Canada Navy Canada Surface Combatant (CSC) Program

Nilgiri

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Context: Type 26 was selected (as basis for CSC) but now the program cost is being reviewed and newer+cheaper (incl. off the shelf) tenders could be invited again by year-end or next year.

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The news concerning this context really picked up before this forum started so I forgot to bring it up earlier...but now the deadline approaches for the reports findings (Oct 22nd) on cost analysis w.r.t other frigate options (or options for the Type 26 negotiation itself).

Due to Corona economic downturn and added budgetary pressure from that expected to last for quite a number of years....I would not be surprised if the tender is scrapped and a new off-the-shelf frigate is picked (without much consideration given to reduction in capabilities etc) to reduce (immediate) costs and time.

I say this especially given the precedent of how Canada under two successive govts handled the F-35 program and then superbug "re-analysis" (with even rafale/EF considered too and then dropped) and now three way between F-35, superbug and gripen ref: https://defencehub.live/threads/rcaf-legacy-hornet-replacement-program.1649/#post-12219

Contact of mine will likely be part of team that argues in favour of Type 26 reduced long term costs (crew operation needs, integration and logistics/maintenance needs factored in) on top of the extra unmatched (though ambitious) capabilities it affords compared to anything else in the field....I will keep you guys updated should that proceed there with anything he may be able to share to open domain. Unfortunately given corona-stasis, Canadian DND is lot more opaque than usual about timeframes governing this is my understanding....this probably means lot of political commitees will overlook everything in the coming months.
 

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The recent confirmation that the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) will conduct and deliver yet another report on the mounting costs of Ottawa’s preferred bid winner for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program in October 2020 could lead to a reversal of course on this slowly evolving program.[1]

The PBO has already issued two reports on CSC costs, and the latest one is unlikely to reassure those who think that Ottawa is backing the wrong horse. Why? Because the coming update will likely show that the CSC program will now cost in excess of $70 billion in current year funds. The initial June 2017 PBO study, “The Costs of Canada’s Surface Combatants,” estimated the total CSC costs to be $61.82 billion. In the same year, the Department of National Defence (DND) revised its original 2008 estimate of $26.2 billion to $56-60 billion. The PBO updated its initial report in June 2019 and pegged the revised CSC costs at $69.8 billion.[2]

Moreover, the fall report will also include costing of two other, more economical, warship options to be constructed by foreign shipbuilders. The British Type 31 frigate will be built for the Royal Navy as a lower cost complement to the Type 26 frigate. Italy’s Fincantieri Marine recently won the contract to build a variant of its FREMM frigate under the US Navy’s FFG(X) program. In December 2017, Ottawa rejected an offer from Fincantieri to build 15 frigates in Canada for a fixed price of $30 billion. The PBO will likely report that both the Type 31 and the FREMM are much cheaper options than the Lockheed Martin Canada Type 26 CSC currently under negotiation by Ottawa.

The new PBO report will come at a bad time for both the navy and the prime contractor, Irving Shipbuilding. Ottawa is currently looking for ways to pay for the massive relief programs launched to help Canadians weather the storm unleashed by the global Covid-19 pandemic and to help the national economy to recover. In this context, the prospect of paying for a bloated ship replacement program is unlikely to resonate positively with the federal cabinet. And concrete evidence from the PBO that there are cheaper options to the Type 26 available may be all that our politicians need to start a serious rethinking of the CSC program in its entirety.

Canada does not need the latest and greatest frigate available on the market, especially a design that will be pushing the technological envelope in some high-risk areas like an untested phased array radar system.

Canada is now facing the new reality of defence budgetary constraints and steadily rising costs of naval weapons systems. It is not alone in this respect as all major navies are now exploring ways to replace high-cost surface combatants with cheaper alternatives.

What Canada does require are greater numbers of sufficiently capable – and financially affordable – warships to protect Canadian interests at home and abroad. It does not need a floating Potemkin Village.

References
  1. David Pugliese, “PBO to examine $60 billion price tag of new warships and compare to other less expensive foreign programs”, Chronicle Herald, (8 August 2020).
  2. See, Canada, Parliamentary Budget Officer, “The Costs of Canada’s Surface Combatants”, (1 June 2017), and “The Costs of Canada’s Surface Combatants: 2019 Update”, (21 June 2019). The latter report attributed to cost increase to the inflation costs of a later construction start date (still to be determined in ongoing contract negotiations), and Ottawa’s selection of a larger ship design.
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The comments on the page are also worth reading for Canada defence/navy watchers.

