The French firm DCNS intends to pursue both the
warship design and the combat systems integrator role.
The French government and DCNS have been marketing the French multi-missions frigate, or FREMM, in
Canada since 2012 in preparation for CSC.
Both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have said they
would submit bids for the combat systems integrator
contract. Other companies are expected to highlight
their interest as the project gains momentum.
The role of a warship designer for the CSC will involve adapting an existing design to Canada’s requirements. But more than half of the cost of the project will
be for the on-board combat systems and the integration
of that equipment, industry officials say.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc. of Halifax, Nova Scotia,
already has been designated by the Canadian government as the prime contractor to oversee the project.
The RCN insists that it still plans, at this point, to
adhere to its schedule for the CSC.
Feltham pointed out that the first ship would be
ready in 2025. Deliveries of the remaining vessels
would continue until 2040.
Naval analysts and industry representatives point out
that a possible solution to the CSC budget problems
might be found with a new Canadian government.
The Conservative Party government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper was defeated in the Oct. 19 federal
election. The new Liberal Party government has promised to make naval shipbuilding, including the construction of the CSC, a priority.
Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister, said he
intends to cancel Canada’s participation in the U.S.-led
F- 35 joint strike fighter program and shift savings from
buying a less expensive fighter aircraft over to the
RCN’s shipbuilding program.
It is unclear at this point how much those savings
might be, but Trudeau has indicated he wants a robust
“Our commitment will ensure that the Royal Canadian
Navy will once again be able to operate as a blue-water
fleet and remain so well into the future,” Trudeau told supporters in Halifax, where the CSC is to be built. ;
David Pugliese reports from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.