National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy
NSPS Warship Design
Jul 15, 2015

Canadian Surface Combatant Project

In FrontLine’s May/June (CANSEC) edition, we delved into the progress by Government and Industry on recapitalization of the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet through the NSPS projects, including the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship, the Joint Support Ship Projects, and the related in-service support activities (which some say is where the real money is). Our article put some focus on the centerpiece of NSPS – the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) Project – and examined the Government’s methodologies for (a) delivering on these projects, and (b) applying its Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) program to NSPS projects.

Canada's last destroyer HMCS Algonquin
Canada’s last destroyer (HMCS Algonquin was paid off in June 2015), HMCS Athabaskan (shown here firing its 76 mm gun during an Op Caribbe training exercise in May) is now alongside in Halifax after continued engine and another technical problems. The question now is whether to spend resources on further maintenance or find interim solutions. (Photo: Cpl Anthony Chand, Formation Imaging Services)

In this article, we will update on the progress of the CSC procurement including the on-going Request for Response for Evaluation (RFRE) process, and look in detail at the potential candidates that are vying for the coveted role of Warship Designer (WD). A subsequent edition will examine the options for Combat Systems Integrator (CSI) for the CSC project. Some information has been withheld to shield the commercially sensitive status of ongoing negotiations between companies and potential suppliers.

CSC Procurement Process
The Government intends to conduct the CSC pre-construction activities in three phases. At the end of Phase 1, Canada will award a design contract to the Prime Contractor, Irving Shipbuilding Inc, who will in-turn award sub-contract(s) to the CSI and WD. In Phase 2, Canada, Irving, and the chosen CSI and WD, will align the requirements with the budget. Phase 3 will see completion of the design; competitions to select systems/sub-systems, services and equipment; and negotiation of the build contract with Irving. On completion of Phase 3, Irving will be awarded the Implementation Contract, and construction will commence.

As most readers are aware, the first step in Phase I is the RFRE process to develop a pool of “Short Listed Respondents for each of the two streams – Warship Designer and Combat System Integrator. The overarching requirement for the WD is to demonstrate, through project references, the ability to deliver a preliminary design for a warship over 90 m. This preliminary design must include surface to air missiles, surface to surface missiles, 57mm or larger gun, all with control systems; a fire control system supporting the surface to air and surface to surface missiles and the gun system; Long range and/or medium range radar, and interrogation friend-or-foe (IFF) systems to support surveillance and missile/gun, complete with control system; a hull mounted sonar or towed sonar array; torpedoes with the handling systems; and a hangar and flight deck for at least one maritime helicopter.

The reference project contract(s) must demonstrate that the potential WD was responsible for leading the creation or development of the preliminary design and the contract(s) must have been either a prime contract issued by a government customer, or a sub-contract issued by a government customer’s prime contractor.

Similarly the CSI bidder must have designed, integrated and delivered the command and control software, networked processing and display technology, and the Above Water and Under Water Warfare suites including all the combat systems listed above in the WD criteria, for a surface combatant of at least 90 metres. The CSI reference project contract(s) must also demonstrate that the bidder was responsible for leading the work of the design, integration and delivery of the Warfare Suite work.

July 2015 – Enhanced Naval Boarding Party from HMCS Winnipeg approaches a merchant vessel in the Mediterranean Sea to conduct a maritime situational awareness to inform the crew about NATO Operation Active Endeavour during Op Reassurance. (DND Photo: Cpl Stuart MacNeil)

It should be noted that Government has made it clear that the North American Free Trade Act and the World Trade Agreement on Government Procurement do not apply to the CSC Project and the competitions for WD and CSI streams are limited to companies from NATO countries, Australia and New Zealand.

The draft RFRE was published in mid-May and many expected the final to hit the street within 4 to 6 weeks. Predictably, this process was delayed as the Crown asked for feedback and met with companies that had self-identified as interested in bidding. Issues were raised around the definition of a short listed respondent being a single legal entity, which in effect means that teaming to qualify for this lucrative contract (which has always been allowed and even encouraged in the past, and more particularly in the framework of the new Value Proposition and ITB policies), would be verboten for CSC. Security clearance requirements also needed clarification.

The end result was a delay in the release of the final RFRE until 10 July, however, it was worth it as the document appears to addressed most of those concerns through the inclusion of an expanded list of definitions and giving foreign companies who do not yet have a Canadian subsidiary the green light to participate in the RFRE. Notwithstanding these improvements, the requirement for a Respondent to be the “single legal entity” that meets all the evaluation criteria for the stream in which they wish to compete, still stands.

