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Industry briefing questions Ottawa’s choice of guns, defence systems for new frigates

Industry briefing questions Ottawa’s choice of guns, defence systems for new frigates

The Department of Countrywide Defence has confronted some tricky, pointed issues about whether it has picked out the ideal radar, principal gun and close air defence techniques for the navy’s new frigates, which will soon strike the drawing board.

An unsolicited defence market slide deck presentation, obtained by CBC News, queries each and every of these crucial factors in the prepared $60 billion modernization of the fleet.

It was circulated previously this yr and set in front of the senior federal officials in cost of the program.

The defence industry briefing presentation points out that the Lockheed Martin-designed AN/SPY-7 radar system — an current, more advanced model of an existing U.S. armed service method — has not been set up and qualified on any warship. A land-dependent model of the method is being made and fielded for the Japanese authorities.

The briefing phone calls it “an unproven radar” process that will be “high priced to assistance,” and claims it will come at a overall cost tag of $1 billion for all of the new ships, which the undated presentation describes as “an unneeded expenditure.”

Lockheed Martin Canada and British-dependent BAE Programs Inc. ended up picked earlier this 12 months by the Liberal government to design and enable make 15 new warships to replace the country’s present patrol frigates — the spine of the navy.

Outdated guns, insufficient defence devices?

The briefing raises worries about DND’s decision of a most important gun for the frigates — a 127 millimetre MK 45 explained by the briefing as 30-year-aged engineering that will quickly be out of date and cannot fire precision-guided shells.

The briefing also singles out as insufficient the Sea Ceptor close air defence technique, which is intended to shoot down incoming, ship-killing missiles.

Specified the Canadian government’s past missteps with military procurement — acquiring used devices or opting for developmental systems that just take decades to get into support — a defence pro explained the caution getting expressed by the field now is respectable, but in some respects it can be coming several years too late.

“You can find a hazard at any time you try to do some thing new for the initial time,” mentioned Dave Perry, an analyst who specializes in procurement at the Canadian International Affairs Institute.

The navy struggled for several years to get 2nd-hand British submarines up to Canadian specifications. The air drive also sat on its hands even though the producer of the CH-148 Cyclone helicopters labored out all of the developmental bugs.

The presentation, Perry stated, fundamentally attempts to re-litigate conclusions produced by federal officers about 3 several years in the past, when the government’s request for proposals was mapped out.

‘The ship has sailed’

“This is calling into dilemma no matter whether the government established down [technical] markers in an acceptable spot or not,” he stated. “There is usually the likelihood that these issues can be revisited, but I consider at this level the ship has sailed due to the fact a levels of competition was operate, it did develop a favored bidder.”

The tension to get the new frigate style right is great, provided the huge cost involved and the transforming mother nature of warfare, Perry added.

The briefing presentation apparently was circulated by a rival radar-maker which was not element of the bidding course of action. Federal officers declined to title the company.

Raytheon Canada Ltd. and its U.S. dad or mum are amid the greatest electronics and radar producers in the earth. A ask for for comment sent to their intercontinental organization division went unanswered very last 7 days.

‘We did our homework’

The concerns in the briefing were being offered past summertime to: Pat Finn, former head of materiel at DND Andre Fillion, the assistant deputy minister of defence obtaining at Community Products and services and Procurement Canada and Rear Admiral Casper Donovan, the navy’s director basic for “upcoming ship functionality.”

DND confirmed the existence of the briefing presentation but refused to say who gained it or which defence contractor was pushing it.

“It is not unheard of for businesses to present unsolicited product to our office when they are unsuccessful in a aggressive approach,” spokesman Andrew McKelvey reported lately.

“We do not comment on these unsolicited paperwork as they are presented outside the house the scope of our founded procurement process.”

Both the section and the commander of the navy stand driving the decisions that had been made and the units preferred for the new frigate.

“We did our research. We talked to other navies. We engaged our allies,” explained Vice-Admiral Artwork McDonald, who included DND was aware of other options on the current market.

Offering the warships on timetable and on finances in the mid-2020s is a constant preoccupation in the section, he stated. He would not say whether the decision of radar process may well indicate a hold off in shipping.

A senior executive at Lockheed Martin Canada stated the firm’s radar process is equivalent to one picked by the U.S. governing administration and other nations around the world.

Significantly of the system’s hardware, and some of its application, have been employed on U.S. Aegis-type guided missile destroyers and cruisers. The variation involving the radar technique picked for Canada’s frigates and standard units is in its array: the Lockheed Martin system sweeps all-around and above the vessel, relatively than only horizontally.

“The function that stays is to combine it into the ship and integrate it into the ship’s battle program,” reported Gary Fudge, normal supervisor and vice president of Lockheed Martin Canada.

“We labored for two yrs with BAE in the course of the proposal stage to optimize the ship design with this individual radar.”

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