• The future Canadian variant of the Type 26. Credit: BAE
    The future Canadian variant of the Type 26. Credit: BAE

Canada has upheld the selection of BAE's Type 26 frigate as its future surface combatant despite an on-going court case brought by losing bidder Alion Science and Technology, a US company, and Canadian subsidiary Alion Canada.

The design contract was signed late last week in Ottawa by the Canadian government, BAE, Lockheed Martin, and Irving Shipbuilding. The CA$60 billion build is the largest and most complex procurement in Canadian history.

Irving Shipbuilding is the prime contractor to the Canadian government for the build of all 15 ships at its Halifax shipyard.

BAE Systems, CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA and Ultra Electronics have partnered with Lockheed Martin Canada on the design, which is based upon the Type 26 Global Combat Ship that has been also selected as RAN's future Hunter-class frigates. The choice edged out Alion, 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 included Saab Australia.

L3 Technologies will be providing the Integrated Platform Management System, Integrated Communication Systems, electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) sensors, weapons stowage, torpedo handling systems, and helicopter hangar doors.

“This is great news for the company, the sector and our Naval Ships business and continues to build on our recent success in Australia for the Hunter Class frigate program," Andrew Wolstenholme, Group Managing Director, BAE Systems Maritime and Land UK, said. "It provides solid foundations within the export market and demonstrates the excellent design of the Global Combat Ship."

“It is fantastic that the Canadian Government has selected Lockheed Martin Canada, using BAE Systems’ innovative Type 26 Global Combat Ship design," British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said.

"I am aware that this has been a very competitive process, and this outcome is testament to the importance of the deep UK-Canada defence and security relationship.

"The announcement will bring further prosperity to both nations and is another demonstration of the success of BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship design, after it was recently chosen as the winning design for a contract with the Royal Australian Navy.”

Alion's court case challenging the decision rests on an argument that the Type 26 does not meet requirements set out in the tender. According to local media, the BAE/Lockheed Martin bid was the only one screened for cost, raising questions amongst critics as to whether all three bids were properly evaluated.

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