By Geoff Fein

A Lockheed Martin [LMT] Canada industry team was awarded a $2 billion contract from the Canadian government to design and build the combat system for that nation’s 12 Halifax-class frigates.

Lockheed Martin beat out both a General Dynamics [GD]-led team and another that included Canadian-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), Atlas Elektronik, and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS).

The Canadian government announced the awarding of the two contracts to Lockheed Martin on Sept. 5.

“The Government of Canada is committed to following through on its promise to modernize the Canadian Forces and these contracts to upgrade the Halifax-class frigates will ensure the navy maintains its operational capability,” Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, said. “It will also ensure Canadian sailors have the best available equipment to continue ensuring the safety of our water and ongoing cooperation with our allies.”

Lockheed Martin will be responsible for upgrading the radars, sensors, new mast to mount the sensors, command and control system, and upgrading shore facilities to accommodate the new shipboard suite. Other contracts will be let to perform hull, mechanical and electrical work during the ship overhauls, the company said.

Two other teams passed the initial competitive review, but only Lockheed Martin submitted a compliant proposal by the submission deadline, according to Lockheed Martin.

Those other teams were the CSI Halifax Team led by General Dynamics that included Raytheon [RTN] and Thales, and Team Horizon that included MDA, Atlas Elektronik, and EADS.

The Lockheed Martin-led team was awarded a $1.4 billion contract for the Combat System Integration (CSI) and an award for in-service support valued at approximately $600 million, according to the Canadian government.

The Lockheed Martin team includes: Saab Systems, IBM Canada, xwave, CAE Professional Services and L-3 [LLL] Canada.

The Saab-Lockheed Martin CanACCS-9LV system will provide the Canadian navy’s Halifax fleet with advanced capabilities, including proven Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) anti-ship missile defense capabilities (Defense Daily, Jan. 25).

According to Lockheed Martin, Saab’s 9LV Combat Management System is deployed in 14 international navies and on more than 200 warships worldwide.

Raytheon builds ESSM.

Saab and Lockheed Martin have worked together for more than two years to ensure the successful integration of Saab’s 9LV system with proven and deployed Canadian navy command and control systems, Lockheed Martin said earlier this year.

The $2.1 billion contract is part of an overall $3.1 billion program to modernize the Halifax-class frigates and in addition to the Lockheed Martin award, it includes:

  • Two Multi-ship Refit contracts totaling $900 million awarded to Irving Shipbuilding‘s Halifax Shipyards and Washington Marine Group‘s Victoria Shipyards in March 2008; and
  • The Platform System Design Agent contract valued at $150 million awarded to Fleetway Inc., in October 2006.

According to the Canadian government, the first refit of the HMCS Halifax will begin October 2010, followed by the HMCS Calgary in July 2011, according to the Canadian navy. The final frigate, the HMCS Toronto, will begin refit in July 2015. Each ship will take approximately 18 months for the refit effort, according to the Canadian government.

The 12 Halifax-class frigates were launched between 1988 and 1995, and formed the backbone of the Canadian navy. The ships were designed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s to accomplish the Cold War Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) missions, according to the Canadian Navy.