The down-select process to reduce the field to those actually capable of delivering on the required CSC capability, closed on 7 August. There is an expectation that the “short list” of qualifiers will be announced in late September. In October, the classified requirements should be released through a “Reading Room” process (invitees get access to project documents for a set period of time; they can take notes but cannot photocopy or photograph the docs); the draft RFP will then be released in October/November; and the final RFP in February/March 2016, with bids due sometime in June/July. If there is no fall-out from the upcoming federal election in October, Phase I will be completed with the award of WD and the CSI contracts in early 2017.

As far as In-service support (ISS) for CSC, the Government stated in the RFRE that: “the overall strategy to acquire In-Service Support for the Canadian Surface Combatant will be determined as the project continues through the Project Definition Phase when In-Service Support requirements can be more accurately determined and will continue during the Project Implementation Phase. In accordance with NSPS, In-Service Support requirements will be subject to the Government of Canada’s normal procurement practices.” At this point, it should be noted that ISS for AOPS and JSS will be covered by a specific acquisition process (AJISS: AOPS & JSS ISS project); the same might apply to CSC.

The Government’s May update had stated that the RFP documents will be prepared either by Irving or the Crown. Critics point to this as further indication that the Government has devolved the whole procurement process to Irving. Similarly, companies interested in the WD contract have also voiced concern that as soon as they have completed the initial design package, their contract with Irving will be terminated. With no in-house design capability for such a job, Irving would have to subcontract a foreign firm (as it did on AOPS with OMT), and that raises the intellectual property issues. Given the other rumour of the month, that the Irving family will sell the shipyard business in Halifax to US interests (Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company) at some point down the road, the Government of the day may be faced with another decision to block the sale for national strategic reasons, similar to the situation in 2008 when the sale of the space technology division of Vancouver-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to a U.S. firm was vetoed.

CSC Warship Design Bidders
Now on to the real meat of the matter. As FrontLine sees things, eight ship designs could potentially meet the CSC project requirements. Keep in mind that the RCN has been very tight-lipped about defining the specifics of these requirements.

One unofficially-stated RCN requirement is for CSC speed of up to 30 knots, however this may be unrealistic and costly – as few, if any, existing designs can achieve it. The Navy will probably have to accept a trade-off of speed versus size and tonnage.

The four front-runners, in no particular order, are the Odense Marine Technologies (OMT) Iver Huitfeldt class already in service with the Royal Danish Navy; the BAE Systems Type 26 Global Combat Ship; the DCNS FREMM already in service with France, Morocco and Egypt; and the Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems F125 design. Additionally, Vard, formerly STX Canada and now a Fincantieri subsidiary, is promoting the Italian FREMM design. Potential candidate number six is the Dutch Air Defence and Command Frigate built by Damen Schelde Shipyards for the Royal Netherlands Navy. Spain’s Navantia and possibly Daewoo round out the possible contender designs (if Daewoo can circumvent the NATO requirement).

FrontLine did a short survey of potential WDs and CSIs in mid-June and looks here at the potential designs and each company’s aspirations. Read on...

Danish Iver Huitfeldt Frigate
Odense Maritime Technologies

The Danish Iver Huitfeldt Class frigate is one of the four serious contender designs. The Niels Juel, delivered to the Royal Danish Navy (RDN) in August 2014, is the third and last of the Iver Huitfeldt Class of large frigates which, along with two similar Absalon Class combat support ships, will make up Denmark’s primary naval force for the next three decades.

Image by FLVFOT – Danish Defense

Ship designer Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) is a spin off from the Lindo Shipyard, which was owned and operated by AP Moeller Maersk. In 2010, when the shipyard closed, OMT was created as a new independent design and engineering company. The company says all 150 of its designers and naval architects were a part of the Royal Danish Navy’s Absalon and Iver Huitfeldt frigate programs.

OMT markets both naval and commercial designs, build strategies, manufacturing and production efficiency (automation) to international ship owners, shipyards and other navies.

In the 80s Denmark needed to replace several classes of ships. With a constricted fiscal budget and an uncertain future, the RDN pursued a new approach that allowed warships greater supportability and flexibility. The new modular mission payload approach to their warship design, known as Standard Flex (STANFLEX), created the multirole Flyvefisken Class ship.

