Procurement – Navy

National Shipbuilding Strategy

  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy is a long-term project to renew Canada's federal fleet of combat and non-combat vessels.
  • Through this Strategy, we are investing tens of billions to renew and modernize the capabilities of the Royal Canadian Navy.
  • This includes recapitalizing the surface fleet by acquiring:
    • fifteen Canadian Surface Combatants
    • two Joint Support Ships
    • six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships
    • four Naval Large Tugs
  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy has directly benefited Canadians by contributing over $17 billion to the economy since 2012.
  • Shipbuilding contracts will also have created or maintained over 15,500 Canadian jobs annually between 2012 and 2022.
  • The Strategy is helping restore our shipyards, rebuild our marine industry and create jobs in Canada while ensuring our sovereignty and protecting our interests at home and abroad.

Key Facts

  • Major project budgets:
    • Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships: $4.3B
    • Joint Supply Ship: $4.1B
    • Naval large tugs: $121.12M
    • Canadian Surface Combatant: $56-60B

Details

  • On June 3, 2010, the Government announced Canada's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (renamed the National Shipbuilding Strategy in March 2016).
  • In 2011, the Government selected Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards and Irving Shipbuilding Halifax Shipyard for the construction of large ships.
  • In February 2012, the Government of Canada signed long-term agreements, referred to as umbrella agreements, with the selected shipyards.
  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy Combat Package, which includes the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and the Canadian Surface Combatants (replacements for the frigates and retired destroyers), will be built by Irving Shipbuilding.
  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy Non-Combat Package, which includes the Joint Support Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, science research vessels, and Multi-Purpose Vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard will be built by Vancouver Shipyards.
  • In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been sustained media and Parliamentary interest in the potential for delays to the timelines for major shipbuilding projects under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
  • During this time, we are working in close collaboration with our industry partners to keep our respective workforces safe, while still making progress on these important naval projects.

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Canadian Surface Combatant

  • The Royal Canadian Navy requires versatile, warfare-ready ships that can be deployed rapidly, anywhere in the world.
  • That is why National Defence is procuring 15 new multi-role Canadian Surface Combatant ships that can operate independently or alongside Allies and partners.
  • National Defence is requesting $579.6 million in Main Estimates to progress the design work for the ships and fund the project management office.
  • This procurement project represents the largest and most complex military investment since the Second World War.
  • Once complete, these ships will be able to deliver decisive combat power at sea and meet future threats on the open ocean and along coastal environments.
  • This project will not only support the future of the Royal Canadian Navy, but will also revitalize the Canadian shipbuilding industry, sustaining and creating thousands of high-skilled jobs.
  • We look forward to cutting steel on the first ship in Fiscal Year 2023/2024.

Key Facts

  • Estimated Budget: $56-$60B
  • Construction of first vessel: starts in FY 2023/2024
  • First delivery: early 2030s, based on the industry-advised build duration estimate of seven and a half years. This estimate, and its underlying assumptions, is being critically examined for possible reduction as the ship design progresses.
  • Last ship delivery: mid 2040s

Details

Canadian Surface Combatant Project

  • Canada's new class of warship – the Canadian Surface Combatant – will replace both the retired Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax-class frigates, one for one. This single class of ship will be capable of meeting multiple threats on the open ocean and the coastal environment.

·  The new warships will be able to conduct a broad range of tasks, including:

  • In February 2019, the Government announced that Irving Shipbuilding had contracted Lockheed Martin Canada to provide the design and design team.
  • Canada is now working with Irving Shipbuilding and Lockheed Martin Canada to evolve the selected ship design and systems integration in preparation for build.
  • Early in 2019, Alion and Navantia, the two non-selected bidders on the Canadian Surface Combatant Request for Proposals filed for judicial reviews asking the Federal Court to set aside the decision that Lockheed Martin Canada was the selected bidder. In November 2019, Alion discontinued its applications for judicial review. The Department of Justice has carriage of the ongoing matters, which should not be publicly discussed as they are before the courts.
  •  
    • Delivering decisive combat power at sea;
    • Supporting Canadian Armed Forces, and Canada's allies ashore;
    • Conducting counter-piracy, counter-terrorism, interdiction and embargo operations for medium intensity operations; and,
    • Delivering humanitarian aid, search and rescue, and law and sovereignty enforcement for regional engagements.

