Response to guest editorial: NSS Progress and Perspectives
Posted on Jan 25, 2021

Regarding the guest editorial by Tim Addison in the last edition of FrontLine Defence, entitled: NSS Progress and Perspectives

Mr. Addison’s suggests that Canadian parliamentarians, decision-makers, and interested stakeholders should “exercise caution when considering future PBO Reports on other National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) programs, including the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC).” Unfortunately, burying our heads in the sand won’t make the problem go away.

Analysis has shown that Canada's Surface Combatants are expected to cost nearly three times as much as is the U.S. government’s acquisition of its Navy Constellation (FFG-62) ships (formerly FFG(X)), and will take Canada three times as long to do so. The Constellation Class ships are multi-mission guided-missile frigates currently under development for the United States Navy.

Surely, we can and must do better.

The forecasted costs for the CSC ships are over $200 billion throughout their life-cycle. Can the government afford this price tag? If not, prudence demands that it immediately begin to examine alternatives in order to ensure that an affordable alternative is provided to our Navy.

– Alan Williams is a former ADM(Mat) at the Department of National Defence.