Some of the STANFLEX modules are used in the Niels Juel, but the Danes brought the concept to the next level with new modularity based on 10" and 20" ISO racks to simplify in-service support requirements. As a result, platform maintenance can be separated from payload maintenance. The RDN takes advantage of this as platform maintenance can be done at civilian shipyards while weapons and sensors are preferably dismounted and maintained in its Naval workshops during dry-docking.

The RDN has stated that its in-service support philosophy increases the operability by 20%. When considering the long-term maintenance expenses and days sailing, four modular ships can do the tasks of five traditional integrated warships.

According to OMT, commercial components are used where possible, without compromising warship capability. Below the main deck, the ship’s design is largely commercial, having been designed by Maersk, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, with a focus on efficient, robust designs that are easy to maintain. For example, commercial components may be secured in shock mounted racks to meet military standards. The three Iver Huitfeldt Class frigates are all shock tested in accordance with NATO STANAG 4137.

OMT believes it has incorporated the best from both the naval and merchant worlds in its hull design by combining a wide beam design for stability with energy efficiency and sea keeping performance. It is open to future upgrades and choice of weapons and sensor systems. The wide beam design is also an advantage in the building phase, as it provides easy access in dedicated cable and piping spaces, which reduces building cost.

The Niels Juel is 6600 GRT and 138 metres in length, which is comparable to the CSC high-level requirements that were briefed by the RCN in August 2014. Powered by four diesel main engines driving two shafts in separate engine rooms, it reaches a max speed of 29+ knots. The weapons are in modular units, with extra space for four TEU shipping containers for additional mission fits.

The Danish Navy operates the ship with a crew of 116 with a total of 167 bunks for mission fit, training staff and other requirements. Applying commercial shipbuilding principles to military shipbuilding reduced the cost to build just the platform (not including combat systems) was $150 million USD.  The Danish Acquisition Logistics Organization (DALO) cost to build has been quoted as $395M, which is more economical than expected.

The Niels Juel and her sister ships are fitted for sophisticated combat and communications suites. A tour of Niels Juel during its visit to Halifax showed that the ship was designed to carry standard missiles. OMT is supported by DALO; Capt(N) Per Hesselberg and Cdr Arne Drygaard were present when the Niels Juel ­visited Halifax in November 2014. The company has offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and Canada (Ontario and Nova Scotia).  OMT’s Vice President Business Development is Mr. Kevin Pitt, based in Toronto.

For the WD stream, OMT is expected to respond to the RFRE with their Iver Huitfeldt design and indicated it will work with Irving, being the prime, and any defence contractor taking on the CSI role.

Iver Huitfeldt Class ships, designed by OMT. (Photo Courtesy of FLVFOT – Danish Defense)

Good design notwithstanding, to be competitive, OMT will have to invest in a large engineering and design footprint in Canada, which they seem very hesitant to establish at this stage.

Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS)
BAE Systems

Another front-runner design is the BAE Systems Type 26 Frigate. This design resulted from the Royal Navy’s desire in the late 2000s to replace its existing fleet of Type 22 Broadsword Class and Type 23 Duke Class frigates with two new ship classes under a program known then as “Future Surface Combatant” (FSC). As recommended in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the FSC’s C1 (T26) and C2 (Type 27) tentative variants were merged into a single Type 26 GCS Class.

The “Assessment Phase” of the Type 26 from the initial conceptual design to detailed specifications was initiated in March 2010, and was conducted under a joint programme between UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and BAE Systems. In February 2015, BAE announced that the UK Government had awarded them an £859 million “Demonstration Contract” for the next phase of GCS development.

The UK Demonstration Contract builds on the Assessment Phase and took effect on 1 April 2015, marking the next significant stage of the programme to support progression towards the manufacturing phase, which is expected to begin in Glasgow in 2016. It will involve more than 30 companies in the maritime supply chain and will enable the investment in essential long-lead items, including equipment such as gas turbines, diesel generators and steering gear for the first three ships, as well as the creation of shore-based testing facilities.

Artistic rendering of BAE’s Type 26 GCS, with mission bay close-up. (Images courtesy of BAE Systems)

Appealing to Canada, the Type 26 design criteria reportedly includes low signature characteristics (designed for ASW), multi-role versatility, flexibility in adapting to future needs, affordability in both construction and through-life support costs, and exportability. In reality, these requirements represent a set of key trade-offs. Some can be complementary, such as cost and exportability. Other pairings usually come at each other’s expense, such as the desire for high-end multi-role capability within a small ship footprint, versus the desire to keep initial purchase costs low.