Recent Media Interest In Potential Delays

  • In March 2020, media reported that Irving Shipyard was running at half capacity with around 650 people working at the shipyard and 300 remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The article reported that any impacts on major shipbuilding projects, including the Canadian Surface Combatant, will ultimately depend on what stage the project is in, with less effect for those in design and requirement phases and more impact on projects in the midst of construction.

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Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships

  • Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, and the supporting infrastructure, will be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy.
  • These versatile vessels will support surveillance of our Canadian waters, domestic and international operations, and humanitarian assistance.
  • National Defence is requesting $398.6 million in these Main Estimates to continue funding implementation phase activities.
  • This includes acquiring ships, jetty infrastructure in Halifax and Esquimalt, and a berthing and fuelling facility in Nanisivik.   
  • I am pleased to report that we accepted delivery of the first of six ships for the RCN July 31, 2020.
  • HMCS Harry DeWolf is currently conducting crew training on the East Coast, testing equipment and will soon be developing flight operating procedures with cyclone helicopters.
  • We anticipate the delivery of the second ship in 2021, and the delivery of remaining vessels by 2024.
  • These modern vessels will help the Navy meet Canada's defence and security challenges in the coming decades.

If pressed on sea trials in October, 2020:

  • Identifying and correcting deficiencies following delivery is a normal part of the shipbuilding process, especially for a first-of-class ship.
  • As we continue first-of-class trials, we will continue to identify and rectify any equipment deficiencies in collaboration with our industry partners.
  • Following a detailed assessment and review, the Navy determined that HMCS Harry DeWolf was safe to proceed to sea to execute trials and training.
  • This work is part of a standard process to incrementally test the ship and its systems, rectify any deficiencies, gain experience sailing this first of class vessel.
  • These sea trials will build the proficiency and resiliency required for sustained operations here at home and around the globe.
  • We will continue to ensure both the safety of our sailors and the operational capability of the ship, in close collaboration with our industry partners.

Key Facts

  • Total estimated Budget: up to $4.3B.
  • Number of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships ordered:
    • 6 for the Canadian Armed Forces.
    • The government also announced its intention to procure 2 ships for the Canadian Coast Guard
  • Delivery timeline:
    • First vessel: 2020
    • Last vessel: 2024

Details

Recent Media Interest in Potential Delays

  • In March 2019, media reported that Irving Shipyard was running at half capacity with around 650 people working at the shipyard and 300 remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The article went on to speculate that any impacts on major shipbuilding projects, including the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, will ultimately depend on what stage the project is in, with less effect for those in design and requirement phases and more impact on projects in the midst of construction.

Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships Project

  • Strong, Secure, Engaged committed to the acquisition of five to six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships. In November 2018, the Government of Canada announced a decision to acquire a sixth vessel.
  • These vessels will be able to perform a wide variety of tasks, including:
    • Surveillance operations of Canadian waters;
    • Support of sovereignty operations;
    • International operations;
    • Humanitarian assistance, emergency response and disaster relief; and
    • Search and Rescue.
  • The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships will operate in the Arctic between June and October, providing a greater and longer Canadian Armed Forces presence in the North.

Current Status

  • HMCS Harry DeWolf is the first of its class. Production challenges, typically seen with a first-of-class vessel, delayed the delivery of the first ship from 2018 to 2020.
  • The shipbuilder has learned lessons from the build of the first ship that will help ensure efficiencies in the construction of the subsequent ships. The schedules for these following ships will therefore be easier to plan.
  • Out of the total of six ships, the first one has been delivered and the next three are in various stages of production.

