The Canadian government has announced that the Lockheed Martin-BAE bid has been chosen as the design for the country's 15 future warships.
The Canadian Surface Combatant is the largest and most complex procurement in Canadian history, with a total reported value of up to CAD$60 billion.
The choice of Lockheed Martin as the lead prime on the contract edges out Alion Science and Technology, which offered a design based on the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën Air Defence and Command frigate, and Navantia, which offered a version of the F-105 frigate alongside a team that includes Saab Australia.
In a statement, Ottawa noted that Lockheed Martin Canada must now go through negotiations 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."
The statement notes that the decision is dependent on the outcome of those negotiations.
"Should the preferred bidder not successfully demonstrate to Canada and Irving Shipbuilding that it meets all of the due diligence requirements, then the next highest ranked compliant bidder will become the preferred bidder."
A contract award is expected in the northern winter, with construction beginning in the early 2020s.
ADM Comment: Following the Australian decision to procure the Type 26 under Sea 5000 back in June, Ottawa's decision means that three of the Five-Eyes nations have chosen the Type 26 as their next-generation frigate (pending the outcome of negotiations).
All eyes will now be on NZ as the country looks to replace its two ANZAC-class frigates, HMNZ Ships Te Kaha and Te Mana, by 2030 - although significant questions remain around whether frigates are the most appropriate platform for the NZDF.