due diligence requirements.
The statement added that the identification of the preferred bidder follows a rigorous bid evaluation process and that this process has been, and will continue to be, overseen by an independent Fairness Monitor. To date, the Fairness Monitor has submitted a series of interim reports on the Canadian Surface Combatant procurement process, and each of these reports have not identified any fairness deficiencies, according to PSPC.
More recently, the Fairness Monitor provided the following statement to Public Services and Procurement Canada:
“As the Fairness Monitor for the Canadian Surface Combatant project, we have monitored the evaluation of proposals submitted in response to the Request for Proposals and have identified no fairness deficiencies. It is our opinion that the evaluation of proposals was conducted in a fair manner. Decisions were made objectively and free from personal favouritism or improper influence, and the process encompassed the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance with the Request for Proposals.”
A contract award for the CSC project is expected this winter, with construction beginning in the early 2020s.
Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) Program
Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program is the procurement project that will replace the Iroquois-class destroyers and Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) with up to 15 new ships beginning in the early 2020s as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
The project is the largest, most complex procurement ever undertaken by the Government of Canada. These ships will form the backbone of RCN and will be Canada’s major surface component of maritime combat power for decades to come.
The replacement vessels will be somewhat larger than the existing Halifax-class, and presumably provide a wide-area air defence capability, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, as well as anti-shipping (ASuW) capability.
The CSC will be able to conduct a broad range of tasks, in various scenarios, including: 1) decisive combat power at sea and support during land operations; 2) counter-piracy, counter terrorism, interdiction and embargo operations for medium intensity operations and 3) the delivery of humanitarian aid, search and rescue, law and sovereignty enforcement for regional engagements.
According to the estimates, the program will cost around $56-60 billion.
The contenders for the program were:
+ BAE Systems – Type 26 frigate – selected as preferred bidder
+ Alion-JJMA – De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate
+ Navantia – F-105 frigate or Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate
Construction is slated to begin in the early 2020s, with the first ship to be delivered in the mid-2020s. The last ship is expected to have been delivered, commissioned and upgraded to have complete operational capability by the late 2040s.