Mark Collins – Irving Halifax Has Lead Evaluating RCN Canadian Surface Combatant Design/Weapons Systems Bids

Further to these posts,

RCN Canadian Surface Combatant: Exorcising the Curse of Irving

RCN Canadian Surface Combatant Woes: Not Enough Dough

Canadian Surface Combatant Procurement Process Re-Float: So What?

RCN Canadian Surface Combatant: Intellectual Property Brouhaha

what could possible go wrong with this process?

Irving issues warship RFPs [not quite yet] — sub-trades [hardly, major companies] invited to make proposals for design, systems

The request for proposals for Canada’s new fleet of warships will be out within weeks.

Lisa Campbell, Assistant Deputy Minister of Defence and Marine Procurement at Public Services and Procurement Canada confirmed to the The Chronicle Herald Wednesday that Irving Shipbuilding — the prime contractor for the combat package of the National Shipbuilding Strategy and builder of the new Canadian Surface Combatants [but no actual construction contract has been signed] — will issue the final combined request for proposal (RFP) for a warship design and combat systems before the end of the summer.

This comes following what is expected to be final industry engagement meetings that took place in Halifax this week.

At the meeting, the 12 prequalified firms, or shortlisted request for proposal respondents — among them industry giants like Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, ThyssenKrupp, Navantia and DCNS — were given the final draft of the massive, 1,500 plus page proposal documents ahead of receiving the final version likely sometime in September. More than 80 suppliers have also been involved in a number of industry engagement meetings that haven’t taken place in the last year.

“We’re consulting with industry and that’s a really important piece for us, we cannot rush that. It’s a big complex document and there’s lot at stake for them too, we want them to get it right, we want good bids,” Campbell said. “We’ve been talking to . . . these 12 qualified firms for over a year, so we’re close.”

Once the RFP goes out, Campbell said the firms will have about five or six months to prepare their proposals [emphasis added].

While there are 12 shortlisted respondents, Campbell said there won’t be 12 proposals as some of those 12 firms are ship designers, some are combat system designers, and will organize themselves into consortiums [see “Curse” and “Re-Float” links at top of the post].

As prime contractor, Irving will will receive the proposals and conduct the technical, design and financial evaluations and score the proposals. Although Irving is running the evaluations [emphasis added, sweet arrangement for the firm] Campbell said the federal government through the departments of Industry Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada and National Defence has extremely involved in identifying the selection criteria and will be “joined at the hip” with Irving during the contract award process.

“To help ensure the fairness, openness and transparency through this procurement process, we’ve engaged an independent fairness monitor that is responsible for publicly reporting on the impartiality of the process,” Campbell said.

Once the contract is awarded in 2017, the fairness monitor team will issue a report on the process.

According to Scott Leslie, Director General of Large Combat Ship Construction within the Acquisition Branch of PSPC, there are a number of factors Irving and the Government will look at in scoring the proposals.

First, technical criteria like ship size, speed, and personnel accommodations allows industry to get an idea of the type of ship Canada needs and tailor their proposals to those needs…

Firms that pass the technical stage will then be ranked on other factors like cost, equipment, design maturity and industrial and technical benefits [emphasis added–those sure won’t be the last factor in importance]…

Vessels like the FREMM, from DCNS/Armaris and Fincantieri — currently used by France and Italy [more here], and the Type 26 frigates from BAE Systems being constructed for the UK [more here] are some examples of ships that are likely to be proposed [other design companies are listed here].

“We would expect it to be a fairly recently designed recently built or just going into build warship in the kind of destroyer frigate family,” Finn said. “But until such time that they show up and say here is what we are bidding we can’t say for sure.”

Within [sic–work on] the vessels not starting until the early 2020s, hat leaves a gap of 3-4 years between awarding the initial contract in 2017 and cutting first steel on the surface combatants [emphasis added–but in this official government March report first delivery was still put at “Late 2020s“ with the construction contract in “Early 2020s” (Major Milestones)–if you believe in a speed-up of several years, good on you mate]…

“These vessels will be built over 15 years and service for 30 to 35 years. There’s a lot of stake here [Finn said].”

What could possible go flipping wrong? Relevant:

New Aussie Frigates: Three Designs Shortlisted (cf. RCN CSCs)


Last RCN Destroyer Hors de Combat 2017

We await replacements for those last three ships of the type some sunny day.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


13 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Irving Halifax Has Lead Evaluating RCN Canadian Surface Combatant Design/Weapons Systems Bids”

  1. Col.(ret’d) Ted Campbell’s RCN wish-list, not unreasonable (further links at original):

    My personal opinion is that we need a combat fleet of 10 to twelve Canadian Surface Combatants, six DeWolfe class A/OPS about eight to 10 corvettes and six to eight air independent propulsion (under ice capable) submarines. But that’s in the realm of daydreaming because “it’s 2016” and Sunny Ways, not warships, is the order of the day.’

    Corvettes=small OPVs:

    Mark Collins

  2. Danes pushing Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate

    for CSC:

    That would be from Odense Maritime Technology, scroll down here:

    ” RCN’s Canadian Surface Combatant Will be Foreign Design”

    Mark Collins

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