25 juillet 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

Industry concerns about Cormorant modernization pushed aside – project to proceed

DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN

In May, the federal government announced that it had decided on modernizing the RCAF’s search and rescue helicopters rather than take another route, such as purchasing new aircraft. Leonardo was selected to upgrade its Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters and provide seven additional aircraft.

The government doesn’t have full details on what this will cost taxpayers as various options have to be sorted out. But it gave an estimate of the project as between $1 billion and $5 billion, a price tag that includes the purchase of simulators and support equipment.

Last month, the federal government acknowledged that it had received correspondence from a number of aerospace firms raising issues about the sole-source deal with Leonardo.

“We have received some responses,” Pierre-Alain Bujold, a spokesman for Public Services and Procurement Canada, stated in an email to Defence Watch at the time. “PSPC officials are currently reviewing the responses, in collaboration with the Department of National Defence and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.”

“Once this review is complete, officials will determine appropriate next steps and inform respondents accordingly,” Bujold added.

But industry representatives now report that they have been informed of the government’s decision and their concerns were dismissed. The sole-source deal will proceed. (Sikorsky had pitched the Canadian government on new build S-92s. The S-92 is the basis for the RCAF’s new Cyclone helicopter. Other companies also suggested it made more sense to have a common fleet of S-92s/Cyclones to conduct maritime missions as well as SAR).

But Department of National Defence officials say it was determined that it was more cost effective to stay with the Cormorant fleet as it is a proven aircraft the RCAF knows well.

The upgrade program is expected to include the latest avionic and mission systems, advanced radars and sensors, vision enhancement and tracking systems.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/industry-concerns-about-cormorant-modernization-pushed-aside-project-to-proceed

Sur le même sujet

  • Lightning strikes twice in Ottawa

    5 septembre 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    Lightning strikes twice in Ottawa

    Two Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jets touched down at Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier International Airport on Sept. 4, ahead of their appearance at this weekend’s AERO Gatineau-Ottawa airshow. The show, which runs from Sept. 6-8, will feature a flying display performed by the U.S. Air Force F-35 flight demonstration team. The fighter jets will not be on static display. Other performers include aircraft from Vintage Wings of Canada, the Canadian CF-18 Hornet Demo team, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds aerobatic team, and more. For details, visit the show’s website. Skies photographer Mike Luedey was waiting in Ottawa for the aircraft to arrive. Here are a few shots of the team making a (loud) entrance! https://www.skiesmag.com/news/lightning-strikes-twice-in-ottawa

  • Irving Shipbuilding Hands Over HMCS Montreal to Royal Canadian Navy

    17 octobre 2019 | Local, Naval

    Irving Shipbuilding Hands Over HMCS Montreal to Royal Canadian Navy

    Irving Shipbuilding Inc. handed over Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montréal (FFH 336) to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) following the completion of a 53-week docking work period on August 22. The vessel arrived at Halifax Shipyard on Aug. 13 last year for the docking work period (DWP). The DWP was completed on schedule and included preventive and corrective maintenance, ship system upgrades including new diesel generators and chillers to name a few, as well as installation of new equipment providing enhanced combat capabilities to ensure the longevity of HMCS Montreal. More than 400 of Halifax Shipyard’s 2,000 employees worked on HMCS Montreal’s docking work period, including many shipbuilders who are members of Unifor Local 1. Dozens of Nova Scotia-based suppliers worked with ISI on the Montreal, including Maritime Pressure Works, MacKinnon & Olding, CMS Steel Pro, and Pro-Insul, among others. Since 2010, all seven of the Navy’s east coast Halifax-class frigates– HMCS Halifax, HMCS Fredericton, HMCS Montreal, HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS St. John’s, HMCS Ville de Quebec, and HMCS Toronto – have been consecutively modernized and maintained at Halifax Shipyard. Halifax Shipyard is continuing its legacy as the Halifax-class In-Service Support Centre of Excellence, with HMCS Charlottetown currently in the graving dock for a docking work period. In addition to its Halifax-class ship maintenance work, Halifax Shipyard is building six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) over the next 25 years as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). The Halifax class underwent a modernization program, known as the Halifax Class Modernization (HCM) program, in order to update the frigates' capabilities in combatting modern smaller, faster and more mobile threats. This involved upgrading the command and control, radar, communications, electronic warfare and armament systems. Further improvements, such as modifying the vessel to accommodate the new Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter and satellite links will be done separately from the main Frigate Equipment Life Extension (FELEX) program. https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2019/october/7593-irving-shipbuilding-hands-over-hmcs-montreal-to-royal-canadian-navy.html

  • $1 billion and counting: Inside Canada's troubled efforts to build new warships

