The Canadian defence budget increase will fund 5000 new personnel, 88 fighter jets and a small fleet of new warships.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the Canadian defence budget would jump by 73 percent to C$32.7 billion ($24.2 billion) in 2026/27 from C$18.9 billion in 2016/17, with the biggest increases coming in later years. Canada is exploring the purchase of an interim fleet of 18 Super Hornet jets to meet short-term needs. However, the government is reportedly engaged in a commercial dispute with Boeing and has threatened to scrap the plan.
Among the big-ticket items in the defence policy is a firm pledge to buy new surface combatant ships for the Royal Canadian Navy. The Canadian government have now have vastly increased the acquisition budget, saying the 15 vessels will will cost between $56-billion and $60-billion – far higher than the previous government’s forecast of $26.2-billion.
Speculation is mounting that Canada is seriously considering the Type 26 Frigate for its ‘Canadian Surface Combatant’ project.
Anne Healey, BAE General Manager (Group Business Development Canada) said, referring to a BAE bid to sell the Type 26 in Canada:
“The Type 26 Global Combat Ship is the world’s newest and most advanced surface combatant design. We are planning to cut steel in 2017, which is ideal timing for the CSC programme; being 3 years ahead of the Canadian program.”
According to local media, industry sources say the Request for Purchase has been delayed because of questions raised about the amount of Canadian content and the decision to consider the Type 26.
Canadian firms have already won contracts to support UK Type 26 programme with Ottawa-based engineering firm WR Davis being the first to secure a manufacturing contract to provide key equipment.
BAE Systems has awarded the contract for the Uptake and Downtake elements of the ship’s funnel and exhaust system for the first three Type 26 ships.
Tom Davis, Vice President of WR Davis Engineering Ltd, said:
“We are delighted to participate in the prestigious UK Royal Navy Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme for the supply of the complete Downtake, Uptake, and Infra-Red Suppression systems for the propulsion and ship service engines.
This builds on our previous experience of supplying similar systems for the UK Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers and reinforces our position as a world leader in the design and supply of engine Downtakes and Uptakes, for naval warships.”
During a House of Commons debate in 2011, it was revealed that Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Turkey had all expressed interest in collaborating on the Global Combat Ship, and that the UK was in “close discussion” with Canada. Although Canada had once ruled out partnership with the British programme, in May 2016 IHS Janes reported that the Type 26 Frigate was still one of the contenders for the Canadian Surface Combatant requirement.
In October 2016 it was reported that twelve bidders had been asked to submit their designs by April 2017. Construction is slated to begin in the early 2020s and take 20-25 years to complete.