(Volume 25 Issue 3)
By David Pugliese
There’s a good chance that this year’s CANSEC will be easily dominated by companies hoping to sell naval defence products to Canada.
With the federal government’s shipbuilding program in full swing – and a number of related major projects waiting in the wings – potential suppliers for the Royal Canadian Navy can use CANSEC 2018 as the premier vehicle to highlight their systems.
The defence and security trade show will be held this year on May 30-31 at its usual location at the EY Centre, near Ottawa’s international airport.
The future prize of Canada’s naval defence procurement is unquestionably the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC), a $60 billion project estimated to provide years of work for as many as 80 domestic companies and whichever consortium is selected as the winning team.
Many of those firms will be highlighting their potential role in CSC at CANSEC 2018.
Three bids have been submitted to the Canadian government and Irving Shipbuilding for the CSC program.
Among the formal bids is the one from Lockheed Martin Canada, who will be the prime on the team that includes BAE Systems, CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA, and Ultra Electronics.
The team is offering the BAE Type 26 warship for the Canadian program.
The proposal includes Lockheed Martin Canada’s combat management system, CMS 330, which is currently on board the modernized Halifax-class frigates. A scaled down version of the system will be used on the Royal Canadian Navy’s new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship fleet.
At its CANSEC 2018 booth, Lockheed plans to have a large-scale model of the Type 26 on display, company officials say. The firm sees the Type 26 as very low risk and is adaptable to accept various systems including the CMS 330.
Lockheed’s CSC team will also be emphasized at the trade show. CAE is involved in training, MDA has engineering and manufacturing capability, Ultra provides underwater warfare systems and L3 has a range of defence and electronic products.
In addition, Canadian companies such as W.R. Davis Engineering in Ottawa, Rolls-Royce in Peterborough and L3 MAPPS in Montreal have already begun work on delivering high-technology systems for the UK’s Type 26.
Alion Science and Technology, along with its subsidiary Alion Canada, submitted their proposal based on the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën Air Defence and Command (LCF) frigate. That frigate is a proven NATO vessel built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding.
Underlying the Alion offering is its focus on affordability, risk reduction and Canadian content, grounded in nearly 50 years of experience designing and producing combatants.
Alion’s combat system solution to be highlighted at CANSEC 2018, is based on the world-class capabilities of ATLAS-Elektronik and Hensoldt Sensors. ATLAS brings a renowned open architecture Combat Management System that readily accepts new and evolving technologies, officials with the team point out. Hensoldt’s capability and experience in developing and fielding state-of-the art radars was central to meeting the unique Canadian requirements with a fielded, non-developmental radar. Other key suppliers for the team include L3 Technologies Canada, Raytheon Canada Limited, DRS Technologies Canada Limited (DRS TCL) and Rheinmetall Canada Inc.
ATLAS- Elektronik Canada of Victoria, BC is also promoting its SeaSpider system, which can be offered to the RCN as an Anti-Torpedo-Torpedo. The company points out that SeaSpider is the world’s first dedicated Anti-Torpedo-Torpedo (ATT) and is capable of being used to counter threats against submarines or ships. It can operate in both deep and shallow water; the company also points out that the weapon system is deliberately designed to be affordable for navies in procurement and operation.
Navantia of Spain is leading a team that includes Saab Australia and CEA Technologies. Its proposal is based on the F-105 frigate design, a ship in service with the Spanish navy.
Saab, which would provide the combat management system, has support on the CSC program from Lockheed Martin (Moorestown, New Jersey), General Dynamic Mission Systems - Canada, DRS Technologies Limited Canada, OSI Maritime Service and Rheinmetall Canada, according to Navantia.
Fincantieri of Italy and Naval Group of France offered Canada the consortium’s FREMM frigate design. But the firms did not submit a bid to Irving via the CSC procurement process. Instead the companies made their proposal direct to the Canadian government, noting that they could save significant amounts of money because their ship is in production and the production costs are well established. That proposal was rejected by the Liberal government.
Naval Group (formerly DCNS) nonetheless continues to maintain a significant presence in Canada.
Davie Shipbuilding and its affiliate Federal Fleet Services have had a run of successful ventures to highlight at CANSEC 2018.
Their Project Resolve, the program to provide an interim refueling and supply vessel for the Royal Canadian Navy, rolled out without any hitches.
Canadian sailors have trained on the Motor Vessel (MV) Asterix and a crew provided by Federal Fleet Services will operate the 26,000-tonne Asterix. Navy personnel will be on board to handle maritime operations such as refueling warships at sea.
