Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) Single-Class Surface Combatant
Destroyer Replacement Project (DRP)
Command and Control Area Air Defence Replacement (CADRE)

The Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) commits to the replacement of the Navy's surface combatant fleet, beginning in 2017, by the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC). Wiki claims that the Single Class Surface Combatants (SCSC) was known to Navy-watchers as the "Province class" destroyers, named after Canada's provinces, much as the United States Navy names capital ships [of whatever kind] after the states of the union. But this claim appears to be without official foundation, apart from a single fictionalized account by Major Neil Scott ["The Canadian Navy and Its Future Organic Air Capability" Canadian Naval Review Vol. 5, No. 4 (Winter 2010)]

A destroyer is a fast and manoeuvrable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a task or battle group and defend them against smaller, short-range attackers (originally torpedo boats, later submarines and aircraft). A Frigate is a warship intended to protect other warships and merchant marine ships and as anti-submarine warfare (ASW) combatants for amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment groups, and merchant convoys. As of 2006 Canada had 12 general purpose frigates of the HALIFAX-class. Incorporating many technological advances, including an integrated communications system, a command and control system, and a machinery control system, these vessels' weapons, sensors and engines form a formidable platform of defensive and offensive capabilities. They are quiet, fast, and have excellent sea-keeping characteristics.

Due to the pressing need to replace the Iroquois Class destroyers, the CSC Project will begin with the acquisition of a first batch of warships, which will provide the Area Air Defence and Task Group Command and Control capabilities currently resident in the Iroquois Class destroyers. Thereafter will follow the acquisition of general-purpose warships, which will replace the Halifax Class frigates when they eventually reach the end of their operational lives in the 2020s. The estimated total acquisition cost is $26B, with an estimated in-service support contract cost of $14.7B over 20 years. First ship delivery expected in 2020/2021.

The CSC project is an integral component of the Canadian Navy's extensive fleet renewal, which will keep the Navy at the leading edge, and allow it to offer the Government of Canada a range of options to play a leading role at home and abroad. It will be one of the largest capital equipment acquisition projects in the Canadian Government's history, representing approximately half the amount of the estimated acquisition costs of the projects identified in the CFDS, and will define the shape of the Navy for the first half of this century.

In the early 1970s, a new version of the Tribal class [aka Iroquois-class] destroyer was introduced intothe navy. They were originally designed for long-range ASW operations given theirability to carry two CH 124 Sea King helicopters. In the 1990s, under the Tribal Class Modernization and Update Program (TRUMP) project, the destroyers were transformedinto area air defence ships with a robust communications suite. Developed in the 1980s and commissioned in the early 1990s, the Halifax class frigates were originally designed to primarily operate in the open ocean as ASW and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) platforms. However, they came to be known more as multipurpose patrol ships that can deploy anywhere in the world rather than primarily ASW and ASuW units. The current Iroquois Class Destroyers are nearing the end of their operational life, and the Halifax Class Canadian Patrol Frigates (CPF) will reach theirs in the 2018-2025 time frame. These two classes of ships make up the surface combatant force of the Canadian Navy, and the capabilities inherent in them will need to be replaced.

The Defence Policy Statement required that the Canadian Forces (CF) acquire ships which, among other things, will be able to: support land operations, provide a sea-based national or international command capability, deploy tactical unmanned aerial vehicles and sustain naval task group operations worldwide. But given Canadian policy, CF Transformation initiatives, and the status of the Canadian shipbuilding industry, there is a significant risk that the Navy's surface combatant fleet, namely the DDH 280 destroyers and the HALIFAX class frigates, may not be replaced.

