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Inquiry of Ministry

Prepare in English and French Marking "Original text" or "Translation"

Question No.: Q-408

By: Mr. Blaney (Bellechasse-Les Etchemins-Lévis)

Date: February 16, 2021

Reply by the Minister of National Defence

Print Name of Signatory: Anita Vandenbeld

Signature: Minister or Parliamentary Secretary: Original signed by Anita Vandenbeld

Question

With regard to the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the Umbrella Agreement: (a) what are the total amount of contracts awarded or committed to (i) Seaspan, (ii) Irving Shipbuilding, (iii) Chantier Davie Canada Inc.; (b) what is the total backstop committed to each shipyard in (a); (c) what are the conditions which must be met to utilize the backstop provision under the umbrella agreement; (d) how many vessels are committed to each shipyard under their umbrella agreement and what are those vessels; (e) for each of the following programs, the AOPS program, the Off-shore Oceanographic Science Vessel, the Off-Shore Science Fisheries Vessels, the Canadian Surface Combatants, the Polar Icebreaker, the Program Icebreakers, and the Medium Patrol Vessels, what are the (i) projected costs (including taxes), (ii) expected delivery dates, (iii) costs for engineering and design, (iv) risks as identified by third party advisors around costs, budget and schedule; (f) what is the total number of AORs required to service a fleet of 15 surface combatants and the planned rotation schedule for each; and (g) on what date will the JSS 1 and JSS 2 (i) achieve full operational capacity, (ii) be outfitted or finished, and are there mitigating plans to provide resupply to the Royal Canadian Navy should these vessels not achieve Full Operational Capacity on the dates expected?

Reply: Original text

The Royal Canadian Navy plays a critical role in protecting Canada’s maritime domain and in contributing to international operations with allies and partners.

As outlined in Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, National Defence is committed to modernizing the Royal Canadian Navy by making significant investments in fifteen Canadian Surface Combatants, two Joint Support Ships, and six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.

In addition to providing the right ships that meet the requirements of the Royal Canadian Navy now and in the future, the Strategy is helping to restore our shipyards, rebuilding our marine industry, and creating jobs in Canada.

Part (e)

The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships Program:
The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) will enhance the Royal Canadian Navy's ability to assert Canadian sovereignty and security in the Arctic and Canadian coastal waters, and to conduct a wide range of missions worldwide.

The AOPS project acquisition budget is $4.3 billion (excluding taxesFootnote a). The contract value for the AOPS engineering and design was $273.7 million (including taxes).

National Defence has accepted delivery of the first ship in July 2020. The anticipated delivery of the remaining five ships is as follows:

National Defence continues to closely monitor the project to ensure that the best value is provided to Canadians throughout the duration of this project. National Defence has not contracted third party assessments related to project risks associated with the AOPS program.

The Canadian Surface Combatant Project:

The Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) will provide Canada with its next generation of warships which will ensure the Royal Canadian Navy can address 21st century defence and security challenges. These ships will form the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy, replacing the capabilities of the retired Iroquois-class destroyers and the current Halifax-class frigates with a more capable class of combat ship which can meet multiple modern threats in complex environments.

The building of a new class of advanced warship is complex. With an estimated project budget range between $56-60 billion (excluding taxes), it is the largest and the most complex investment in the Navy since the Second World War. The design and engineering costs to prepare the CSC design for construction account for approximately 5% of the CSC budget.

National Defence is making significant progress in advancing the CSC project. We look forward to cutting steel on the first ship in the 2023-2024 timeframe and anticipate the delivery of the first ship in the early 2030s, with final ship delivery planned for the 2040s.

Third party advisors, contracted by National Defence, have identified the impact of the project schedule on the project cost to be a significant project risk. Accordingly, National Defence is committed to working with the shipyard and the design team to mitigate the impact of project schedule risks on project costs.

National Defence will continue working closely with industry and allies to find efficiencies, best practices, and opportunities to accelerate delivery while ensuring the best value for Canadians.