The basic GCS frigate has a flexible design that will to allow adaptation of a range of weaponry and sensors and new technology upgrades. The stern has a mission bay which allows deployment of rigid-hulled inflatable boats, unmanned air, surface and underwater vehicles. The flight deck design allows landing of a heavy lift helicopter such as a Chinook. The first ships of the Type 26 Class are due to enter service in the early 2020s, and Britain envisions procuring 13 of them. The current Type 26 plan involves 5 basic frigates, and another 8 ships with additional anti-submarine warfare (ASW) equipment.

Artistic rendering of BAE’s Type 26 GCS, with mission bay close-up. (Images courtesy of BAE Systems)

The Type 26 crew size has been reported as 118 or 130 and berths to accommodate 36/72 embarked troops. Current plans state a top ship speed of 28+ knots, with 60 days endurance and a range of 7,000 miles/ 11,000 km) at normal steaming speed of 15 knots/ 28 kmh.

The Type 26 armament will include a 127mm gun, where according to Jane’s, BAE’s Mk 45 Mod 4 has an edge over Oto Melara for the Maritime Indirect Fire System requirement. The new MBDA Sea Ceptor weapon system, which uses the CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile), will replace the current Seawolf system and provide local area air defense. CAMM/FLAADS-M benefits from carrying an active radar seeker, reducing the need to rely on a ship’s own radar illumination for targeting during saturation attacks.

BAE Systems has expanded its footprint in Canada since NSPS became a reality, and continues to do so. BAE Systems Canada intends to bid on the CSC with an offer based on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship design described above.

Ms. Anne Healey, BAE’s general manager of group business development for Canada, noted at the Battle of the Atlantic Gala dinner in late April that the company has a successful track record of bringing Canadian firms into its global supply chain. She also mentioned that over the past five years, BAE has worked with 270 Canadian firms and invested more than $250 million with domestic companies. Ric Elkington who joined BAE Canada in a Naval Ships, Business Development role has lead on the CSC Project. Dr Llyr Jones, Vice President Latin America and Canada, visited Ottawa during CANSEC and has the lead in the UK office for oversight of the CSC opportunity.

Artistic rendering of BAE’s Type 26 GCS, with mission bay close-up. (Images courtesy of BAE Systems)

As far as the RFRE process goes, BAE Canada’s approach appears to be to bid both the WD and CSI streams. They have also indicated they would be pleased to work in cooperation with Irving and a separately chosen CSI.

The fact that a single hull has yet to be built may be a negative, however, there are many appealing factors to the Type 26 design, and the timing of the UK MoD Global Combat Ship program could prove an advantage. With the GCS program only about four years ahead of the Canadian procurement schedule, Canada could potentially benefit from the most modern warship design and leverage the live team of about 1,000 specialized personnel working on the program.

French FREMM

In comparison with other contenders, DCNS and BAE are probably the only companies with proven ability to design and build warships as well as develop and integrate complex combat systems. DCNS claims that modern warships are so complex that the platform and on-board systems are closely inter-related, thus both capabilities and expertise (WD and CSI) must be mastered to successfully develop and build such a ship – the company is clearly positioning itself on both the WD and the CSI streams.

As compared to the BAE Type 26 which is a paper ship, four French FREMM new-generation stealth frigates are already at sea. The Aquitaine, the lead ship of the class, was commissioned in the French Navy almost two years ago. The Mohammed VI (FREMM type) was delivered to the Royal Moroccan Navy in January 2013. More recently, the Normandie was put to sea for a series of trials and was expected to be handed over to the French Navy at the end of 2014, but was instead sold to Egypt so the ship could enter service as the Tahya Misr and be a part of the recent opening ceremony of the Suez Canal extension. Builder DCNS has been training the Egyptian crews since March 2015. Finally, a fourth unit, the Provence has been commissioned last June.

France’s total order of 11 vessels includes two variants: an Area Air Warfare and Missile Defence version (AAW) and an Anti-Submarine Warfare variant (ASW). The French FREMM program was developed to replace three classes of frigates and destroyers (two ASW and one AAW) with a versatile vessel covering the full spectrum of operations at sea (AAW, ASW, ASuW) including maritime security missions, task group command, and contributing to both force protection operations and power projection missions with cruise missiles.

The French Navy’s key operational requirements included: reliability and improved maintainability; high survivability (stealth platform directly inherited from La Fayette Class and its successors), countermeasures, redundancies, strengthened architecture; adaptable design to facilitate the incorporation of future capabilities and upgrades; and low through-life support cost.