@ANMDT @Waz et al.
 

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Two reports by the parliamentary budget officer looking into the costs of major Canadian naval equipment projects have been delayed.

The Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates had unanimously passed a motion in June to request the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer undertake a costing analysis of the Royal Canadian Navy’s new joint support ships as well as the leasing of the Asterix supply ship from a private firm. The PBO study was to also look at the cost of building the joint support ships in Canada at Seaspan shipyard in Vancouver. The committee asked that the PBO report be provided by Oct. 15.

Another motion from the committee, passed later in June, asked the PBO to examine the $60 billion price tag of Canada’s proposed new fleet of warships – the Canadian Surface Combatant or CSC. Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux was tasked to investigate the cost of the CSC as well as examine the cost of two other types of warships: the FREMM and the Type 31. That study was supposed to be presented to the committee by Oct. 22.

But those original motions from the committee expired when Parliament was prorogued. So new motions have to be provided to the PBO.

The Commons committee passed a new motion on Oct. 19 on the Asterix and Joint Support Ship analysis. That analysis is to be delivered by Nov. 30, PBO spokeswoman Sloane Mask told this newspaper. A date for the analysis to be made public has not yet been determined.

“Currently, we are also in the process of confirming the revised timelines for the CSC report,” she added.There is particular interest in the defence community about what the PBO determines is the current price-tag of the Canadian Surface Combatant project.

Last year the Liberal government signed an initial deal on CSC that is expected to lead to the eventual construction of 15 warships in the largest single government purchase in Canadian history. Lockheed Martin offered Canada the Type 26 warship designed by BAE in the United Kingdom.

Irving is the prime contractor and the vessels will be built at its east coast shipyard.

Construction of the first ship isn’t expected to begin until the early 2020s.

But the Canadian Surface Combatant program has already faced rising costs. In 2008, the then-Conservative government estimated the project would cost roughly $26 billion. But in 2015, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, then commander of the navy, voiced concern that taxpayers may not have been given all the information about the program, publicly predicting the cost for the warships alone would approach $30 billion.

The overall project is currently estimated to cost around $60 billion. “Approximately one-half of the CSC build cost is comprised of labour in the (Irving) Halifax yard and materials,” according to federal government documents obtained by this newspaper through the Access to Information law.

But some members of parliament and industry representatives have privately questioned whether the CSC price-tag is too high. There have been suggestions that Canada could dump the Type 26 design and go for a cheaper alternative since the CSC project is still in early stages and costs to withdraw could be covered by savings from a less expensive ship.

Canada had already been pitched on alternatives. In December 2017, the French and Italian governments proposed a plan in which Canada could build the FREMM frigate at Irving. Those governments offered to guarantee the cost of the 15 ships at a fixed $30 billion, but that was rejected by the Canadian government.

The other type of warship the PBO will look at is the Type 31, which is to be built for the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. Those ships are to cost less than $500 million each.

In 2017, then Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Fréchette estimated the CSC program would cost $61.82 billion.

The entry of the BAE Type 26 warship in the Canadian competition was controversial from the start and sparked complaints that the procurement process was skewed to favour that vessel. Previously the Liberal government had said only mature existing designs or designs of ships already in service with other navies would be accepted on the grounds they could be built faster and would be less risky. Unproven designs can face challenges if problems are found once the vessel is in the water and operating.

But the criteria was changed and the government and Irving accepted the BAE design, though at the time it existed only on the drawing board. Construction began on the first Type 26 frigate in the summer of 2017 for Britain’s Royal Navy.
 

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do we have the final spec of this ships already??

I heard the baseline model will be a beast with
-AN/SPY-7
-CMS-330
-24xVLS for surface strike (900km LRASM or 1500km Tomahawk)
-48 cell for Sea Ceptor
-1x127mm
-2xPhalanx
-2x30mm autocannon
-3x324mm torpedo

very interesting, will be one of the most heavily armed surface combatant in the next 20 years, can't wait to see these fine boats in service on their respective navies.
 
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do we have the final spec of this ships already??

If type 26 is indeed proceeded with as the basis after this cost review...we will have it then....maybe next year sometime. For time being we can assume very close to type 26 overall given lockheed martin design negotiation went quite quickly.

Right now the final design (phase 3) is still ongoing.

Phase 4 will be design freeze and final construction contract awarded and construction commences at Irving (likely 2023) etc.
 