Part (f)

The Joint Support Ships will provide crucial at-sea replenishment capabilities to the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet, supporting other ships at sea in all areas and types of operations. These ships will have military standard capabilities, allowing the Navy to carry out sustainment activities in high-threat environments while providing Royal Canadian Navy sailors the protection they need when deployed in such environments.

As outlined in Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong Secure Engaged, the fleet size of 15 Canadian Surface Combatants, complemented by 2 Joint Support Ships and 4 Victoria-class submarines, provides the necessary fleet mix and capacity to deploy forces responsively, prepare follow-on forces effectively, and conduct maintenance efficiently.

The two Joint Support Ships will provide the full range of military support requirements at sea that the Royal Canadian Navy needs to conduct and sustain operations at home and abroad.

The Joint Support Ships are being designed and built based on a five-year maintenance cycle where, every five years, the vessel will be taken out of service for extended maintenance. During these maintenance periods, the operational risk of not having a Joint Support Ship available will be mitigated first by utilizing the other vessel and then, if required, by support from Allies through Mutual Logistics Support Agreements.

Part (g)

National Defence anticipates the delivery of the first Joint Support Ship in 2023, with Initial Operational Capability occurring in 2024. The second Joint Support Ship is expected to be delivered in 2025, with Full Operational Capability anticipated for 2026 following successful completion of post-acceptance tests, trials, and support activities, and the transfer of all tools and spares to supporting organizations.

National Defence continues to monitor the project timelines and is working with industry to ensure the delivery of these vessels. To mitigate any potential availability gaps caused by delivery schedule issues, the Royal Canadian Navy will adopt strategies such as smart scheduling of fleet deployments, as well as leveraging support from Allies under a series of agreements.

Inquiry of Ministry

Prepare in English and French Marking "Original text" or "Translation"

Question No.: Q-556

By: Mrs. Gallant (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke)

Date: March 18, 2021

Reply by the Minister of National Defence

Print Name of Signatory: Anita Vandenbeld

Signature: Minister or Parliamentary Secretary: Original signed by Anita Vandenbeld

Question

Mrs. Gallant (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke) — With regard to the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS): (a) what is the full budget for the Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC), including (i) design, (ii) construction, (iii) licences, including intellectual property (IP) licences, (iv) spares, (v) taxes, (vi) contingencies, (vii) any specific infrastructure required for building the CSC in Halifax and all associated costs and considerations; (b) what is the total expected cost or value of the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policies on each vessel built under the NSS, including an explanation of how these costs are calculated and how the ITB costs are validated; (c) what is the list of estimated costs that the ITB policies is adding to each vessel under the NSS, and the summary of any discussion had at the NSS Secretariat, Privy Council Office or at the deputy minister level regarding costs of the ITB policies as it relates to NSS; (d) what is the summary of any analysis conducted on the ITB policies, and a comparison in relation to any similar policy existing in the United Kingdom or in the United States frigate programs; and (e) what is the full costing of the first Arctic and offshore patrol ship, including the cost of (i) design, (ii) IP licences; (iii) construction, (iv) commissioning, (v) taxes, (vi) profit, (vii) contingencies?

Reply: Original text

The Royal Canadian Navy plays a critical role in protecting Canada’s maritime domain and in contributing to international missions with allies and partners.

As outlined in Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, National Defence is committed to modernizing the Royal Canadian Navy by making significant investments in fifteen Canadian Surface Combatants, two Joint Support Ships, and six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.

These investments will continue to assist our shipyards, rebuild our marine industry and create jobs in Canada.

Part a)

The Canadian Surface Combatant project is an integral part of modernizing the Royal Canadian Navy. These ships will replace the capabilities of the retired Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax- class frigates with a more capable class of combat ship which can meet multiple modern threats in complex environments.

The building of a new class of advanced warship is complex. With an estimated project budget range between $56 – 60 billion (excluding taxes), it is the largest and the most complex investment in the Navy since the Second World War.Footnote 1

The project budget includes costs related to design, construction, intellectual property (IP) licences, spares, infrastructure, and contingencies.