The FREMM are 142m in overall length and 20m wide with a displacement of just over 6,000t. The ship’s base complement is 108 thanks to a highly automated platform and optimized crew workload. The reduced crew size cuts the operating costs of the vessel in comparison with older frigates by 50% or more. However, there is adequate space on board to increase the crew size to meet the RCN’s needs.

French FREMM under construction at DCNS shipyard in Lorient. (Photos courtesy of DCNS)

The ASW variant of the FREMM, already at sea, can deploy 16 short-range anti-air ASTER15 missiles and 16 MDCN cruise missiles from MBDA, designed to be launched from SYLVER vertical canisters. On May 19th, FREMM Aquitaine became the first European surface ship to fire a cruise missile. FREMM is also equipped with the lightweight torpedo system MU90, which is the preferred choice by first rank navies. The performance of the active and passive towed sonars is fully exploited due to the qualities of quietness of the hull. The main caliber artillery is a 76mm gun, but the ship has been designed to accommodate a 5-inch gun, more suitable for naval fire support. The main propulsion is high-performance hybrid CODLOG (COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas), such a solution being both fuel efficient and flexible and allows for very silent speed capabilities for ASW. The vessel’s design incorporates wide lower-deck passageways, specific doors for equipment access and maintenance, as well as longer and higher engine rooms. A great deal of effort was put into the design to enhance operational availability.

For the AAW variant DCNS intends to use the new 4 fixed panel multifunction Sea Fire 500 radar from Thales France, along with up to 32 long range anti-air ASTER 30 missile. Their dedicated rooms and communication systems for accommodating a naval task group staff makes these frigates strong candidates to contribute to the future NATO BMD architectures. In fact, DCNS has recently been selected as part of a multinational consortium led by the U.S. Company Leidos.

DCNS claims the sea-proven FREMM design is easily customizable to Canadian-specific requirements such as speed and installed power, accommodations, endur­ance, different systems, etc. A lengthening of the hull is also contemplated.

French FREMM "Normandie" undergoing sea trials. (Photos courtesy of DCNS)

With the creation in March 2012 of a representation office in Ottawa, then in April 2014 of a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary, DCNS Technologies Canada, DCNS is firmly established in Canada. Olivier Casenave-Péré, in Ottawa, is the company’s senior representative in Canada. As witness to the seriousness of DCNS’ intent, the company has conducted a survey of Tier 2/3 suppliers and has modestly expanded its Ottawa office with several new staff. Depending on the evolution of the CSC project, DCNS intends to develop its footprint in Canada up to the creation of a Canadian Naval Systems Integration Center, as announced by its former CEO in late 2013. According to Casenave-Péré, DCNS is eager share its unique expertise as a Combat System Integrator and whole warship integrator with the Canadian market and Canadian businesses.

Blohm+Voss F125
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS)

TKMS rounds out the top companies with contender designs. The company has a history with the Canadian procurement system in that, in November 2006, Public Works and Government Services announced that the TKMS Canada Inc. team was selected to receive a contract for the Project Definition Phase of the Joint Support Ship project. This contract required TKMS to submit proposals by mid-March 2008 to design and build the ships and provide long-term in-service support. As we all know, that project was cancelled. However, after a re-start of the project, the German Berlin Class design offered by TKMS was chosen for the JSS Project and will be delivered by Seaspan Vancouver.

With the designs of the Blohm+Voss Classes 124 and 125 frigates, TKMS has two strong CSC candidates in its portfolio, but it appears that the Class 125 stabilisation frigate design is more likely the basis for the offering for Canada. Now under construction for the German Navy, the TKMS website says it has been designed “for sustained littoral presence for the stabilisation of crisis regions.”

Three German F124 Area Air Defence frigates, designed by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (Photo courtesy of TKMS)

The ship reportedly has enhanced command and control, boat, helicopter and shore bombardment capabilities for the support of Special Forces amphibious operations. The vessel can embark four large, fast RHIBs, 50 Special Forces, and two 20ft containers and it has palletized cargo routes for efficient replenishment and rapid operational disembarkation. Incorporating all of the tough survivability features of its predecessors (123 and 124 Classes), the 125 introduces the ‘two island’ concept, whereby critical engineering sensors and effectors are split between separated superstructure ‘islands’ forward and aft, allowing the ship to continue to fight even after severe damage. In the German design, main propulsion comes from two MTU 20 V 4000 Diesels, one GE LM2500 Gas Turbine, and Controlled Pitch Propellers.