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Joint Support Ships

  • Support ships provide crucial at-sea refueling and deliver supplies to Canadian military vessels participating in naval operations and exercises.
  • This is why in June 2020, we awarded a build contract to Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards for the full construction of two Joint Support Ships.
  • In these Main Estimates 2020-21, we are requesting $265.5M to continue building the first Joint Support Ship and fund the Project Management Office.
  • Delivery of the first Joint support Ship to the Royal Canadian Navy is expected for summer 2023, and the delivery of the second ship is expected in 2025.
  • This project will also benefit Canadians, as Seaspan will invest 100% of the value of the contract into the Canadian economy.
  • These two new Joint Support Ships will allow the Royal Canadian Navy to conduct and sustain operations at home and abroad.

If pressed on cost increase:

  • Since the initial design contract was awarded in 2017, we have made significant progress in the ship's design, conducted a thorough cost-risk analysis, and gained shipyard experience.
  • The total project budget of $4.1B includes the purchase of the two ships and initial spares, design and production engineering work, project management and associated contingency costs.

If pressed on whether using MV Asterix and another commercial ship is cheaper and easier than building the JSS:

  • While the Asterix is meeting the Navy's short-term requirements for basic at-sea replenishment duties, it is a commercial vessel that does not meet the same standards as a military ship.
  • Additionally, the cost of the Asterix only covers the provision of service over a limited number of years, and does not represent the cost of purchasing the ship outright.

Key Facts

  • Cost:
    • Total approved budget: $4.1B,
      • $3.1B will be used to purchase the ships and initial spares
      • $1.0B for supporting costs.
    • Additionally, an estimated $5.2B will be spent on personnel, operations, and maintenance over the ship's 30 year lifespan.
  • Timelines:
    • First Joint Supply Ship is expected to be delivered: 2023
    • Second supply ship is expected to be delivered: 2025
  • COVID-19: The full impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on project timelines is still being assessed.
  • PBO is expected to release its costing analysis of the JSS and MV Asterix by November 30, 2020.

Details

  • The two new Joint Support Ships are intended to replace the Navy's Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels. They will provide at-sea support to naval task groups, limited sealift capabilities, and support to operations ashore.
  • In 2013, after a rigorous interdepartmental selection based upon affordability, capability, and risk, National Defence selected a design for its Joint Support Ship project that offers the best value to Canada.
  • Public Service and Procurement Canada selected Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards as the prime contractor to build these vessels for the Navy.
  • In June 2018, this Shipyard started the construction of the first supply ship. It is expected to be delivered in 2023. Construction of the second supply ship is scheduled to begin in 2021.
  • A $2.4 billion contract for full-rate construction of the JSS was awarded to Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards in June 2020. This contract will build on the ongoing construction of the first ship's early build blocks, and will progress to full-rate construction of the remaining blocks.

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Interim Supply Ships (iAOR)

  • Supply ships are a critical component of the Royal Canadian Navy, and provide fuel and essential supplies to military vessels, enabling them to sustain operations.
  • Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, two new supply ships will be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy between 2023 and 2025 to fulfill these important roles.
  • In the interim, the MV Asterix will continue to provide support to the Royal Canadian Navy in non-high threat operations and exercises around the world.
  • National Defence is requesting $131 million in these Main Estimates to operate MV Asterix.
  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy will continue to deliver the right mix of platforms for the Royal Canadian Navy to meet our future defence and security challenges.

If pressed on the contract for a second vessel:

  • There are currently no plans to pursue an additional interim replenishment ship and at-sea support services with Federal Fleet Services. 

Key Facts

  • Total approved budget: $667M.
  • MV Asterix is a commercial vessel, owned, operated and maintained by Federal Fleet Services, a Canadian company. It is crewed by two civilian teams of 36 personnel.
    • There are also up to 114 military personnel on board to perform activities like replenishment at-sea, military communications, and flight operations.
  • In 2018-19: MV Asterix deployed for 354 days, with 191 days at sea and 163 days alongside a foreign port.
  • In 2019-20: MV Asterix deployed for 170 days, with 131 days at sea and 39 days alongside a foreign port.