The estimated breakdown of Canadian Surface Combatants project costs are found in the table below:

Canadian Surface Combatant Project Costs Budget Breakdown
Ship costs, including the costs of equipment procurement, ship construction and the required licenses to design and build the CSC 65%
Design and project management costs 5-10%
Weapons and infrastructure to support bringing the ships into service (e.g. Jetties, training facilities, test and integration facilities) 10%
Contingency 15-20%

Inquiry of Ministry

Prepare in English and French Marking "Original text" or "Translation"

Question No.: Q-232

By: Ms. Rood (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex)

Date: December 11, 2019

Reply by the Minister of National Defence

Print Name of Signatory: The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan

Signature: Minister or Parliamentary Secretary: Original signed by The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan

Question

With regard to the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) fleet: (a) how many ships were committed in the first phase of the contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (ISI); (b) what are the details of all contracts related to the CSC design, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) vendor, (iv) summary of goods or services provided, (v) file number, (vi) start date and end date of contract; (c) what is the most recent cost estimate for the first three ships as provided to the Assistant Deputy Minister of Defence (Materiel) and the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; (d) what are the specific design changes that are (i) being considered, (ii) being implemented, (iii) expected to increase the size, capacity, speed, and weight of the Type T26 from the original United Kingdom design; (e) who proposed each change and approved the changes in (d)(ii); (f) what was the rationale for each design change; (g) what, if any, are the specific concerns or issues related to costs, speed, size, weight and crewing of the T26 frigate design that have been identified by the Department of National Defence, third party advisors and any technical experts to the (i) Minister of National Defence, (ii) Minister of Finance, (iii) President of the Treasury Board, (iv) Privy Council Office, (v) Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; (h) what were the technical requirements for the CSC; (i) what are the details of any reports from the independent third party advisors related to this project prepared in draft or final form in the past 12 months, including (i) date, (ii) third party advisor name, (iii) summary and findings of report; (j) what is the cost for spares for each of the CSC; (k) what is the cost of infrastructure upgrades for the CSC fleet; (l) what are the details of each contract signed between the government and ISI related to the CSC, including (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number, (vi) start and end date of contract; and (m) what are the details of all briefing documents prepared on this matter, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number?

Reply: Original text

In Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government committed to investing in 15 new multi-role Canadian Surface Combatant ships for the Royal Canadian Navy’s future fleet.

This procurement is the largest and most complex investment in the Navy since the Second World War. The Canadian Surface Combatant will expand the Royal Canadian Navy’s flexibility, global reach, and staying power, allowing it to succeed across a broad mission set, such as combat operations, disaster relief, and defence diplomacy.

As the complexity of naval operations increases in the modern threat environment, the Navy will continue to pursue interoperability with Allied capabilities. Investment in the Canadian Surface Combatant will ensure that Canada’s fleet can work seamlessly with Allies and is positioned to directly leverage these capabilities, increasing its own effectiveness and bolstering credible joint and allied action.

Construction is set to begin in the early 2020s, with the first ship delivery in the mid-2020s. The last ship is expected to be delivered in the 2040s. Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, work is already underway and a ship design has already been selected, based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship.

Part (a)

Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, affirmed the Government’s commitment to replacing the surface fleet with 15 Canadian Surface Combatants. The project is in the Definition Phase, which is focused on refining the ship design. The Implementation Phase will follow. Ship construction contracts over the estimated 20-year build period will be determined during the development and negotiation of the Implementation Contract.

Part (b)

The details of all contracts related to the Canadian Surface Combatant design is provided in the below table:

(i) Date (ii) Amount (iii) Vendor (iv) Summary of goods or services provided (v) File number (vi) Start date and end date of contract
February 7, 2019 $365,500,000.00
(including taxes)
Awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., who in turn awarded a Definition Subcontract to Lockheed Martin Canada. Definition Contract for the design of the Canadian Surface Combatant ship. W847S-150036/001/CSC The contract was awarded on February 7, 2019. Completion dates for these contracts are linked to the completion of the Canadian Surface Combatant design and all contractual obligations.

