HMCS Calgary

Canada is currently in the process of finalising details for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) programme, examining issues such as cost, schedule and requirements, the Department of National Defence has said.

The CSC programme aims to strengthen the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) capacity with new warships.

The new vessels are expected to replace the Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates.

Currently in the definition phase, the government is also in the process of identifying any risks regarding the project to mitigate them.

A statement from the defence department said that National Defence and the RCN will now continue to evaluate risks, adapt accordingly, and find efficiencies.

As part of this development, the ship designs will be reviewed, refined, and matured to get all of the production details right.

Estimated to be worth approximately C$26.2bn ($21.5bn), the project will see the construction of 15 vessels and is expected to start early in the next decade.

The Canadian Government originally announced this project in 2010.

In November 2013, Canada’s official spending watchdog stated that the estimated budget would not be enough to buy and properly equip the 15 ships.

In 2011, Nova Scotia’s Irving Shipbuilding secured the contract to build these warships. The project is expected to be completed in 2040.

"The new vessels are expected to replace the Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates."

Currently, the Canadian Navy operates 12 Halifax-class multi-purpose frigates, which were commissioned between 1992 and 1997. In 2007, the Canadian Government launched a project to upgrade the Halifax-class frigates.

Also known as also known as Tribal-class destroyers, the Iroquois-class destroyers were originally built as anti-submarine warfare destroyers in the 1970s.

However, these ships were modified as area air defence destroyers through a major upgrade programme in the 1990s.

Three ships are currently in service with the Canadian Forces Maritime Command, while one ship was decommissioned in March 2005.

Image: One of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigates, HMCS Calgary. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Canadian Armed Forces Sgt Matthew McGregor.