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If type 26 is indeed proceeded with as the basis after this cost review...we will have it then....maybe next year sometime. For time being we can assume very close to type 26 overall given lockheed martin design negotiation went quite quickly.

Right now the final design (phase 3) is still ongoing.

Phase 4 will be design freeze and final construction contract awarded and construction commences at Irving (likely 2023) etc.
2023??? wow that's a very long time.
 

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2023??? wow that's a very long time.

Yeah they were aiming initially for 2022 start date for construction (given that would mean less cost for the shipbuilder and program in the end as it would not have to layoff people when deWolf contract is completed in 2022 there) but I have a nagging suspicion it will slip into 2023 given this cost review and earlier govt shutdown/lethargy due to corona crisis....let's see.
 

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Yeah they were aiming initially for 2022 start date for construction (given that would mean less cost for the shipbuilder and program in the end as it would not have to layoff people when deWolf contract is completed in 2022 there) but I have a nagging suspicion it will slip into 2023 given this cost review and earlier govt shutdown/lethargy due to corona crisis....let's see.
Canada (and the Indo-Pacific country as a whole) should find a way to churn out ships at breakneck speed considering the threat posed by China, 3-4Years building a Frigate is awfully long time to wait.
 

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Canada (and the Indo-Pacific ) country as a whole) should find a way to churn out ships at breakneck sped considering the threat posed by China, 3-4Years building a Frigate is awfully long time to wait.

As a whole and in general, Canada is very used to piggybacking off USA for major geopolitical threat like China now (and USSR during coldwar).

This is why this cost exercise is even being done with an eye to reduce the total cost by half from 60 billion to 30 billion...and why even type 31 is being looked at too (alongside the FREMM option if they are still good for the price offered).

Canadian economy really is going to take a hit for a while....and most debt spending is to help recover that stuff....so defense they are going to tighten the belt somewhat..and it could mean a few delays.

However as far as halifax replacement goes, it is still on schedule because the CSC program was started somewhat earlier (as part of current govt shipbuilding strategy election promise in 2015) ....since halifaxes need replacing from about 2030 onward given their upgrade program they got recently. So it is thankfully not issue of mismatch of forced retirement and creating some large temporary stranded capability void etc due to replacement delay.
 

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Canada is pursuing a single class of 15 surface combatants for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), unlike some of its allies who are building multiple classes of more specialized ships. A single variant Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) is better than the project’s original vision of two variants based on a common hull (the first a task group command/air-defense version, the other a more general-purpose/antisubmarine warfare version). While all naval force structure is essentially driven by national strategic defense and security interests, a single-class solution is based on three principal factors.

First, it fits best for Canada’s unique naval requirements shaped by its geography, modest fleet size, and the RCN’s operational needs. Second, it optimizes effectiveness now and into the future, while responsibly seeking maximum cost efficiencies. Finally, it is an innovative approach that has only recently become both practical and advantageous because of recent technological developments, such as convergence and digitization.

(more at link)
 

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The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency has informed Congress on Nov. 5 that Canada will be buying 100 SM-2 Block IIIC air defense intercetors.


The sales includes 100 MK 13 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) and it will cost $500 million for Canada.

The SM-2 Block IIIC has an active homing seeker from the SM-6 ERAM missile.

What is interesting is that the Block IIIC will have an anti-ship capability.



The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notification says Canada intends to use the missiles on the new Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) ships, which is based on the BAE System Type 26 frigate.


The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Canada of Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) Block IIIC missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $500 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Canada has requested to buy one hundred (100) Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) Block IIIC missiles; and one hundred (100) MK 13 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) (canisters modified to employ the SM-2 Block IIIC missile). Also included is obsolescence engineering; integration and test activity associated with production of subject missiles; canister handling and loading/unloading equipment and associated spares; training and training equipment/aids; technical publications and data; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated program cost is $500 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of Canada, a NATO ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress and a contributor to military, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations around the world.

This proposed sale will provide Canada with SM-2 Block IIIC missiles for installation on its planned 15 Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) ships, ensuring its ability to operate alongside U.S. and Allied naval forces against the full spectrum of naval threats. Canada will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal U.S. contractor will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, AZ. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s).