Part (c)

The Implementation Contract for the construction of the Canadian Surface Combatant ships has not yet been negotiated. Consequently, the ship cost estimates cannot be disclosed, as this would have the potential to adversely impact the Government’s position during the eventual contract negotiations with Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

Parts (d), (e), and (f)

The Government is working with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Lockheed Martin Canada and its design team to modify the selected starting point design of the Canadian Surface Combatant, based on the United Kingdom’s Type 26 ship, to meet Canada’s operational requirements.

There will be minimal design change to the hull, mechanical, and electrical systems from the starting point Type 26 design. Some changes are required to meet unique Canadian requirements, such as the ability to operate the Cyclone helicopter and to meet Canadian environmental considerations.

Differences with the Type 26 combat system will be more extensive since the combat system must meet Canada’s requirements for the specific missions that will be assigned to the Canadian Surface Combatant. The role that the Canadian Surface Combatant will fulfill with the Royal Canadian Navy is quite different than the role the United Kingdom Type 26 will have in the Royal Navy, and differences in the combat systems reflect these required changes.

Part (g)

Specific concerns in the areas asked in the question pertaining to the design of the vessel have not been identified.

Part (h)

Technical requirements for the Canadian Surface Combatant formed part of the Request for Proposals and were included in the Definition Contract for the design of the ship. The Request for Proposals was released to the pre-qualified bidders by Irving Shipbuilding Inc., and it has not been released publicly. Due to the national security sensitivity of the data associated with the technical requirements for the Canadian Surface Combatant, National Defence is unable to release this information.

Part (i)

The Government engaged an independent third party Fairness Monitor, contracted through HKA Global (Canada) Inc., to monitor and report on the fairness, openness, and transparency of the competitive procurement to select the design and design team for the Canadian Surface Combatant. The requested details related to this project are provided in the below table:

Document Type (i) Date (ii) Third Party Advisor Name (iii) Summary and Findings
Fairness Monitor Report 2018 HKA Global (Canada) Inc. Summary of the evaluation phase of the competitive procurement:
  • “It is the professional opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the procurement activities for the Canadian Surface Combatant that took place during Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the evaluation process were conducted in a fair manner. Fairness means decisions are made objectively; free from personal favouritism or political influence; and encompasses the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency, and compliance.”

Part (j)

The cost for spares for each of the Canadian Surface Combatant is unavailable as the sparing requirements for the vessels are dependent on the final ship design. After the Canadian Surface Combatant design is complete, a ship sparing strategy will be developed, at which time a spares cost estimate will be developed.

Part (k)

The cost for infrastructure upgrades for the Canadian Surface Combatant fleet is unavailable as these requirements are currently under review. As the Canadian Surface Combatant progresses through design, specific infrastructure requirements will be developed, at which time infrastructure costs will be refined. The Department of National Defence has estimated that infrastructure will cost approximately 5% of the overall $56-60 billion project budget.

Part (l)

(i) Date (ii) Vendor (iii) Amount (iv) Description of goods or services (v) File number (vi) Start date and end date of contract
February 7, 2019 Awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., who in turn awarded a Definition Subcontract to Lockheed Martin Canada. $365,500,000.00 (including taxes) Definition Contract awarded for the design of the Canadian Surface Combatant ship W847S-150036/001/CSC Awarded on February 7, 2019. Completion date is linked to the completion of the Canadian Surface Combatant design and all contractual obligations.
July 24, 2015 Awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. $136,311,735.91
(including taxes)
Ancillary Definition Support Contract awarded for support services for the Request for Proposal for the design of the Canadian Surface Combatant W847S-150043/001/CSC Awarded on July 24, 2015. The contract is in its closing phase.
June 27, 2014 Awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. $1,395,115.60
(including taxes)
Ancillary Contract awarded to conduct research and do a performance analysis of the degree of potential competition for the future design of the Canadian Surface Combatant W847S-150028/001/CSC Awarded on June 27, 2014 with an end date of September 27, 2014.
October 24, 2014 Awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. $18,604,884.40
(including taxes)
Ancillary Contract 2 awarded for shipyard support services W847S-150026/001/CSC Awarded on October 24, 2014 with an end date of September 27, 2017.