By the time CANSEC 2018 has started the Asterix will already be accompanying Canadian warships on international operations, with preparations for addition missions such as the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific exercise scheduled to start in July.
As of press time, the companies are also in negotiations with the federal government about a plan to convert several former oil industry vessels into icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard.
Under the proposal the icebreakers, originally built for Shell and other companies for use in Arctic operations, would be brought to Davie shipyards for upgrades to allow them to be used by the Coast Guard.
MV Aiviq, Polar-class icebreaker, was originally built in the US and the other three, built in Norway, are considered medium icebreakers.
If the deal goes through expect it to be a highlight at CANSEC 2018.
Irving will soon be unveiling the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), an opportunity for some CANSEC exhibitors to point out their achievements on the project. GE’s Marine Solutions business in Peterborough, Ont. has a multi-year contract with Irving to provide electrical power, propulsion systems, installation and commissioning services for the AOPS. GE’s power and propulsion systems will position the new vessels amongst the highest performance in their class worldwide, company officials point out.
CANSEC exhibitor Seaspan Shipyards is riding high on its successful launch of the first large vessel to be designed and built under the Canadian government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. OFSV1 is the first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) to be built by Seaspan. OFSV1 is a 63-metre Canadian Coast Guard fisheries research vessel. The ship will be used to gain a better understanding of the health of fish stocks and their ocean environment. OFSV1 is the first of three OFSV ships built by Seaspan, with considerable progress made on the remaining two ships. Seaspan, of course, is well known in the Canadian defence industry as it has been selected to build the Joint Supply Ships for the RCN and a new Polar-class icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard.
Rheinmetall Canada is known for its land-based defence systems, particularly its fully digital and stabilized remotely controlled weapon stations. But it also has a footprint in the naval realm. The Nanuk weapon station produced for the Canadian Army’s LAV-111s has been navalized for the RCN. One prototype has been installed and tested successfully on board HMCS Goose Bay.
CANSEC exhibitor MBDA has and continues to promote its Aster missile system as an air defence option for the CSC.
If selected the firm has noted it would offer a manufacturing and production facility in Canada. Aster 15 is a short to medium range missile and Aster 30 is a short to long range, so the company has various options for the RCN. In addition, MBDA offers CAMM-ER (Common Anti-air Modular Missile Extended Range).
Other firms in Canada’s defence industry have recent successful export deals to highlight. NovAtel of Calgary has had success with its unique technology on the international naval market. It recently announced that its GPS Anti-Jam Technology or GAJT has been selected for the United Kingdom’s Type 26 frigates to meet a requirement as part of a protected navigation system. GAJT protects GPS-based navigation and precise timing receivers from intentional jamming and accidental interference, ensuring that the satellite signals necessary to compute position and time are always available. It is a commercial off-the-shelf product, and comes in versions suitable for land, sea, fixed installations and smaller platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Rolls-Royce Canada also has its latest win on the international stage to highlight at CANSEC. It has won a contract with BAE Systems for its mission bay handling technology for the UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates. The contract covers the first three ships - the first of which is currently under construction at the BAE Systems Glasgow shipyard, Scotland, according to Rolls-Royce Canada.
Equipment designed for the Royal Canadian Navy has also sparked export orders. Leonardo DRS, Inc. has highlighted that its Canadian subsidiary, DRS Technologies Canada, Ltd., has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to provide four additional Integrated Voice Communications Systems (IVCS) for their Aegis cruisers and destroyers. The award is part of the U.S. Navy’s larger IVCS contract.
The IVCS, also known as the Shipboard Integrated Communications System, or SHINCOM, on board various RCN vessels.
CANSEC exhibitor Raytheon Canada Limited has a new contract to highlight at the trade show. Raytheon Canada is overhauling and providing in-service support for the Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems operated by the Royal Canadian Navy.
Raytheon produces Phalanx, a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20mm gun system that automatically acquires, tracks and destroys enemy threats that have penetrated other ship defense systems. More than 890 systems have been built for navies around the world.
“The Phalanx CIWS is an integral element of the Canadian Navy’s defence,” Terry Manion, RCL vice-president and general manager, said in a statement. “This contract supports modernization work that will keep these systems ready and relevant well into the future.”
Under the $330 million contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada, RCL, working with Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, will provide maintenance, fleet technical support, repair and overhaul services on the Phalanx mounts which will ensure the systems are ready to address current and emerging threats.
Work under the contract, valid until late 2037, was announced in late January by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. It will be conducted in Raytheon Canada Limited›s Calgary facilities.
The contract will update all 21 Phalanx CIWS and provide engineering services, project management, support and disposal services, as well as the procurement of spares and test equipment.