CSC Contender 2018
© 2018 FrontLine Defence (Vol 15, No 5)

Led by Lockheed Martin Canada as the Combat Systems Integrator (CSI), this team includes BAE Systems Canada contributing the Type 26 Global Combat Ship design, with support from other well-known Canadian companies and subsidiaries including CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA and Ultra Electronics.

Lockheed Martin Canada’s experience with Canadian warships extends more than 30 years to the original Halifax Class ship program in the 1980s. In 2007/8, LM Canada was selected as CSI for the Halifax Class Modernization (HCM) project for the upgrade and life extension of the current 12-ship frigate fleet, which was completed on-time and on-budget – a rare feat in defence procurement.

For HCM, LM Canada worked closely with Irving and the RCN to replace major sensors, command and control systems; modernize the operations room; and deliver a suite of simulation and other training systems. LM Canada currently employs over 1000 people across Canada, with major offices in Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary and Victoria.

LM Canada has stated that they expect their historical job creation metrics can be used as an indicator of job creation potential when scaled to the size of CSC. On the Canadian Patrol Frigate program, the total job creation, inclusive of their extended Canadian supplier base, was over 124,000 person years. These jobs covered the period from 1983-1997 and represent a combination of direct program jobs, indirect program jobs, and spin-offs.

In their opinion, the experience gained from these programs enabled their Canadian-based CMS solution to be leveraged in winning the highly competitive program to upgrade the New Zealand ANZAC-class frigates being completed at the Seaspan Shipyard, as well as the modernization of Chile’s Type 23 frigates. They have also leveraged this solution to support development of the CMS for command and surveillance purposes on the AOPS project.

As stated by Gary Fudge, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Canada’s Rotary and Mission Systems: “We selected the Type 26 not only because of its modern design, adaptability, low acoustic signature and 3D modelling toolset, but also because the Type 26 requires minimal overall change to meet the unique needs of the Royal Canadian Navy.”

Fudge also promotes the fact that the Type 26 would be excellent in an anti-submarine warfare role as it is designed to be extremely quiet. The vessel also has room to future modernization, he added.

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) design will definitely be the most modern of the three designs submitted, given that its hull has not yet hit the water. BAE is under contract in the UK for an initial build of three Type 26 vessels, with the first to be handed over by the contractor in 2025. In addition, the Type 26 design was selected this past summer for a planned nine frigates for Australia’s SEA 5000 Hunter-class program. Anne Healey, BAE Systems country director Canada, noted that this decision “validates that the Type 26 is the most capable anti-submarine warship in the world.”

Artist rendering courtesy of Lockheed Martin Canada

The Commonwealth connection is seen as an important one by the team. Theirs is the only submission entirely under the purview of the Five Eyes (the intelligence alliance that comprises Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States).

“Our Canadian ship will benefit from lessons learned on the UK and Australian programs,” says Healey. “The advanced schedule of [these] programs presents significant opportunities for all three countries, as well as enhancing the strategic benefits of Five Eyes intelligence cooperation.”

This team has been working together for four years to deliver its final design proposal. Fudge says they are “ready to begin building the new Royal Canadian Navy fleet on Day 1. And on that journey, we’ll be leveraging innovation and talent here at home that will result in unprecedented economic benefits for Canada.”

However, there are many appealing factors to the Type 26 design, and the timing of the UK’s GCS and Australia’s new Hunter-class program (announced in June) could prove an advantage. With the GCS being 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 1000 specialized personnel working on the program. In terms of its appeal to Canada, BAE is pushing the fact that theirs will be the most modern design available and the only design purposely built for high-end anti-submarine warfare.

The Type 26 design criteria reportedly includes multi-role versatility, flexibility in adapting to future needs, affordability in both construction and through-life support costs, and exportability, factors which at face value should be appealing to Canada.  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 the initial purchase costs low.

BAE’s original working baseline for GCS reportedly involved a 141m, 6,850t ship, but reductions in target cost led them in 2011 to scale down to a displacement of 5,400t, length of 148m and maximum beam of 19m. The Type 26 crew size has been reported as 118 or 130 and additional berths to accommodate up to 72 embarked troops. The flexible design allows for adaptation of a range of weaponry and sensors and new technology upgrades. The stern has a mission bay for deployment of rigid-hulled inflatable boats, unmanned surface vehicles or a towed array sonar. The flight deck can accommodate the landing of a heavy lift helicopter such as the Chinook.

The ship will use a CODOG (Combined Diesel Electric or Gas Turbine) propulsion system, with a 36MW MT30 turbine from design partner Rolls-Royce, unspecified MTU diesel generator sets, and a gear box via David Brown Gear Systems Ltd. Similar to AOPS, GE will be the overall integrator for the diesel-electric system. 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 can include a 127mm gun (some reports suggest it has an edge over the Oto Melara) for the Maritime Indirect Fire System requirement. The new MBDA/Thales CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile) will replace the Seawolf system for short-range 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. For the UK build, the UK Ministry of Defence has reiterated that the ship would have a mission bay for “unmanned air, surface and underwater vehicles, or additional boats.”

If chosen, the Lockheed-BAE team, which is making $17 billion in value proposition commitments to Canada, reportedly will commit to spending billions in innovation across Canada’s priority areas, including $2 billion in supplier development and $2 billion in research and development, and $200 million in advanced manufacturing.

This team has been building and developing its supply chain for several years, connecting with many different suppliers across Canada. An official backgrounder says the Team’s collective Canadian supply chain extends to approximately 4,000 contracts across the country.
Any of the teams will successfully modernize Canada’s seagoing capabilities, but Lockheed is convinced its proposal will gain a significant edge in terms of its focus on “enriching the economy and competitiveness of the nation at home.”

With Lockheed’s proven track record in Canada, and its HCM experience in particular, this team is seen as a very strong contender.

The question is, will this bid nudge out the others?