Part (m)

Given the complexity of the Canadian Surface Combatant procurement project, National Defence follows a rigorous, systematic process to ensure that the ships procured meet any capability deficiencies and emerging requirements identified by the Canadian Armed Forces. This ensures that the Royal Canadian Navy remains a first-class navy, ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Through the design-then-build approach, the Canadian Surface Combatant design will continue to be reviewed, refined, and modified to get design and production details right before construction starts. This will also minimize technical risks during the construction phase, and limit cost increases as a result of production errors.

Beginning in July 2019, the Department has begun proactively publishing the titles, dates, and tracking number of briefing material received by ministers and deputy heads, in accordance with recent changes to the Access to Information Act. Any briefing documents that the Minister of National Defence may have received since July 2019, can be found at: https://open.canada.ca/en/proactive-disclosure.

Through routine governance meetings, senior officials with the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces, and other government departments are kept informed on the progress of the design and construction of the Canadian Surface Combatant. These routine governance meetings, which include participation from senior contractor and subcontractor officials, also include programmatic discussion on the Canadian Surface Combatant as a whole. Details of available briefing documents on the Canadian Surface Combatant are provided in the below table:

(i) Date (ii) Sender (iii) Recipient (iv) Title or subject matter (v) Summary of contents (vi) File number
2019 Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) Deputy Minister of National Defence Director General Major Project Delivery (SEA) Project Management Office Canadian Surface Combatant – Outside Canada (OUTCAN) Position for “Liaison Officer” at the Lieutenant Commander level Not available1Footnote 1 MAT2019-1252553
2019 Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) Deputy Minister of National Defence Letter of Interest for the establishment of the Canadian Surface Combatant In-Service Support Working Group Not available1 MAT2019-1228417
2019 Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) Deputy Minister of National Defence Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) Prime Definition Contract Requisition Amendment #1 W847S-1500356 Not available1 MAT2019-1224004
2019 Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) Deputy Minister of National Defence Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) Selection Process and Raytheon Assertions Not available1 MAT2019-1250401
2018 Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) Deputy Minister of National Defence Canadian Surface Combatant Program Management Contract Requisition and Citizenship Letter Not available1 MAT2018-1205969
2017 Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) Deputy Minister of National Defence Canadian Surface Combatant – Request for Proposals Closing Date Not available1 MAT2017-1150662

Inquiry of Ministry

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Question No.: Q-363

By: Mr. Garrison (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke)

Date: January 27, 2021

Reply by the Minister of National Defence

Print Name of Signatory: Anita Vandenbeld

Signature: Minister or Parliamentary Secretary: Original signed by Anita Vandenbeld

Question

With regard to the Royal Canadian Navy’s frigate replacement program and the National Shipbuilding Strategy: (a) how critical is progress on the modernization of the Royal Canadian Navy to the defence of Canada and its allies; (b) what is the status of the Canadian Surface Combatant procurement project, including the (i) timelines, (ii) costs, (iii) target dates for the Royal Canadian Navy to take delivery of the frigates; (c) has the government conducted an inquiry in regards to the management, costs and associated production delays of the Canadian Surface Combatant procurement project and, if not, will the government commit to holding such an inquiry and make the results public; (d) what measures are being taken by the government to make sure that the National Shipbuilding Strategy remains on track to provide Canada’s armed forces personnel with the equipment they need to do their work in a timely and cost-effective manner; and (e) has the government considered appointing a single minister responsible for defence procurement, similar to our allies in the United Kingdom and Australia, in order to streamline military procurement and to provide better accountability to the public and, if not, will the government commit to establishing such a position?

