Vanguard Magazine

Dec/Jan 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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Page 21 of 47

S SHIPBUILDING 22 dECEMBER 2014/JanUaRy 2015 H owever, as the frigates undergo a $4.3 billion mid-life extension and the modernization of their combat, ra- dar and communications systems as well as their mis- siles, they are attracting attention from a global com- munity of navies with similar sized MEKO frigates all facing issues with aging legacy systems. In late November, the Royal Canadian Navy announced that the fi rst four frigates – Halifax, Fredericton, Calgary and Winnipeg – had all completed their upgrades and that Fredericton was preparing to deploy in early 2015. Furthermore, the remain- ing eight ships were on schedule to be completed by 2018. The complexity and early success of the Halifax-class Modern- ization (HCM) program has not gone unnoticed. Case in point: New Zealand. As the owner of two MEKO 200 frigates – part of a 10-ship build known as the ANZAC-class with the Royal Australian Navy in the late 1990s – the country needed options to extend the operational life of the Te Mana and Te Kaha until their planned retirement around 2030. On 1 May 2014, following an international ten- der, the New Zealand Ministry of Defence awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Canada under a NZ$446M program for the mid-life upgrade of their frigates, beat- ing out proposals from Thales, Saab, BAE Systems and Selex ES. Although the contract only involved integration of the combat systems, New Zealand had over the previous three years become very familiar with the work being done for the entire Halifax-class upgrade. Once negotiations began, said Don McClure, Lockheed Martin Canada's vice president of business development, the government quickly expressed interest in having the systems and sensors installed and integrated at Seaspan Shipyards in Victoria, similar to the program of work currently being performed on fi ve of Canada's frigates. Malcolm Barker, vice president and general manager of Victoria Shipyards, believes two factors were critical to that decision: the strength and experience of the integrated team already involved in HCM; and the opportunity to see fi rsthand what the full scope of work would look like. "We had the best 'PowerPoint' presentation anybody could have right in our yard. We had a ship [that] hadn't gone through any part of its upgrade, we had another in our dry dock that had gone through six months of upgrade, and we had the Calgary, which was fi nished. They were able to walk through each ship and see where we started, where we are today, and what the ship will look like when we are fi n- When the Canadian Patrol Frigate program was conceived in the 1970s and tendered in 1983, some had high hopes for its export potential. While several of the technologies and innovations introduced on the 12 Halifax-class ships eventually found international customers, the vessels themselves never did. by Vanguard Staff INTERNATIONAL INTEREST Frigate's new systems fi nd The New Zealand Anzac class ship HMZNS Te-Mana. Photo: U.S. Navy

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