There will be a gap in capability due to the retirement of fleets prior to being replaced. One such example is the "area air defence capability" and command-and-control capability of the Navy. With the retirement of the destroyers, the Canadian fleet will lose the ability to conduct area air defence until a replacement comes online, projected as of 2008 for the 2020-to-2030 timeframe. To develop its next-generation fleet, the Canadian Navy put a priority on reducing the through-life costs of its new ships; one of the most promising ways of achieving this is by optimized crewing, which attempts to make appropriate investments in technology that will allow for a reduced crew complement. As damage control is one of the most important manpower drivers for naval platforms, it is a significant area of focus for optimized crewing efforts in the development of the new Canadian Single-Class Surface Combatant. Though advanced automation, 'smart' systems, and decision aids show great promise for a reduction of crew levels in damage control, they can also make the joint human-machine system more susceptible to faults.

The three Iroquois Class destroyers quarterback the Canadian Task Group. They provide an undeniable capability to the fleet. While they are due to be replaced, our main concern is that the destroyers provide a specific capability to Navy in the form of Air Defence, control at sea, and have a command capacity to take care of not just ourselves but also our coalition partners in the task group. The Canadian Surface Combatant Project needs to be able to replace these capabilities.

Since the Halifax Class frigates are receiving a mid-life refit, much the same way the destroyers did in the 1990s; the need to replace the destroyers is the first priority for the CSC Project. Contingency plans to extend the Iroquois Class' lifespan are being investigated, and, although it is impossible to predict the maximum extension of the ships' life, the Navy will use the destroyers for as long as we can with the aim of maintaining a task group capability. With this in mind the first flight of CSC warships will have the Air Defence and command and control capabilities to replace the Iroquois Class ships and subsequent flights will replace the Halifax Class frigates when they reach the end of their operational lifecycle.

In MARCOM Capability Planning Guidance 2000 (MCPG 2000), September 1999, the Chief of the Maritime Staff [CMS] stated that his priorities for the development of major capital projects were the Command/Control and Area Air Defence Replacement (CADRE), the Afloat Logistics and Sealift Capability (ALSC), the Frigate Life Extension Project (FELEX) and finally the Submarine Life Extension (SE-LEX) program.64 Although the navy's number one priority was ostensibly CADRE, an examination of different literature seemed to indicate that the top priority for Canada was actually the ALSC.

The $5.2 billion Command-and-Control and Area Air-Defence Capability Replacement (CADRE) project examined the replacement of the command-and-control and Task Group air-defence capability provided by the ageing Iroquois-class destroyers. This project investigated upgrading the C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) capabilities as well as introducing the ability for co-operative engagements. It also recommended a host of general purpose functions including force air defence, force under water warfare, and naval fire support.

With the trend towards littoral warfare and a mandate for a globally deployable Canadian Forces, the implications for such a replacement extend beyond the traditional area air defence functions of the Cold War. Potentially they could include the ability to handle threats from theatre missiles (ballistic and cruise), kinetic and beam (energy) weapons, and shore-based weapons, and CADRE would be able to provide support to joint and combined forces ashore. CADRE was shelved in 2002 but quickly re-emerged rebranded as the DRP (Destroyer Replacement Project) a component of the Single Class Surface Combatant Project.

The Single Class Surface Combatant (SCSC) was to be designed to address all areas of the key characteristics identified as necessary for effective operations in the future security environment. These include but are not limited to: facilitate net-enabled operations, enhance interoperability, operate in a complex environment, provide future relevance and reduce risks to CF personnel in combat situations. The provision of the SCSC would not only allow for the replacement and enhancement of the maritime capabilities delivered by the current surface combatants of the Navy, but would allow for the more efficient use of scarce defence resources in the fulfillment of Canada's defence and security needs.

The single surface combatant design would utilize a common hull form, engineering plant, common core equipment fit and will use open-concept engineering and modularity wherever feasible. As a result, the flexibility of the CF and the Navy will be increased with respect to tailoring the capabilities and capacity of a naval Task Group (or single vessel). As the ships will be designed using a modular weapons/sensors package concept, ships may be employed in a general-purpose configuration or can be task-tailored for specific missions.

