GCS sets course for Canada [CANSEC2016D2]

26 May 2016

BAE Systems (Booth 711) has a number of programmes running in Canada, but arguably the most important is its bid to become Warship Designer and Combat Systems Integrator for the Canadian Surface Combatant requirement, for which a selection decision is expected next year.

For CSC the company is proposing a ‘Canadianised’ version of the Global Combat Ship (GCS), which is currently in design for the UK Royal Navy as the Type 26 frigate to replace Type 23s in the early 2020s. The vessel has been designed to be a highly versatile warship that can undertake a wide variety of roles, from high-intensity conflict to OOTW (operations other than war) activities such as humanitarian aid, evacuation and disaster relief, as well as long-distance coastal and Arctic patrol.

From the outset the GCS design was planned with adaptability in mind, allowing the vessel to be easily tailored to meet the individual requirements of different customers. The design has been shaped so that a change to one element has a minimum of impact on other areas. Also, as a brand-new design, the GCS has considerable growth capacity built in to cater for future technology insertion and new missions.

BAE Systems believes that the GCS is well positioned for the Canadian requirement. From a programme point of view, the UK’s Type 26 is in the final stages of detailed design, with the first steel to be cut next year. With Canada around three years behind the UK in the procurement cycle, the CSC design could benefit considerably from input from the Type 26.

According to Ric Elkington, business development surface combatants for BAE Systems Canada, the CSC offering is in the “sweet spot of the development cycle”.

In terms of capability, Elkington believes that the GCS is “pretty close to what Canada wants”.

The vessel has a flight deck large enough to handle a CH-147 Chinook helicopter, while the reconfigurable mission bay can accept containerised loads to allow the rapid re-roling of the vessel. Such loads might include aid/rescue packages, underwater vehicles or boats.

BAE Systems has held conversations with more than 300 Canadian companies as it draws up a potential local team to answer the CSC requirement for eight ships.

Canadian companies have already been contracted to supply into the first three-vessel batch for the UK’s Type 26 programme, including W.R. Davis here in Ottawa. Rolls-Royce Canada in Peterborough is providing the mission bay handling system, while L-3 MAPPS of Montreal is supplying the integrated platform management system.

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