    25 février 2020 | Local, Naval

    $1 billion and counting: Inside Canada's troubled efforts to build new warships

    Federal government tables figures showing what it's spent on the projects to date Murray Brewster  The federal government has spent slightly more than $1.01 billion over the last seven years on design and preparatory contracts for the navy's new frigates and supply ships — and the projects still haven't bought anything that floats. The figures, tabled recently in Parliament, represent the first comprehensive snapshot of what has been spent thus far on the frequently-delayed project to build replacement warships. It's an enormous amount of money for two programs that have been operating for more than a decade with little to show for their efforts to date. It will be years before the Canadian Surface Combatant project — which aims to replace the navy's frontline frigates with 15 state-of-the-art vessels — and the Joint Support Ship program for two replenishment vessels actually deliver warships. The numbers and details for each advance contract were produced in the House of Commons in response to written questions from the Conservative opposition. The money was divided almost evenly between the federal government's two go-to shipyards: Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, the prime contractor for the new frigates, and Seaspan of Vancouver, the builder of the supply ships. The breakdown raises critical questions about at least one of the programs, said a defence analyst, but it also shines a light on promises made by both Liberal and Conservative governments to keep spending under control for both of these projects — which could end up costing more than $64 billion. "I think there should be a level of concern [among the public] about whether or not what's being delivered in practice is what was advertised at the outset," said Dave Perry, a procurement expert and vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. A design still in flux Most of his concerns revolve around the new support ships, which the Liberal government says are in the process of being built now. The written responses, tabled in Parliament, note that the projected cost for the two supply ships — $3.4 billion — remains under review "as the design effort finalizes." Perry said he was astonished to learn that, "seven years and half-a-billion dollars into design work on an off-the-shelf design," the navy doesn't have the support ships, even though "the middle third of the ship is built" — and officials now say "the design effort isn't finished." Usually, he said, ships are designed before they're built. The head of the Department of National Defence's materiel branch said most of the preparatory contracts were needed to re-establish a Canadian shipbuilding industry that had been allowed to wither. 'A lot of patience' "I think we have to look at the totality of everything that's being accomplished under" the national shipbuilding strategy, said Troy Crosby, assistant deputy minister of materiel at DND. "Over that period of time, and with these expenditures, we've built a shipbuilding capability on two coasts, not just through National Defence but also through the coast guard, offshore fisheries science vessels. I understand it has taken a lot of patience, I suppose, and probably some uncertainty, but we're really getting to the point now where we can see delivering these capabilities to the navy." The largest cash outlays involve what's known as definition contracts, which went individually to both shipyards and were in excess of $330 million each. They're meant to cover the supervision of the projects and — more importantly — to help convert pre-existing warship designs purchased by the federal government to Canadian standards. The choices on each project were made at different times by different governments, but ministers serving both Liberal and Conservative governments decided that going with proven, off-the-shelf designs would be faster and less expensive than building from scratch. Now, after all the delays, it's still not clear that choosing off-the-shelf designs has saved any money. "I would be completely speculating on what it would cost to invest to develop the kind of expertise and capacity inside the government, inside National Defence and everybody involved, to be able to do something like that in-house," said Crosby. "The approach we've taken at this point, by basing both the Joint Support Ship and the Canadian Surface Combatant on pre-existing designs, allows us to retire a lot of risk in the way forward." When Crosby talks about "retiring risk," he's talking about the potential for further delays and cost overruns. Among the contracts, Irving Shipbuilding was given $136 million to support the drawing up of the design tender for the new frigates and to pay for the shipbuilding advice Irving was giving the federal government throughout the bidding process. Years ago, the federal government had enough in-house expertise to dispense with private sector guidance — but almost all of that expertise was lost over the past two decades as successive federal governments cut the defence and public works branches that would have done that work. The last time Canada built major warships was in the 1990s, when the current fleet of 12 patrol frigates was inaugurated. The federal government has chosen to base its new warships on the BAE Systems Type-26 design, which has been selected by the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy. The hull and propulsion system on the new frigates will be "largely unchanged" from the British design, but the combat system will be different and uniquely Canadian, said Crosby. The project is still on track to start cutting steel for the new combat ships in 2023. Crosby said he would not speculate on when the navy will take delivery of the first one. Delivery of the joint support ships is expected to be staggered, with the first one due in 2024. There will be a two-year gap between ships, said Crosby, as the navy and the yard work through any technical issues arising with the first ship. If that timeline holds, the first support ship will arrive two decades after it was first proposed and announced by the Liberal government of former prime minister Paul Martin. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/frigates-joint-supply-ships-navy-procurement-canada-1.5474312

Toutes les nouvelles