Details

The MV Asterix

  • The premature retirement of the Royal Canadian Navy's remaining supply ship, in 2016, combined with the operational delivery dates of the new Joint Support Ships, in 2023-2025, has resulted in a capability gap.
  • To help bridge this gap, in 2015, the Government of Canada entered into a Provision of Service Contract with Project Resolve Inc, which later became Federal Fleet Services, for the conversion of a commercial container ship into an interim supply vessel – the MV Asterix. The vessel commenced service in support of the Royal Canadian Navy on January 28, 2018.
  • The MV Asterix is operated by Federal Fleet Services and is crewed by Canadian civilian mariners. A limited number of Canadian Armed Forces personnel are deployed as mission specialists.
  • Since it became operational, the MV Asterix has supported numerous deployments and exercises at sea.

Request for the Obelix

  • Prior to the last election Davie Shipbuilding was making the case to convert a second commercial vessel – the Obelix. Furthermore, the Bloc Québécois and the Conservative Party of Canada advocated at the time for the procurement of a second interim supply ship from Davie.
  • The Parliamentary Budget Officer has previously estimated the cost of a second interim supply ship to be around $607 million. This costing was requested by the Conservative Party of Canada as part of its larger platform costing during the last election period.

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Modernization of Victoria Class Submarines

  • Victoria-class submarines are one of Canada's most strategic assets for conducting surveillance of Canadian and international waters.
  • That is why we are modernizing these vessels to ensure their operational effectiveness into the mid-2030s.
  • Modernization will increase the fleet's ability to operate in a variety of environments, including the near Arctic, while complying with domestic and international environmental laws.
  • It will also deliver the capacity to participate in joint operations and conduct longer missions.
  • While work on this modernization project is in the early phases, we will continue to ensure the Royal Canadian Navy is able to patrol Canada's maritime borders and conduct operations.

If pressed on HMCS Victoria:

  • HMCS Victoria started sea trials on September 18, 2020.
  • As is expected as part of the normal sea trial process, any issues discovered will be addressed.
  • It is expected that HMCS Victoria will complete this cycle of sea trials, training, and maintenance in early 2021.
  • HMCS Victoria will then be tasked with continental defence while training submariners in order to meet the needs of the Canadian Submarine Force and the Royal Canadian Navy.

If pressed on HMCS Windsor:

  • HMCS Windsor will be reactivated following a similar process as HMCS Victoria and will proceed to sea in early 2021.

Key Facts

  • September 18, 2020: HMCS Victoria returned to sea after spending five-years in dry dock where it underwent routine maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
  • Return to Service: Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the remaining work to be completed, the intent is to return one submarine to sea in 2020 to be deployable in 2021, with a second submarine returning to sea in 2021 to be deployable later in 2021.
  • Funding Range for the Victoria-Class Modernization project: $1 billion to $4.99 billion.
  • Victoria-class submarines in the Royal Canadian Navy fleet: 4
  • Status of the Victoria Class Modernization Program: Options Analysis.

Details

  • Canadian submarines deliver a world-class, force-multiplying deterrent effect as well as an unmatched sovereign defence and security capability.
  • These submarines are capable of covertly monitoring evolving situations at home and abroad.
    • At home, submarines provide critical, sovereign force protection capacity for our sea-based forces when required.
    • Abroad, these submarines can conduct "indications and warnings" and vital joint-targeting information, weapon delivery, or Special Operations Force insertion.
  • The decision to modernize remains the most effective means of ensuring continued submarine operations for the Royal Canadian Navy into the 2030s.
  • The Victoria-class Modernization project will focus primarily on enhancing three distinct capabilities:
    • Habitability – to improve habitability and deployment conditions onboard Victoria-Class submarines;
    • Joint Force Capability – position the Victoria-Class submarines to contribute meaningfully to joint operations ashore; and
    • Survivability – to ensure the survivability of the Victoria-Class submarines against an evolving complex threat in an ever changing battle space.
  • The Victoria-class modernization project will provide the capability enhancements required to keep the submarines operationally relevant against evolving threats in the future operating environment.

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Halifax-Class Modernization and Frigate Life Extension

  • Halifax-class frigates enable the Royal Canadian Navy to deliver on its core missions at home and abroad.
  • National Defence is requesting $22.5 million in these Main Estimates to ensure 12 Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates complete important modernization work.
  • This modernization and life extension project is in its final stages and the funding will go towards finishing remaining work and project closure activities.
  • As part of this modernization, these ships were upgraded with new combat management systems, radar capabilities, communications systems, and missile systems.
  • These upgrades will allow the modernized Halifax-class frigates to serve as a bridge until the arrival of the future fleet.