Reply: Original text

The Royal Canadian Navy plays a critical role in protecting Canada’s maritime domain and in contributing to international missions with allies and partners.

As outlined in Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, National Defence is committed to modernizing the Royal Canadian Navy by making significant investments in fifteen Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC), two Joint Support Ships, and six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.

Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, National Defence is investing tens of billions of dollars to renew and modernize the Royal Canadian Navy.

In addition to providing the right ships that meet the requirements of the Royal Canadian Navy now and in the future, the Strategy is helping restore our shipyards, rebuilding our marine industry and creating jobs in Canada.

Part a)

The CSC project is an integral part of modernizing the Royal Canadian Navy. This project will provide the next generation of warships which will ensure the Royal Canadian Navy can address 21st century defence and security challenges. These ships will form the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy, replacing the capabilities of the retired Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax-class frigates with a more capable class of combat ship which can meet multiple modern threats in complex environments.

As a multiple purpose platform, the CSC will be able to deploy across a broad spectrum of missions, with the agility to easily adapt to new missions. The high tech combat-capabilities of the CSC will ensure the Royal Canadian Navy will be able to conduct air, surface, and sub-surface missions simultaneously.

Additionally, the CSC will generate critical supporting effects beyond the maritime domain, such as providing naval support to military forces ashore, and by controlling remotely piloted vehicles to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations or intelligence analysis.

By operating a single class of ship, the Royal Canadian Navy will be able to offer continuous operational capabilities from its bases on either side of the country, in the case a ship becomes unavailable to perform a task.

This modernized fleet will enable the Royal Canadian Navy to continue to protect the sovereignty and security of Canadian’s waters and make significant contributions to international naval operations, now and in the future.

Part b)

The building of a new class of advanced warship is complex. With an estimated project budget range between $56-60 billion, it is the largest and the most complex investment in the Navy since the Second World War.

The CSC project is currently in the Project Definition phase, with progress being made on ship design. Since the design contract was awarded in February 2019 for BAE’s Type 26 design, work is currently underway to amend the reference design to meet the Royal Canadian Navy requirements.

National Defence is making significant progress in advancing the CSC project. We look forward to cutting steel on the first ship in the 2023-2024 timeframe and anticipate the delivery of the first ship in the early 2030s.

National Defence will continue to work closely with our industry partners to find efficiencies and accelerate

Inquiry of Ministry

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Question No.: Q-234

By: Mr. Blaney (Bellechasse-Les Etchemins-Lévis)

Date: November 18, 2020

Reply by the Minister of National Defence

Print Name of Signatory: Anita Vandenbeld

Signature: Minister or Parliamentary Secretary: Original signed by Anita Vandenbeld

Question

With regard to the government's Joint Support Ship program and the report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, dated November 17, 2020: (a) why did the government choose the more expensive option rather than purchase the vessels from Chantier Davie Canada Inc.; (b) why was the estimated savings of $3 billion with the Davie option not the deciding factor in the government's choice not to use Davie; (c) does the government accept the findings of the Parliamentary Budget Officer as accurate, and, if not, which specific findings does it not accept; and (d) has the government conducted an assessment of the capabilities of the Asterix and Obelix as commercial vessels converted for military purposes versus those of the built-for-purpose Joint Support Ship program, and, if so, what were the findings of the assessment, or, if not, why not?

Reply: Original text

Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Government of Canada is currently investing tens of billions of dollars to renew and modernize the capabilities of the Royal Canadian Navy.

This includes the procurement of two new supply ships which will contribute to the Royal Canadian Navy’s ability to be self-sustaining at sea, to establish a persistent presence in Canada’s oceans and abroad, and to refocus rapidly from one type of mission to another.

National Defence remains confident that the Joint Support Ships project will produce the right ship to meet the needs of the Royal Canadian Navy. The process to procure these supply ships continues to be conducted in an open, fair, and transparent manner, and Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards serves as the prime contractor for the two new Joint Support Ships.

