The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces today released the following statement on recent media coverage on the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program, which will renew the Royal Canadian Navy surface combat fleet by replacing the capabilities provided by the destroyers (Iroquois-class) and the multi-role patrol frigates (Halifax-class):
This project is currently in the definition phase, which means we are at the stage of firming up more of the detail, examining issues such as cost, schedule and requirements, and identifying any risks early so that they can be mitigated. The documents being referred to in some media reports are a management tool to help do exactly that.
As the project progresses through the definition phase, National Defence and the Royal Canadian Navy will continue to evaluate risks, adapt accordingly, and find efficiencies when and where possible. This is an ongoing process that will continue to evolve throughout the life of the project.
Through the design-then-build approach, the ship designs will be reviewed, refined and matured to get all of the production details right, and to factor in potential risks and finalize costs and schedule.
At this stage of a project, it is not unusual for some risks to be assessed as high. This may change over time as the project plan develops.
A key element of all warship design and construction programs is to develop requirements that will result in affordable solutions. In the case of the CSC, this process commenced with the early engagements with industry, the commencement of the initial requirements reconciliation with Irving Shipbuilding and will continue as the Government, with the expertise of the Warship Designer, the Combat Systems Integrator and Irving Shipbuilding, undertakes the work to finalize the requirements reconciliation, which will drive the design and construction of the CSC, with the project budget.
Capacity challenges are common as projects ramp up and various mitigation factors are at play within the project, including drawing expertise from across the Government of Canada, working with allies, and engagements with industry.
The CSC project is one that will span decades. There is constant attention to schedule with continual study to identify ways to reduce the time taken for various activities without jeopardizing performance. Such a focus is being applied to CSC to ensure the project progresses in a timely manner.”