Alion Canada, the company that pitched the Dutch-designed De Zeven Provincien class frigate, has asked for a judicial review of the tendering process that saw the Type 26 Frigate win the Canadian frigate competition, according to local media.
The challenge could cause delay to the programme.
According to local media, the defence firm is asking the court to set aside an October decision to select Lockheed Martin Canada the preferred bidder and to prevent the Canadian government from entering into negotiations with the company, which has offered up the BAE Systems designed Type 26 frigate.
Alion argue that the winning bid was “incapable of meeting three critical mandatory requirements” of the design tender. Specifically, they say the Type 26 cannot meet the mandatory speed requirements set out by the Royal Canadian Navy.
Canada recently followed Australia in selecting the Type 26 Frigate. The vessel is the preferred option for the Royal Canadian Navy’s future Canadian Surface Combatants.
The Canadian Surface Combatant is the name given to the procurement project that will replace the Iroquois and Halifax class warships with up to 15 new ships beginning in the early 2020s as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. The replacement vessels will be somewhat larger than the existing Halifax class, and presumably provide a wide-area air defence capability, anti-submarine warfare capability, as well as anti-shipping capability.
The options were:
- Type 26 frigate proposed by Lockheed Martin Canada and BAE Systems
- Dutch De Zeven Provinciën class frigate based design proposed by Alion Canada and Damen Group
- Spanish F-105 frigate design offered by Navantia.
The BAE Type 26 team, known locally as “Canada’s Combat Ship Team” combines Lockheed Martin Canada with BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship – also involved are CAE, MDA, L3 Technologies, and Ultra Electronics.
According to an official statement:
“The Government of Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. have identified Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. as the preferred bidder to provide the design and design team for the Royal Canadian Navy’s future Canadian Surface Combatants.
While this represents a significant milestone in the competitive process, more work is required before a contract is awarded. Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. must now go through the due diligence process, which includes:
- negotiations with the company on intellectual property rights
- an assessment of combat systems performance
- an assessment of the company’s financial capability to deliver the project, together with the verification of various other administrative matters
Should the preferred bidder not successfully demonstrate to Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. that it meets all of the due diligence requirements, then the next highest ranked compliant bidder will become the preferred bidder. The new preferred bidder will then have to successfully demonstrate that it meets all of the due diligence requirements.”
A contract award was expected this winter, with construction beginning in the early 2020s, this challenge poses a delay to the awarding of a contract. More on this as it develops.