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.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Knowing the state of Canadian military procurement… this could kick the decision in to the long grass. I’m sure the speed requirements of the RCN and the cited T26 speeds by the LM team can be shown to meet the criteria. T26 tendor probably states ‘in excess of ****’ where as requirement probably states ‘**** minimum’.

    I’m sure this can be easily cleared up by the design team… Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t though!!

    • Type 26 has a speed of “in excess of 26 knots” which usually means more than 26 but less than 28 knots under regular sea state conditions.
      Canada’s requirement was a minimum of 30 knots under regular sea state conditions. This is because Canada’s current frigates, which are still relatively young and having undergone a recent upgrade, are capable of regularly exceeding 30 knots under regular sea state conditions, and reliably reaching at least 30 knots in rough sea states. So understandably; you wouldn’t want to have a ship that has lower performance than your existing fleet. But BAE has stated that 26 knots is for the base design, but than Canada’s design would include an upgraded propulsion system allowing for speeds greater than 28 knots, likely topping out at 30-31 knots, while extending the range to be greater than 8500 nmi. Alion’s proposal has a maximum speed of 30+ knots and a similar range. So the difference is quite small as long as BAE does it’s job and steps up its ships performance for Canada.

  2. They seem to be clutching at straws if they are complaining about the speed requirement. Pretty sure they will exceed 30 knots on sea trials with a smooth hull, no armaments, no flight equipment or towed sonar on board and prob a low fuel load for qualifying speed F1 style.

    • True, but they will never get to speed trials if this silly suit is accepted and ruled on favorably to the petitioner.

  3. Bloody typical, I’d like to say because it’s ostensively a British product! However, if the Type26 is good enough for British and Australia what is so special about Canada? But of course, it’s none of that, which makes it a lot worse.

  4. We can’t build pipelines or buy replacement fighters. WTF would anyone think we can buy frigates in a timely manner? More importantly, WTF would companies want to deal with a country that has a failed drama teacher as PM. Just like his old man, a pinko pacifist, our justafool turdeau.

  5. Canada can’t get pipelines built, buy new fighters, or procure just about anything. WTF any company would want to deal with a country that has a failed drama teacher as PM is beyond me. Justafool, a pinko pacifist, just like his old man.

    • Well that is not that far from the truth, there are companies that all but refuse to deal with Canada due the time and money that can be wasted trying to tender for a Defence contract in that country.

    • Actually, the prestige that comes with Canadian contracts is second to none. Canadian contracts usually entail a complete transfer of intellectual property, modifications, design enhancements, new facilities, etc. This allows contractors to pitch the latest and greatest products with the best possible systems, knowing that Canada will take its time and select the best. The winner, then gets massive bragging rights, on top of a massive contract, because Canada’s requirements are so high, the ability to win and deliver that working product is a massive achievement for the contractor, and gives them the ability to tout there success to other buyers and even to Canada again in the future.

  6. At this stage it’s not the Canadian government that’s sticking the oar in, it’s this Alion trying to do a Boeing. Pretty desparate grounds, indeed; and even more desparate / embarrassing if the government go for it (though I can’t see Canada building 15 of anything, mind). Still, lots of lovely lolly for the lawyers.

  7. No surprise here, none whatsoever.

    Canadian defence procurement is second only to Indian in terms of delays & political machinations before any contracts are signed.

    • Been saying the same for years! The inability for one Canadian Government to stick to the decisions of the last when it comes to major procurement programs and constant calls for Canadianisation of anything they buy due to “Unique requirements” beggars belief.

      Add to that the habit of investing into International high technology programs for new equipment then not buying it is depressing!

  8. And so it begins. HM Canadian Government are notoriously awful when it comes to procurement, makes ours look almost halfway competent

    • You don’t know if the procurement is at fault, a challenge has been made (which is par for the course on big money contracts), competence should be discussed if the challenge is upheld.

    • I’ve got news for you. The default position on any large procurement is that a challenge is launched by a losing party. A lot of the time its a try on and the challenge later disappears. It’s as much for the internal politics of the losing company as anything else. Don’t read too much into it, they’re usually dismissed quite quickly.

  9. Manpower shortages (soldiers and support technicians in all three services) are made worse by our incompetent procurement. Who wants to work on repairing junk or going into harms way with obsolete kit? Hardly a way to enhance recruitment unless you are looking for suicidals.

  10. Standard procurement law I’m afraid, any competitor can challenge a procurement on its process, if the process is found to be flawed you have run the whole procurement again. It why it’s a nightmare for organisations that regularly undertake complex multi million/billion pound procurements. You get your preferred bidder, one deviation from a complex set of legal requirements and down the toilet goes 6 months work for a whole team and 100s of millions of pounds.

    What’s bonkers is after you run it again you will probably end up with the same winner……but when you are talking 100s of millions of pounds companies will always gamble with a challenge.

  11. Both the other contenders are based on Air defence frigates. T26 is the only one based on an anti-submarine frigate.

    If the Canadians fall for this, then they really need their heads looks at.

  12. Call me cynical but junior likely doesn’t care about this protest. It allows him to delay this procurement, something he doesn’t want to spend money on anyway. If the case drags on long enough, he can shove the project over until after the next election and restart the process all over again, just like the fighter replacement program.

  13. Did these Dutch ships cost 600 million euroeees (some idiotic currency I have been told) in 2002? Smaller less capable, but hey, in terms of the UK involvement, it’s always this shit eu that gets involved in f*cking things up and this is one by the looks of it! That’s one tiny reason why we are leaving this shit eu empire!

  14. Its worse than you think Trudeau is an absolute ass head and an embarrassment to Canada ,the idiot is slowly but surely killing Canada with his PC mentalness and an ability to cock things up from not allowing pipelines to be built which fuel a large part of the economy his insane climate change taxes,and his almost unhinged decision to allow any immigrant who makes it to the US/Canadian border in with no checks ,my daughter and Canadian son in law are seriously thinking of moving back here which goes to prove it must be bad there

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