The 125 Class logistic engineering support will enable the ship to remain on station in a distant theatre of operations for up to two years without base or dockyard maintenance. In this concept, the core crew of 120 is rotated while the ship remains in theatre. This approach may be of interest to the RCN, given that there have been crew swaps conducted for deployed Halifax Class frigates in recent years.

The F125 comes in a bit larger than the average, being quoted as 149.0m length overall, displacement 7100t, beam 18.8m, and draught 5.0m. Size may be impacting the top speed – 26 knots and range 4,000 nm at 18 knots. More space and weight reserves will, on the other hand, support the necessary adaptations to the design due to the RCN requirements.

Peter Strodt is the Chief Operating Officer of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Canada Inc. in Ottawa.

Although TKMS is keeping its cards close to its chest, it is apparent that the TKMS pedigree as CSI and WD would allow them to apply for both roles in the CSC competition.

Italian FREMM
Fincantieri / Vard Marine

Fincantieri is positioning for selection as the WD for CSC by offering a design based on the Italian FREMM. Vard Marine, a Canadian subsidiary that is part of the Fincantieri Group, will provide design services to assist in modifying the reference design to meet Canadian requirements.

Italian FREMM Fincantieri/Vard Marine (Photo by Filippo Vinardi)

Vard Marine Inc. is a ship design and marine engineering company providing solutions for offshore and specialized vessels such as offshore support, subsea construction and naval vessels as well as ferries and passenger vessels. Vard Marine’s parent company, Vard Group AS, is headquartered in Norway and majority owned by Fincantieri. With 10,000 employees, Vard operates 10 shipbuilding facilities: five in Norway, two in Romania, two in Brazil and one in Vietnam. In 2014, it purchased STX Marine, which has offices in Ottawa, Vancouver, and Houston Texas.

Vard Group AS also provides a wide range of supporting services including ship design, marine electronics and electrical systems, equipment packages and support for all aspects of the shipbuilding process. In Canada, Vard Marine Inc. offers such services as part of their product range.

Fincantieri / Vard Marine has stated that, as a potential Tier 1 supplier, it has several ship designs that could be used as the starting point for CSC, depending on Canada’s requirements. The 6,500-tonne Italian Navy Bergamini Class FREMM was put forward in response to the recent RFRE and, based on publicly-available information on the Navy’s needs, appears to be a good match as a design reference point for further evaluation.

Italy’s FREMM purchase commenced in May 2006 with the award of a contract for the first two Italian FREMM frigates. A second batch of four was ordered in 2008, three of which are to be primarily for ASW. Units 7 and 8 were ordered in 2013, followed by an order for units 9 and 10 in April 2015. The first Italian frigate was launched in July 2011 and delivered in May 2013. Deliveries of the Italian FREMM are expected to be concluded by 2021.

Spain’s F-100 Class Air Warfare Destroyer Alvaro de Bazan, a Navantia design. (RAN Photo: Leading Seaman Nina Nikolin)

Using Vard’s connections with Canadians suppliers, academic institutions and other stakeholders, they expect to offer an extremely strong value proposition to provide long-term benefits to the Canadian Maritime sector.

Mr. Dave McMillan is president of Vard Marine in Canada and Mr. Lucas Maglieri is Fincantieri’s representative in Canada. Vard Marine Canada currently employs approximately 90 engineers, naval architects and ship designers. They anticipate hiring additional staff depending on the scope of the project.

F-100 Frigate

Navantia, the Spanish shipbuilder, 100% owned by SEPI (Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales), a publicly owned but Government controlled organization, also has some history with Canadian government contracts. They were involved in the early JSS activities and were awarded a contract “to conduct risk reduction studies to ascertain the feasibility of adapting these designs to meet Canadian requirements, to provide the historical cost of building these [JSS] ships, and to deliver a proposal for the development of suitable modifications to their respective designs and the delivery of a data package for use by a Canadian shipyard to build the ships, a technology transfer agreement and the right for Canada to use the design and all data for the construction, use and in-service support of these ships.”

Navantia designed and built the F-100 Alvaro de Bazán Class frigates (5 units) for the Spanish Navy, and is proposing it as a base design for CSC. The Australian Warfare Destroyer, currently under construction, is also based on the F-100 design, but the RAN project is reported as having significant challenges with cost overruns.