The Joint Support Ships, the first of which is currently under construction, will include a suite of specific military-focused capabilities that will enable the Royal Canadian Navy to operate across the full spectrum of military naval operations, including in all threat environments. National Defence looks forward to the delivery of the first ship in 2023 and second ship in 2025.

Part a), b), and d)

The Government of Canada chose the Joint Support Ship’s design through a rigorous interdepartmental selection process based upon affordability, military capability, and risk criteria. Applying previous lessons learned and third party analysis, design options were identified by the project office post 2008.

In 2010, an Advance Contract Award Notice was issued for designs of the Spanish Cantabria Class built by Navantia and the German Berlin Class with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Canada Inc (TKMSC). No other companies responded to this Advanced Contract Award Notice.

TKMSC’s Berlin Class design was ultimately selected. This proven design would then be adapted to meet Canadian requirements.

Many of the capabilities required by the Royal Canadian Navy had to be considered in the ship design and construction stages of the process to ensure a full integration in the ship’s structural design.

This includes specific requirements related to improved damage control systems and system redundancies, as well as security policies for information technology and secure communications systems.

The Joint Support Ship design includes integrated survivability capabilities such as:

The Joint Support Ships will have significant capability advantages as compared to the MV Asterix.

In addition to the integrated survivability systems and self-defence capabilities, these advantages include a hangar, flight deck, and associated networked information system capable of fully supporting two Cyclone CH-148 maritime helicopters, and certified magazines fitted to transport specialized ammunition such as torpedoes.

The conversion of the MV Asterix was always planned as an interim solution to support operations until the delivery of the Joint Support Ships.  It was not designed to operate in high-threat environments. Only a limited subset of required military capabilities were identified by the Royal Canadian Navy for the vessel. This was done in light of the interim nature of the provision of service contract, and was done with full knowledge of the increased operational risk brought-on by an interim solution.

Part c)

National Defence welcomes the results of the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report on the procurement costs of two new Joint Support Ships and always works collaboratively with that office to ensure they have the information required to develop their reports.

As the report notes, National Defence’s cost estimates are in line with the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s independent cost estimates.

The report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer states clearly that his office did not conduct or include a comparative assessment of the military capabilities of the Joint Support Ships and the MV Asterix, and that the report’s findings relate strictly to costs.

National Defence maintains that there is a significant capability gap between the two ships which represents a considerable difference in the financial, operational, and strategic value of each vessel.

The report also assumes that the operational life expectancy of the MV Asterix is 40 years from the point of conversion of the vessel. National Defence asserts that a comprehensive materiel state assessment of the vessel would be required to determine whether this assessment is accurate.

Inquiry of Ministry

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Question No.: Q-433

By: Mr. Blaney (Bellechasse-Les Etchemins-Lévis)

Date: February 22, 2021

Reply by the Minister of National Defence

Print Name of Signatory: Anita Vandenbeld

Signature: Minister or Parliamentary Secretary: Original signed by Anita Vandenbeld

Question

With regard to the Victoria Class Submarines, since 2008 and, broken down by year, except for f, g, l, m, and o:

  1. how much has the government spent to maintain the fleet;
  2. what are the details of each contract amended, including the (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) value of each amendment, (iv) reason for amendment;
  3. what costs have been incurred by the Royal Canadian Navy to run the project office;
  4. what was the cost to conduct independent reviews of the program;
  5. what are the total number of sea days for each boat, broken down by vessel;
  6. what are all risks identified by the government in relation to the upcoming contract tender and the possible award to another company;
  7. what are all benefits and risks identified in relation to extending the current contract by more than one day;
  8. what is the total number of Canadians who have been trained to maintain the submarines under the contract, broken by contractor;
  9. how much was spent on transporting submarines from the east coast to the west coast and back;
  10. how much was spent on submarine spares, broken down by vendor;
  11. how many Canadian suppliers have been created to support the VISSC program, broken down by region and name;
  12. what percentage of the current supply base is outside of Canada;
  13. what are the risks related to accessing support and spares for the Victoria Class Submarines (i) presently, (ii) between 2023 and 2040, and proposed mitigation step for each by the builder and by Canada;
  14. what is the total value of subcontracts awarded to Seaspan and Victoria Shipyards, broken down by the number of workers; and
  15. who maintains the IP for the Victoria Class Submarines and what are the risks related to Intellectual Property for this orphan class submarine?

