Recent cases in the Canadian Navy Future Planning

Başlatan kimlikci, Haz 04, 2016, 11:27 ÖÖ

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The Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) is the Royal Canadian Navy procurement program that will replace the Iroquois class Destroyers and Halifax class Frigates with up to 15 new ships in about the mid-2020s. Navy Recognition contacted DCNS Canada's head, Olivier Casenave-Péré, to see where the French shipbuilder chances stand as the Canadian Government is considering changing course on the CSC program.



The CSC program aims at replacing the Iroquois class Destroyers and Halifax class Frigates (pictured) which were recently upgraded. Picture: RCN

CSC Background and latest developments
Public Services and Procurement Canada announced on November 18, 2015 the results of the pre-qualification process, the first step in the competitive procurement process to select a Combat Systems Integrator and a Warship Designer for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC). Pre-qualified firms:

For the Combat Systems Integrator:

» Atlas Elektronik GmbH
» DCNS SA
» Lockheed Martin Canada
» Saab Australia Pty Ltd.
» Selex ES S.p.A.
» Thales Nederland B.V.
» ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH

For the Warship Designer:

» Alion-JJMA Corp.
» BAE Systems Surface Ships Limited
» DCNS SA
» Fincantieri S.p.A. Naval Vessels Business Unit
» Navantia SA
» Odense Maritime Technology
» ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH

On 20 January 2015, it was announced that Irving Shipbuilding had been named the prime contractor for the program.

However it seems that the Canadian Government will now examine combining bids for the new warships into one package:

From two individual competitions (warship design and combat system) the new procurement strategy may call for one single competition to select an existing warship design with the original design team and systems. This design would require some controlled customization to meet the Royal Canadian Navy's (RCN) requirements and provide opportunity to incorporate Canadian content.
All existing warships will still require some design changes; for example, to accommodate the Cyclone helicopter, and to incorporate Canadian content for specific technologies and equipment.

The Government hopes the change would reduce custom design work and time, reduce technical integration and schedule risks while delivering warships that meet the Royal Canadian Navy's requirements.

Last but not least, Irving Shipbuilding remains the prime contractor for either the 2015 procurement strategy or the potentially refined strategy.



French Navy FREMM Frigate Provence arrives in Toulon naval base for the first time.


DCNS FREMM Frigate

For the CSC program, DCNS is proposing the FREMM (Frégate multi-mission or multi-purpose frigate) fitted with DCNS' SETIS combat management system (CMS). "We are satisfied with the latest turn of events in the CSC program. Since the beginning DCNS believes the warship design and combat system should be combined for the procurement process. The contrary could have led to the selection of two companies who never worked together and this would have led to increased risks" said Olivier Casenave, president of DCNS Technologies Canada.

The CSC program may call for an existing "off the shelf" vessel design and DCNS sees this as a strength for its FREMM. "DCNS is offering the FREMM design and with this new procurement process, our bid makes even more sense because the vessel is fully sea-proven" stressed Casenave to Navy Recognition. "While the detailed technical requirements have not been published yet, our FREMM appears to be a good fit for the Royal Canadian Navy needs".

FREMM Frigates are a centerpiece of the modernization of the French Navy (Marine Nationale). According the French Navy they are a game changer in particular with their high technology, versatility and flexibility. The French Navy is set to received six Aquitaine-class FREMM Frigates. Two additional frigates equipped with strengthened area air-defence capabilities will be delivered before 2022. Two further units have also been sold to the Royal Moroccan Navy and the Egyptian Navy.

The FREMM is a front-line warship designed to form the operational backbone of major navies. The FREMM class can respond to all kinds of threats, whether from land, sea or air. Acting alone, a FREMM can assume a multitude of missions, from escort duties to naval interdiction. As part of a joint task force, a FREMM can accommodate the JTF Commander's staff and, with an excellent C4ISR capability, can direct warfare in one or several spheres.

Navy Recognition learned that during her deployment with USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group, FREMM Provence was tasked as "sector air defense commander" while crossing the Hormuz strait. This shows the very high level of integration and interoperability of the French Navy and its latest surface combatant, the FREMM, with US forces and allies. It also illustrate that while air defence is not their primary mission, FREMMs are very capable air warfare platforms non the less, and truly multi role vessels.

The combat system is fully integrated through a new generation Ship Enhanced Tactical Information System (SETIS).. It is a realtime, integrated, reconfigurable, open architecture CMS (combat management system), with full capabilities in all warfare domains and fully interoperable within NATO and allied forces. "Compared to the competition the SETIS CMS by DCNS is one of the most modern. It is an open system capable of working with new and future systems." added DCNS Canada's president.



Artist Impression of what could be a RCN FREMM Frigate in Air Defense variant.

Multi-Mission and Air Defense FREMM variants

Two FREMM variants based on the same baseline vessel are being offered by DCNS as Olivier Casenave explains: "We are proposing two variants of our FREMM. A multi-mission variant and an air defense variant. Both will have strong ASW capabilities".

Asked about the likely differences between an Aquitaine-class FREMM and a Royal Canadian Navy FREMM, DCNS said "There are a few differences to be expected. For example, the French Navy FREMM accommodates the NH90 NFH helicopter. For CSC, our FREMM will be modified in order to accommodate the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter of the Canadian Forces".

As a matter of fact, under the refined procurement process, Canada prompts bidders to integrate in their offer up to 24 Canadian equipment, systems and technologies. It is not a surprise to have on this list equipment such as helicopter handling system, underway replenishment at sea or integrated platform management system (IPMS). Such systems will have to be fitted onboard FREMM. However as far as missiles are concerned, shipbuilders may offer the system of their choice. Canada seems decided not to re-use the venerable Mk41 launchers currently fitted on its vessels. Therefore DCNS will probably offer missile solutions by MBDA. Regarding radars there no Canadian requirement for now. For the Air Defense variant DCNS is proposing a FREMM fitted with a 4 panel array radar (active electronically scanned) from Thales



Artist Impression of what could be a RCN FREMM Frigate in Air Defense variant. Picture: DCNS


"The crew complement could be adapted as well: The current FREMM was originally expected to have a crew of 108 sailors, the French Navy eventually moved up to around 120 sailors which is a moderate increase. Growth margins of the current design could accommodate a crew of 180 sailors to answer Canadian needs without major modifications."

"Two key aspects differentiates the FREMM from its competitors: Flexibility and cost of ownership. The flexibility of FREMM's design is intended to provide growth margins for facilitating future modernizations, or integration of additional systems, as well as adaptation to other customers' requirements. Cost of ownership's two main drivers are maintenability and optimized crew. Maintainability of the platform was a focus point from the design stage: FREMM is easily maintainable even at sea despite its reduced size. The reduced crew size combined with an increased availability of the vessel makes the DCNS FREMM very competitive".

"Canada is asking for an existing vessel design and combat system that are flexible enough to accommodate several Canadian systems. It is our feeling that the FREMM by DCNS is currently the most advanced and complete ship in this regard. Our main customer, the French Navy, is one of the very few navies in the world to operate the full spectrum of naval platforms: Aircraft carrier, LHDs, Frigates, Destroyers, SSN and SSBNs. DCNS' excellence is based upon this continuous operational feedback" concluded DCNS Canada's president.

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