The F-100 is advertised as a multipurpose, medium-size ocean escort vessel with excellent performance in all sea states. It is reportedly capable of operating as a flagship of an allied fleet and in support expeditionary of forces. Its air warfare capability incorporates the Lockheed Martin Aegis system linked to SPY-1D (V) radar giving it the capability to detect and handle up to 90 targets simultaneously up to a distance of 600 km.

HNLMS Tromp, designed by the Damen Schelde Group

New Spanish sensors and weapons are integrated with the Aegis System by means of a new version of CDS developed by Navantia-FABA Systems. It also employs the new IPMS developed by Navantia-FABA Systems. Powered by Navantia / Caterpillar Bravo 16V propulsion engines, it has retractable bow thrusters for ship manoeuvring. The fifth F-100 frigate, built in 2012, incorporates new solutions and technology that will fulfil the most demanding challenges for present and future threats.

Dimensions of the F-100 comes are similar to other contenders – 133.2m at the waterline and having a full load displacement of 6041t. Its maximum speed is 28.5 knots and cruising speed is 18 knots, with an endurance of 4500 nautical miles. The relatively large crew size of 234 is a more traditional crew size and is more in keeping with RCN expectations and requirements.

Navantia maintains a very low profile in Canada, meaning they have invested nothing in terms of establishing a project office, and thus do not appear to be taking it as seriously as other firms like DCNS and BAE. Their lead official is Emiliano Matesanz, Commercial Area Director, who resides in Spain. In Canada, they employ Wade Konecsni as a business development consultant on a part time basis. They have attended DEFSEC and CANSEC trade shows in the past, but other than that have not been very visible in the Ottawa defence industry scene. Their RFRE intent is likely as a Warship Designer only.

Air Defence and Command Frigate
Damen Schelde Group

The Dutch Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding Group specializes in the design and construction of naval vessels and complex commercial vessels. With over 125 years of industrial and shipbuilding history, the Royal Schelde shipyard has been involved in many projects for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s new surface combatants and support ships. Damen promotes the idea of building vessels in local shipyards. From 2002 to 2005 they delivered 3 vessels to the Royal Netherlands Navy, including HNLMS Tromp. These frigates appear to meet the needs of the RCN in many areas. The hull form is 144.2 m LOA and can attain speeds up to 29 knots using a CODOG propulsion system – 2 Rolls Royce Spey SM1C Gas Turbines and 2 Wartsila Diesels. The ship has a flight deck and hangar capable of carrying an NH 90. Command Systems and APAR Radar are by Thales and the vessel is fitted with 40 VLS cells capable of launching the Evolved Sea Sparrow or Standard Missiles. Main armament also includes Harpoon and the 127 mm Oto Melara Gun. The Goalkeeper Close-in Weapons system and ASW torpedoes are also fitted. The standard crew size of 220 is in line with current RCN thinking.

Damen has kept a very low profile and little is known of their intentions for involvement in the CSC project. There are some who would put them in the list of top four contenders for WD. Reportedly they have good working relationships with Irving. If they are interested they can be expected to bid as a WD only.

DW 3000H
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) unveiled a new frigate concept, the DW 3000H, at the Defense & Security Trade Show in Bangkok, Thailand in 2012, as a multi-role frigate with a focus on anti-submarine warfare (ASW). It is believed that a relationship between Daewoo and Alion Science and Technology may pass the NATO requirement, and Alion has indicated an interest in participating in the WD stream of the RFRE.

Primary weapon systems in the DW 3000H are a single Oto Melara 76 mm gun in a stealth turret, an eight-cell vertical launch system for surface-to-air missiles (very likely the ESSM, eight surface-to-surface missiles), most likely American-built Harpoons or the equivalent Korean-built SSM-700K in two quad launchers located amidships, two 30 mm MSI DS30 guns fitted atop the hangar deck, and a Phalanx close-in weapon system that is mounted one deck higher. A pair of decoy launchers is also fitted. The ASW suite comprises two triple-torpedo tubes in enclosed recesses on the main deck level as well as what appear to be two anti-torpedo decoy launchers mounted atop the hangar deck. A hull-mounted sonar is fitted in a retractable sonar dome, though it is not clear if a towed array system is fitted. The frigate can accommodate one helicopter in the hangar.

DW 3000H designed by Daewoo.

The DW 3000H comes in at 114 meters, with a beam of 13.8 m, depth of 8.2 m, draft of 3.9 m, and 3,000 ton displacement. The frigate’s propulsion system is a combined diesel and diesel arrangement driving two controllable pitch propellers for a top speed of 28 knots. To improve sea keeping characteristics, the hull has a pair of adjustable fin stabilizers and two pairs of bilge keels (strakes running along the length of the hull). This vessel design has been criticized as too slow and too small to meet RCN requirements.