Key Facts

  • Total estimated cost of the modernization and life extension project: $4.3B.
  • This project will generate economic benefits through its collaboration with over 30 Canadian defence industry companies.

Details

  • The Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates were commissioned between 1992 and 1996 and have become the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy. They can deploy anywhere in the world, either independently or with NATO or individual allied nations.
  • The modernized Halifax-class frigates will serve as a bridge to the future fleet and, along with Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels, Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels and Victoria-class submarines, will allow the Navy to continue to deliver on its core missions until the arrival of the Canadian Surface Combatants.
  • The modernization and refitting project includes upgrades such as:
    • a new Combat Management System
    • a new radar suite
    • an internal communications system upgrade
    • a harpoon missile system upgrade (surface-to-surface)
    • a multi-link system
    • new electronic warfare systems
    • modifications to the 57 mm naval gun
    • enhanced capability to employ the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (surface-to-air)
    • a new Integrated Platform Management System offering better damage control
    • modern electronic and machinery control
    • other preventive, corrective and mid-life maintenance activities
  • Canadian companies involved in this program include:
    • Lockheed Martin Canada (Combat Management System)
    • Irving Shipbuilding Inc.'s Halifax Shipyard (upgrade work on east coast)
    • Seaspan's Victoria Shipyards Co Ltd. (upgrade work on west coast)

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Maritime Helicopter Project

  • Cyclone helicopters are a versatile aircraft that provide essential support to a range of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and utility operations.
  • They also support our allies by providing transport for international security efforts.
  • National Defence is requesting $131.5 million in these Estimates to install upgrades to this fleet that will enhance its maritime warfare, search and rescue, and utility capabilities.
  • These helicopters will increase the military's ability to deploy rapidly and undertake more complex operations, at home and abroad.

If pressed on CH-148 Cyclone helicopter accident:

  • The investigation confirmed the accident was not a result of mechanical failure.
  • The Cyclone did not respond in a way that the crew was expecting during a manoeuver to align with the ship.
  • Upon completion of all mitigation measures and training procedures, the Wing Commander authorized a return to operations.
  • These measures included training in the flight simulator, updates to training syllabus, updates to publications, and operational maneuvering.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces continues to ensure that operations and training are conducted in a safe and deliberate manner.

Key Facts

  • Total estimated cost of the Maritime Helicopter Project: $3.2B.
  • Cost for major in-service support until 2038: $5.8B
  • Initial Operating Capability was declared in June 2018.
  • Final delivery will take place approximately in December 2021 and the program will reach full operational capability in 2025.
  • Economic Benefit: Canada will receive industrial regional benefits from both the acquisition and in-service contracts equivalent to over $4.7B, with $3.9B completed to date.

Details

  • This project has a phased approach for the gradual introduction of capabilities for the 28 Cyclone Helicopters, called a "blocking strategy" as follows:
    • Fiftheen "Block 1" helicopters were formally accepted between 2015 and 2018 and are being converted to the final "Block 2" configuration;
    • Deliveries of the "Block 2" helicopters started in April 2018.  As of October 2020, sixteen "Block 2 helicopters" were delivered, including some converted from "Block 1" and the helicopter lost in April 2020 during an operation in Greece; and
    • Currently, the total number of Canadian owned Cyclone Helicopters is 21.

CH-148 Cyclone Helicopter Accident

  • On April 29, 2020, a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) CH-148 Cyclone operating from HMCS Fredericton was lost at sea while it was returning to ship following an exercise as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 in the Mediterranean.
  • Directorate of Flight Safety initial report on the accident was released June 8, 2020, and continues to investigate aircraft systems and human factors.
  • The US Navy assisted the CAF with specialized equipment and personnel during the search and recovery of human remains and the helicopter. Efforts led to the recovery of human remains and of critical equipment for the investigation. This is in addition to the flight data and voice recorders that had been previously recovered from the crash site. All the equipment recovered is undergoing analysis in Ottawa and Gatineau.