Implementation of the proposed sale will require U.S. Government and contractor personnel to visit Canada on a temporary basis in conjunction with program technical oversight and support requirements, including program and technical reviews, as well as to provide training and maintenance support in country.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

 

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CSC-latest-configuration-Royal-Canadian-Navy.jpg



(More at link)
 

Madokafc

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Canadian Navy had long habit to prolong or put into dormant program in Naval shipbuilding, to not my liking at all. Well, don't know why they can't act more decisively like their Australian cousin. Come on they should be more responsible to guard the GIUK gap
 

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Canadian Navy had long habit to prolong or put into dormant program in Naval shipbuilding, to not my liking at all. Well, don't know why they can't act more decisively like their Australian cousin. Come on they should be more responsible to guard the GIUK gap
Actually year by year we can see an optimization which a good thing for unified bulk acquisition. They have combined needs of two different classes and molten it into one, and i liked the new ships except of the missing CIWS (Phalanx like) with an independent FCR /EO.
This will remarkably lower maintenance and training costs.
And halifax class still has some lifetime left, no reason to rush to replace those.
 
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Actually year by year we can see an optimization which a good thing for unified bulk acquisition. They have combined needs of two different classes and molten it into one, and i liked the new ships except of the missing CIWS (Phalanx like) with an independent FCR /EO.
This will remarkably lower maintenance and training costs.
And halifax class still has some lifetime left, no reason to rush to replace those.

How about Iroquis class replacement program? They should be under the umbrella of what to replace Halifax class too right?
 

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How about Iroquis class replacement program? They should be under the umbrella of what to replace Halifax class too right?
I always assumed Halifax to have 16-MK41 VLS for sea sparrow and it can fill the gap of destroyers temporarily, apparently there was not.
From that point of view there isn't any ships for Air-defense missions at the moment.
 

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How about Iroquis class replacement program? They should be under the umbrella of what to replace Halifax class too right?

CSC replace both iroquois and halifax. 15 ships to replace 4 + 12.

I always assumed Halifax to have 16-MK41 VLS for sea sparrow and it can fill the gap of destroyers temporarily, apparently there was not.
From that point of view there isn't any ships for Air-defense missions at the moment.

Yes this was RCN inertia from cold war ending and thus going into more niche role in NATO....with frigate only.

More support role basically....further entrenched in the thinking of future conflict being like WoT by US or stuff Canada not interested in backing at all like Iraq War.

Then China emerged big + Russia emerged more again and so now there is more pressure to again have more standalone capability without say USN and RN force collab.
 

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From humanitarian assistance to high-intensity conflicts, the Royal Canada Navy's future fleet will perform a wide range of missions requiring advanced technology and multi-role versatility. Lockheed Martin's latest generation SPY-7 radar and Canadian-developed Combat Management System (CMS 330) will form the backbone of the Canadian Surface Combatant. Under a contract awarded by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in September 2020 for the SPY-7 radar system, CSC will have the capability to keep Canada's sailors safe and prepared in the face of modern threats.

"We optimized the CSC ship design with this particular radar to ensure the Royal Canadian Navy can fulfill a variety of missions with its flexible architecture," commented Gary Fudge, vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary and Mission Systems. "Partnering with our teammates, Lockheed Martin Canada has also begun the technology transfer of selected components of the radar system to Canadian suppliers for design, construction and implementation. The work in Canada will open doors to a new export market for local industry, producing high value jobs in Quebec and across the country through subcontractors and suppliers involved in the production."

Canada has secured the world's most versatile radar technology to deliver an integrated fire control system. SPY-7 is a modular and scalable solid-state radar that provides continuous surveillance, protection, and an exceptionally accurate threat picture to its operators. Its scalable, open architecture enables the flexibility to fulfill a variety of missions and expand its capabilities while its modularity provides for ease of maintenance at sea. With planned deployment on more than 24 platforms across four countries, SPY-7 leverages 50 years of continuous evolution and innovation of the U.S Navy's Aegis Combat System.

Lockheed Martin has a trusted history of producing, integrating and delivering radars and combat management systems for land, air, undersea and sea-based mission sets. The core building block of the radar (called the "subarray suite") chosen to protect Canada has been directly leveraged from U.S. Government programs and investments. Spain has also selected SPY-7 for its future frigates and Japan has selected SPY-7 for continuous protection of its homeland.

In addition to sustaining long-term, high-value jobs, this contract strengthens interoperability and partnership with the U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian Navy. Forming the backbone of Canada's future fleet, the SPY-7 radar and CMS 330 Combat Management System will support and protect the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy for the next 40+ years.
 
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