In common with other contemporary warship designs, the DW 3000H features an integrated mast – Thales’ I-Mast 500 most likely fitted with ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile) uplink/control capability. Fire-control equipment includes a forward-facing gunfire-control director – a Thales Sting – atop the bridge house and a rear-facing Thales MIRADOR electro-optical director atop the helicopter hangar.

Alion Science and Technology has 2,700 engineers world-wide, and has established Alion-Canada as a wholly owned subsidiary which currently employs 12 Canadians and an additional 30 equivalent full-time to staff requirements on current projects.

Alion-Canada is a Tier 1 supplier to Seaspan Vancouver Ship Yard under their Non-Combatant NSPS agreement.

Alion has plans to invest in growth in Canada to create a permanent consulting engineering capability to meet current and future project needs, including the CSC project. This plan includes using Alion’s global client-base to grow consulting engineering exports from Canada to support any IRB/ITB obligations that may result from NSPS programs.

The President of Alion-Canada Corporation, Stacy Mendler, is also the Chief Operating Officer of Alion Science and Technology. Bruce Samuelsen, a Senior Vice President in Alexandria, Virginia, oversees Alion-Canada operations. Russ Peters, the Manager of Alion-Canada, is located in Kanata, Ontario.

While the WD competition is a relatively open playing field with 4 or 5 very strong bidders providing good quality platforms for the RCN to consider.

As far as design, it can be reasonably assumed that whatever the final CSC design might be, it will be largely chosen by Irving Shipbuilding with the support of staffs outside Canada. The Iver Huitfeldt design is one of the forerunners for selection, given the Government’s satisfaction thus far with OMT’s work on AOPS. However, there are some concerns that the ship is too commercial in construction and may not meet the rigours of warship operations in the North Atlantic.

On the other hand, BAE has a design that should meet RCN requirements for a vessel capable of sustained operations in the North Atlantic. They are making major commitments in staffing their Ottawa office and preparing to take on the role of WD and possibly CSI. The award of the Demonstration Contract by the UK Government to BAE is a very positive indicator and will get the attention of the Canadian Government officials.

DCNS is certainly pushing hard with the Ottawa office. Recent visits by RCN to the DCNS shipyard in Lorient may also have proved useful. The French FREMM design, the most modern presently at sea, has good design potential that meets many of the RCN’s requirements. Positioning itself as both CSI and WD, DCNS may prove to be the major rival to Lockheed Martin for CSI. Having a sea-proven and ITAR-free solution at hand will be key assets in its favour.

With a hull and capabilities that appear to meet RCN requirements, the Damen Air Defence and Command Frigate may well be the dark horse in the WD race, although the company’s very low profile makes a detailed assessment difficult.

TKMS and Navantia may be long shot contenders for a project the size of the CSC, where managing subcontractors will be a major undertaking requiring significant investment in Canada. The Daewoo design is considered a very long shot in terms of its ability to meet Canadian design requirements and deliver on resources required to manage and build such a vessel in Canada.


We went to print with a review of what we knew at the time to be the eight potential designs for the CSC project. We have since discovered a possible ninth design contender – a frigate-sized vessel from the American Shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries. In our next edition we will include an overview of what we believe to be the basis of HII’s RFRE proposal, a naval variant of the U.S. Coast Guard’s new Legend Class National Security Cutter. 

In our next edition, FrontLine will look at the CSI contenders. Lockheed Martin Canada is considered the front-runner for that contract, provided it’s not handed to a company that proposes both a WD and a CSI solution. Following that, we will look at the importance of the overall supply chain to the CSC project as the smaller companies position themselves as suppliers to the winning design/delivery team. We will also profile a number of the suppliers who may figure in the outcome and how they are faring while navigating the shoals of CSC procurement.

© 2015 FrontLine Defence



A very concise report outling the top contenders for Canada's naval future. It is also paramount to consider an afordable yet still robustfleet mix that recognizes the evolving new threats and technical challenges that are fast upon us.
I am in way close in pretending to being an expert in naval affairs ....but I do read history and am more than aware of our geography, our allies, the RCN's strategic place in it.
I believe that the future fleet should consist of 2 fleet AOR's /2 light AOR's /4 6,000+ t onne ADF's./....12 3000+tonne DDE's, 9 SSK, and 24 OPV's.
The CCG retaining the ice breaker cap.