Activities to Date

  • The Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force declared Initial Operating Capability in June of 2018. Since then, CH-148 helicopters have been supporting domestic and international operations continuously.
  • The Maritime Helicopter Training Centre was handed over to the Royal Canadian Air Force in July 2018.
  • Twenty one Cyclones have been delivered to 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia since June 2015. Out of that number, five are currently with Sikorsky for upgrades to the Block 2 configuration.

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Naval Large Tug

  • Naval large tugs provide support and enable warship movements, maintenance, training and fire protection.
  • As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, National Defence is acquiring four naval large tugs to fulfil these important roles.
  • These large tugs will allow the Royal Canadian Navy to replace its five current Glen-class tugs and two Fire-class recuse boats.
  • National Defence is requesting $10.8 million in these Main Estimates for milestones related to the design and production of the ships.
  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy will continue to deliver on its commitment to equip the Royal Canadian Navy with the ships needed to serve Canadians.

Key Facts

  • The Naval Large Tug project is currently estimated to cost $121.1M.
  • September 2020: Construction began on the first vessel in Isle-aux-Coudres, Quebec.
  • The first two tugs are scheduled to be delivered in 2022. The last two tugs will be delivered in 2023.
  • Two of these tugs will go to CFB Esquimalt in British Columbia. The other two will be delivered to CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia.
  • This contract will help sustain or create up to 140 jobs for Ocean Industries Inc. and its subcontractors.

Details

  • The Royal Canadian Navy's mission is to operate and maintain a combat effective and multi-purpose maritime force. In order to achieve this mission, the RCN requires efficient naval tug services to help move, maintain, and train its fleet if it is to control events at sea, to take independent sovereign action when necessary, and to contribute to joint and combined combat operations when required.
  • As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the four new naval large tugs will support and enable warship movements, maintenance and training. They will also provide afloat harbor fire protection, allowing the RCN to replace its five current Glen tugs and two fireboats.

Project Delays

  • While the naval large tugs were based on an existing in-service design, they required some changes to ensure they meet Transport Canada and RCN operational requirements.
  • These requirements required verification during an inspection and final design review before construction could start, which took longer than expected.
  • This further affected project timelines as trials for the first tug will have to be conducted when the St. Lawrence River ice conditions allow.
  • As a result of these impacts we now expect delivery of the first two tugs in 2022, while delivery of the last two tugs in 2023 remains on track.

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Point Defence Missile System Upgrade

  • National Defence is modernizing core Royal Canadian Navy capabilities through the Point Defence Missile System Upgrade project for our Halifax-class frigates.
  • This Point Defence Missile System Upgrade project involves the development and acquisition of a new missile, which will be integrated into our frigates' current defence system.
  • In these Main Estimates, National Defence is requesting $107.7 million to support this project.
  • While COVID-19 has presented new challenges, this project remains on time and on budget, and has already benefitted the Canadian economy and Canadian businesses.
  • All teams are working to achieve the planned Initial Operational Capability in late 2021, to be completed in 2028.

Key Facts

  • Total project approval: $802M.
  • The Point Defense Missile System Upgrade is being developed by the NATO SeaSparrow organization, a consortium of 11 Alliance members and Australia.
  • The upgrade will enhance the Halifax-class frigates' defense against evolving anti-ship cruise missile threats through the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block 2. The first 6 missiles are scheduled to be delivered to Canada in June 2021.   
  • The Canadian economy has benefited directly from this project, by receiving over $60M USD through work performed by several Canadian high-tech firms during the definition phase of the project.

Details

  • The Halifax-class frigates have formed the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy and have been deployed in support of domestic and international operations since they entered service in 1992.
  • These frigates defend themselves and other ships under their protection against a variety of threats that may come from the air, surface, or underwater.
  • Since the frigates entered service, the outer layer of the Halifax-class defensive capability has been a Point Defence Missile System (PDMS) based on the SeaSparrow family of missiles.
  • The objective of the Halifax-class Point Defence Missile System Upgrade project is to develop and acquire the upgraded missile that forms the basis of the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Point Defence System, fitted in the Halifax-class ships.
  • This new generation missile will sustain the ships' ability to defend against current and future threats originating from surface, sub-surface, air and land-based platforms, and ensure they can continue executing their roles and core missions.
  • This project received project approval in Nov 2014, with an associated budgetary envelope of $802 million plus taxes. It is currently on time and on budget.