The May 2005 Canadian Navy publication, Securing Canada's Ocean Frontiers - Charting the Course from Leadmark, discussed the Single Class Surface Combatant (SCSC), stating that " ... critical decisions as to the capabilities, type and size of the forces are best answered by the selection of general-purpose assets capable of a wide range of operational roles. In the present technological era, nothing answers as many force employment calls as the modern destroyer or frigate.... The move to a common major surface platform as older destroyer and frigate hulls are retired will rationalize the retention of a wide range of combat capabilities, while enhancing significant cost-savings through commonality of equipment and training, as well as new reduced manning concepts. Modular "plug and play" systems will allow for adaptive mission fits to individual units, providing different yet complimentary variants throughout the fleet. For example, while all ships would be fitted with common state of the art communications and self-defence weapons systems, certain units would be optimized for command and control or specific warfare areas such as near-land and over-land air defence or land attack. The overall aim will be to provide a general-purpose combat capable fleet that offers a flexible and scaleable force package."

The Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project replaced CADRE. The Single-Class Surface Combatant (SCSC) project (formerly Single Ship Transition) project was described in February 2007 as a future surface combatant intended to replace the capabilities of the Iroquois-class and eventually replace the Halifax-class in the period beginning 2016-2017. The military capabilities of the ships would be adaptable so that the three or four lead ships would replace the current destroyers' capabilities and the follow-on ships would be more like frigates. At a minimum CADRE, and then CSC, was to provide Canada with a ship that could replace the current destroyers' capabilities and the follow-on ships would be more like frigates.

It has been suggested that it may be of as much as 6,000-tons displacement. A small team is to be established in 2007 to begin the requirements definition work, and the number of ships to be constructed had yet to be decided. The goal was to arrive at a single class of ships with common engineering plan, common hull form, common habitability galley, mess decks, etc. The shipbuilding concept for this vision was the long considered continuousbuild fleet renewal programme through which a ship would be launched every 12-18 months over an extended period of years. As of 2007 it was planned that the initial vessels of the class would replace DDH 280 capabilities as the destroyers are paid off, with the first ship launched in 2012 and operational by 2014.

A Canadian shipbuilding capability would provide an opportunity for Canadian industry to develop new technologies that will support the future requirements of the Canadian Forces. By building the future fleet in Canada, the Government also builds a national industrial capacity, particularly in the relevant knowledge and technology sectors, to design, build and sustain modern warships. As an added benefit, this would provide tens of thousands of enduring, knowledge-based and skills-intensive jobs to Canadians across the country. Building warships in Canada also supports the development and retention of systems integration capabilities, which in essence means the expertise and ability to maintain and refit warships. This is critical for the Navy, which is evident in the case of the Iroquois Class destroyers, which were built some 40 years ago.

Rolled out incrementally and regionally during late 2005 and early 2006, the new Conservative defence strategy included an the launching of a frigate/destroyer replacement program. The Canada First Defence Strategy tabled by Peter MacKay in 2008 outlined clear roles and missions for the Canadian Forces. The twenty year plan outlined in the defence strategy indicated that starting in 2015 work will begin to introduce fifteen new ships to replace the destroyers and frigates. "Starting in 2015, 15 ships to replace Canada's destroyers and frigates. While all these vessels will be based on a common hull design, the frigate and destroyer variants will be fitted with different weapons, communications, surveillance and other systems. These new ships will ensure that the military can continue to monitor and defend Canadian waters and make significant contributions to international naval operations."

The Batch 2 HALIFAX Class (MONTREAL on) were initially projected to be 32' (10 meters) longer than the first batch, though in fact were built to the original specification, due to budget cuts. It is assumed that adding extra length to this hull design for a Mk.41 VLS would not be a problem. A new mast could have been required for the 4-facetted APAR system (similar to the new Dutch ships), and room would have had to be made atop the hangar for the SMART-L installation.

BAE Systems Surface Ships appeared interested in offering its expertise on this project. In addition, DCNS, the French shipbuilding firm, has promoted the FREMM multi-mission frigate program and DCNS's work, including designing and delivering frigates with ASW, land attack and AAW capabilities. In March 2011 the Harper government decided against co-operation with the British on the design of new frigates, following an outcry from the Canadian shipbuilding industry.

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