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Who's who and what's what in the defence sector.

PAT FINN, THE Department of National Defence's Assistant Deputy Minister for Materiel, tells Esprit de Corps that work on the Canadian Surface Combatant is proceeding, just slightly behind schedule, but still with a contract expected to be in place by the end of this year.

By the end of the summer, Finn said, it is expected that the procurement process will have settled on two CSC proposals. One will be ranked as number one, the other as number two. "So, from the time we've ranked them one and two, we then inform number one, and we actually have a set period of which we will negotiate the final terms and conditions through the (Irving) shipyard with them," Finn explained.

"We will be in contract with Irving Shipbuilding," he added. "(Irving) will be in contract with the design agent, the company proposing the solution. We move through the contractual process, moving through what we call a requirements reconciliation detailed design to bring it to fruition (and) start building in the early 2020s."

If a deal fails to materialize with the number one ranked firm, then the government begins negotiations with the number two ranked consortium.

Finn also tried to bring some clarity to the CSC budget. The budget for the Canadian Surface Combatant project is estimated by the federal government to be between $55 billion and $60 billion. That is a range but specific costs won't be known until contacts are signed and more details worked out.

Finn, however, provided a rough breakdown of how that money would be spent. Fie says construction of the ships will be 50 to 60 per cent of the budget; integrated logistics support (including spare parts, technical data package, training, ammunition) is 20-25 per cent; infrastructure (construction of jetties, upgrades to existing docks) is 5 per cent; project office cost over the life of the program (salaries for staff, travel, etc.) is 5 per cent and finally a contingency fund to deal with fluctuations in exchange rates and other unforeseen issues will account for 10 to 15 per cent.

In other CSC news, Giuseppe Bono, the CEO of Fincantieri, has confirmed that one of the reasons its consortium didn't bid on the Canadian program was because it was not willing to turn over sensitive data solely to Irving Shipbuilding.

Fincantieri and Naval Group, along with other companies, had previously voiced concerns about Irving's alliance with the U.S. firm, Gibbs and Cox, a top U.S. naval architecture firm that designs surface warships. Gibbs and Cox is also the main competitor for many companies pursuing ship contracts around the world.

Irving, however, has rejected such concerns and has stated it is committed to protecting any sensitive data provided by companies.

But Fincantieri and Naval Group weren't buying that reassurance.

The two firms still have their proposal for a FREMM solution ready in case the Canadian procurement falls apart and the federal government decides on a different course of action.

In February, the U.S. Navy has named the FREMM design as one of five it could consider for its future frigate program and has provided Fincantieri $15 million to look at a design concept.

MV Asterix, the new naval supply ship from Davie and Federal Fleet Services, is on its way to the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific exercises set for later in June. The ship will also operate in the Caribbean, refueling both Royal Canadian Navy and U.S. Navy vessels, the RCN told Esprit de Corps.

In other industry news, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is looking into the availability of a capable non-Canadian Coast Guard Oceanographic Research Vessel to conduct its spring 2019 Atlantic Zonal Offshore Monitoring Program. Specifically, an Oceanographic Research Vessel is required for a period of 30 continuous days within the time period of May 1, 2019 up to June 15, 2019 at the latest, according to the information issued to industry.

The move comes as Seaspan continues its work on the first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard. That was launched at Seaspan Shipyards in Vancouver in December and a short time later transferred to Victoria, BC for finishing work. The ship, Sir John Franklin, is the first large vessel to be designed and built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. It will be ready for sea trials in the summer. Seaspan will build three of those vessels in total.

Then after that it will build one Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel.

OSI Maritime Systems announced on May 1 the signing of a contract with Lockheed Martin to provide its Integrated Bridge and Navigation System for the first four ships of the Royal Saudi Navy's (RSN) Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) program.

OSI will build and deliver a military grade system for the MMSC program based on the system designed for the U.S. Navy Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship program.

The Canadian government has awarded a contract to Cellula Robotics Ltd of Burnaby, British Columbia to develop a fuel cell that will improve the ability for autonomous underwater vehicles to store sufficient energy to undertake long range and long duration missions. The contract has a total value of close to $648,000 and was awarded under the 2016 Innovation Call for Proposals for the All Domain Situational Awareness Science & Technology program.

Her Majesty's New Zealand Ship TE KAHA was officially transferred into the care and custody of Lockheed Martin Canada and Seaspan on April 26.

As the prime systems integrator, Lockheed Martin Canada is responsible for designing and supplying the upgraded combat system for each ANZAC Class Frigate, including a new combat management system. That system will be based on Lockheed Martin Canada's Combat Management System 330. The supply and integration of various sensors, a missile system and a Combat Systems Trainer are also included in the project.

Lockheed Martin Canada is also responsible for the platform design and implementation and has subcontracted Seaspan Victoria Shipyards Co. to install the new systems on the ship platforms. A second New Zealand frigate, HMNZS TE MANA, is scheduled to arrive in 2019. It will undergo a similar refit.

Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.

Caption: MV Asterix on maiden voyage to Halifax. (CNW GROUP/DAVIE SHIPBUILDING)

Caption: RIGHT: ADM Mat Pat Finn says the Canadian Surface Combatant program is slightly behind schedule but should see a contract by year's end. (DND)
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Title Annotation:INDUSTRY WATCH
Author:Pugliese, David
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Date:Jun 1, 2018
Words:1067
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