Reply: Original text

The Royal Canadian Navy’s four Victoria-class submarines – HMCS CHICOUTIMI, HMCS WINDSOR, HMCS VICTORIA, and HMCS CORNER BROOK – are among Canada’s most strategic assets for conducting surveillance of Canadian and international waters. The Submarine Force’s wide-reaching capabilities are also invaluable in meeting Canada’s international objectives and supporting NATO Allies.

Part c)

The Project Management Office for the Victoria-class submarines is responsible for developing and delivering maintenance and modernization projects associated with the fleet.

The Project Management Office for the Victoria-class submarines is comprised of multiple government stakeholders such as National Defence and Public Services and Procurement Canada. The project office is led by National Defence through the Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel).

Within National Defence, the Royal Canadian Navy plays a supporting role to the project office for the Victoria-class submarines by defining the strategic environment, identifying operational requirements, and developing business cases for maintenance and service projects.

National Defence searched its Defence Resource Management System for expenditures incurred by the Royal Canadian Navy in support of project management for the Victoria-class submarines since 2008, and found $6,258,632 in expenditures.

These expenditures were for travel and activities in support of life extension and modernization work of the Victoria-class submarines which included conducting studies, contracting technical assistance and consulting services, and engaging with government stakeholders, industry partners, and allies. Expenditures are broken down per year in the table below. 

Victoria-class submarine costs incurred by the Royal Canadian NavyFootnote 1, Footnote 2

2010 $64,342
2011 $510,313
2012 $318,721
2013 $1,222,423
2014 $39,121
2016 $11,260
2017 $19,958
2018 $3,225
2019 $1,741,295
2020 $995,096
2021 $1,332,879
 

Part e)

Submarines operate in an unforgiving environment. This requires a rigorous materiel certification process to ensure the safety of the crew and the submarines.

As is true of any class of submarine, the Victoria-class submarines achieve effective fleet capability and material certification through regular and cyclical maintenance periods which form an essential element of the operational cycle of the submarines.

In 2018, Canada’s submarine fleet entered a planned period of rest, reconstitution, and maintenance designed to transition the fleet into a more sustainable maintenance cadence, where submarines are operational for nine years, followed by a three-year deep maintenance period.

This transition necessitated additional maintenance activities which resulted in longer maintenance periods for the Victoria-class submarines. These longer maintenance periods also created the opportunity to modernize and upgrade these vessels, ensuring that the Royal Canadian Navy is able to patrol Canada’s maritime borders and conduct operations abroad, now and in the future.

Maintenance program delays unexpectedly extended these periods into 2020. Additionally, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has furthered these delays. The dockyards were able to resume work at a reduced pace by mid-June 2020 under safe and secure conditions.

National Defence is making significant progress in the maintenance schedule of its Victoria-class submarine force. The breakdown is as follows:

Details of the number of days spent at sea since 2008 for the HMCS VICTORIA, HMCS WINDSOR, HMCS CORNER BROOK and HMCS CHICOUTIMI are provided in the table below.

Calendar Year - Sea Days

Submarine 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021Footnote 3 Sub Total
HMCS VICTORIA 0 0 0 28 157 155 72 19 0 0 0 0 9 15 455
HMCS WINDSOR 0 0 0 0 12 109 49 174 122 12 115 0 0 0 593
HMCS CHICOUTIMI 0 0 0 0 0 0 45 83 7 151 37 0 0 0 323
HMCS CORNER BROOK 93 112 79 75 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 359
Total 93 112 79 103 169 264 166 276 129 163 152 0 9 15 1730
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