Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) prime Irving Shipbuilding has awarded L3Harris two contracts to install the Integrated Platform Management System (IMPS) system into the CSC frigates to be built for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).

As part of the Canadian National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), Irving Shipbuilding is building 15 CSC ships, with construction of the Production Test Module commencing this summer. The CSC will replace the current Halifax-class frigates and will form the backbone of Canada’s naval combat capability – it is the largest and most complex shipbuilding project in Canadian history.

In 2019, the BAE Systems Global Combat Ship design was chosen, which is also being used for the UK’s own Type 26 frigate class currently under construction, and the Royal Australian Navy’s Hunter-class warships.

In a 19 June release 2024, Irving Shipbuilding stated that under these new contracts, L3Harris will design and deliver the IPMS, a system designed to manage the ship’s propulsion, power generation, and auxiliary networks.

“The system provides navy vessels with real-time monitoring and… effective communication capabilities, which in turn enhances safety, operational efficiency, and mission success,” said Manuel Perez, director of Maritime International Business Development at L3Harris.

Driven by the NSS, this latest supply chain announcement contributes to more than C$314m ($228.9m) in total contracts and investments delivered to Quebec, Irving Shipbuilding stated. The work under these contracts will take place at L3Harris’ Montreal facility.

The programme has seen a number of awards of the past 12 months, creating the industrial network required to build the warships.

Earlier, in September 2023, Lockheed Martin was awarded a near $64m contract for the establishment of the AEGIS Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) land-based test site in New Jersey, USA, funded through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) from Canada.

In May 2021, the US State Department approved the possible FMS to Canada of the AEGIS combat system for an estimated cost of $1.7bn, in a deal that would see deliver shipsets of AN/SPY-7 solid state radar components, among other equipment.

In focus: Canadian Surface Combatant

The CSC project is the RCN’s acquisition programme to build 15 multirole ships which will replace both the retired Iroquois-class destroyers and the in-service Halifax-class frigates. According to GlobalData the programme is estimated to cost up to $60bn, with the warships being bult by Irving Shipbuilding at its Halifax Shipyard.

Once in service, the CSC will have the capacity to conduct air, surface, sub-surface, and information warfare missions simultaneously on both open ocean and complex coastal environments. Its AEGIS system will focus on surface-to-air threat detection and interception.

Irving Shipbuilding was appointed as the prime contractor for the CSC project definition and implementation phases in January 2015, with a sub-contract awarded to Lockheed Martin Canada for vessel design in October 2018.

In February 2019, the BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship was selected as the base platform design for the CSC programme. In August 2023 the Canadian Government announced that it would inject a further $463m in the CSC project to accelerate construction.

Expected to displace around 7,800 tonnes, the CSC will be capable of speeds in excess of 27 knots and feature a full spectrum range of weapons systems, including a 127mm main gun and two 30mm secondary weapon systems, MBDA’s Sea Ceptor close-in air defence system, and accommodate missile such as RTX’s SM-2 or Evolved Sea Sparrow in its Mk41 vertical launch system.

Additionally, Mk54 lightweight torpedoes and Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile can also be fitted to the platform.