Activities to Date

  • Payments and activities have been performed in the Definition phase up to and including 2018.
  • Payments have been issued to support NATO Sea Sparrow Block 2 Production for US fiscal year 2018 through US fiscal year 2020, with partial payments made US fiscal year 2021.
  • Development activities for the software integration into the Halifax-class Combat Management System is ongoing.
  • Initial phase of shipboard testing was successfully completed.

Funding Status

  • The Point Defense Missile System Upgrade project was previously approved as a Vote 5 Capital Project. However, as missiles cannot be capitalized, and to align with Treasury Board Secretariat's common definition of a capital expenditure, a vote transfer from Vote 5 to Vote 1 starting in 2020-21 was actioned in the 2020-21 Annual Reference Level Update (ARLU).

Location

  • The programme is managed by the NATO SeaSparrow Project Office, located in Arlington, Virginia and involves a consortium of 12 international participants. Equipment will be installed and fielded onboard ships in Halifax, N.S. and Esquimalt, B.C.

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Underwater Warfare Suite Upgrade (UWSU)

  • As the threat environment in the open ocean and along coastal waters continues to evolve, we are committed to modernizing the core capabilities of the Royal Canadian Navy.
  • That is why National Defence is requesting $26.5 million in these Main Estimates to upgrade the underwater warfare suite on the Halifax-class frigates.
  • The underwater warfare suite upgrade will provide the Halifax-class frigates with the capability to detect submarines, torpedoes and underwater weapons.
  • This upgrade will ensure the Royal Canadian Navy sustains the ability to defend against current and future threats, and can continue to execute missions in all maritime environments.

Key Facts

  • The first ship installation will begin in late 2021 on HMCS Ville De Québec.
  • The underwater warfare suite upgrade will create and maintain around 120 highly skilled jobs in Canada and contribute to the continued growth and competitive advantage of Canadian industrial capabilities.

Details

  • The Halifax-class frigates are the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy and have been deployed in support of domestic and international operations since they entered service in 1992.
  • These frigates defend themselves and other ships under their protection against a variety of threats that may come from submarines, torpedoes and underwater weapons in a wide range of maritime environments.
  • The UWSU project involves the modernization of the sensor suite and processing systems for anti-submarine warfare on Halifax-class ships. It will deliver an integrated upgraded system that replaces the current towed array sensor and Sonobuoy Processing system, adds additional active intercept sensors, and improves the processing and transmission control system of the existing hull mounted sonar. The UWSU project will reinstate a tactical advantage over submarine/torpedo threats and gain improved survivability.
  • This modern underwater suite in the Halifax-class will sustain the ships' ability to defend against current and future threats, ensure they can continue executing their roles and core missions and enable the Royal Canadian Navy to meet GoC defence objectives in all maritime environments.

Activities to Date       

  • The Underwater Warfare Suite Upgrade project is achieving project objectives, notably:
    • Treasury Board implementation approval was received 14 June 2018;
    • Contract Award occurred 28 June 2018;
    • Project Kick-off occurred in September 2018;
    • System Requirements Review occurred in November 2018;
    • Preliminary Design Review occurred in July 2019; and
    • Critical Design Review summer/fall 2020.
  • The project is currently in implementation.

Benefits to Canadians

  • The Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy of Canada's Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) applies to this project. Canada will receive ITBs equivalent of 100% of the contracted value for both the acquisition and In-Service Support.
  • The majority of this work will occur in Canada, creating and maintaining about 120 highly skilled jobs while supporting the continued growth and competitive advantage of Canadian sonar and acoustic industrial capabilities.

Location

  • Ontario (Ottawa, Cornwall) and Nova Scotia (Dartmouth, Hackett's Cove).

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