Canada to construct up to 15 vessels under C$26.2bn programme
Canadian officials have stated that the country is set to begin construction of naval ships under a C$26.2bn ($21.5bn) programme early in the next decade.
The project, which will see the construction of 15 vessel to replace three destroyers and 12 frigates, was originally announced by the Canadian Government in 2010
However, officials have claimed that the programme could end up below target and over budget.
A Canadian official was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Do we think that the C$26.2bn is going to become the sort of ceiling cost in the time frame we're talking about? Perhaps not."
"We do have to constrain this? Do we land with fewer ships, as is happening with our allies?"
In November 2013, Canada's official spending watchdog stated that the estimated C$26.2bn budget would not be enough to buy and properly equip the 15 ships.
The budget of this programme and number of combat ships are not still confirmed. Officials claimed that the plan was now to construct up to 15 vessels and the exact number would not be known for another few years.
The new vessels will be constructed by Nova Scotia's Irving Shipbuilding and the project is expected to be completed in 2040. Irving received the contract for this project in 2011.
Federal officials will start searching for a warship designer and combat-systems integrator next month and the shortlist is likely to be announced later this year.
The government is expected to select two key suppliers in early 2017 on a competitive bid.