Type 26 Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC)
Canada’s defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged” (SSE), has committed to investing in 15 Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) ships. These ships will be Canada’s major surface component of maritime combat power. With its effective warfare capability and versatility, it can be deployed rapidly anywhere in the world, either independently or as part of a Canadian or international coalition. The CSC will be able to deploy for many months with a limited logistic footprint.
Western countries repeatedly expressed concerns over Russia's alleged increasing military presence and activities in the Arctic region. Moscow vehemently rejects the allegations, noting that it considers the Arctic to be an area for constructive dialogue and equal, conflict-free cooperation in the interest of all nations.
By October 2018 The Royal Canadian Navy was considering purchasing 15 British Type 26 frigates designed to fight enemy submarines, according to Defense News' David Larter. He recalled that the construction of these warships began in the UK only last summer, which could provoke a delay in deliveries and an increase in the cost of ships.
However, the Canadian government, which planned to allocate US$60 billion for the UK frigates, was "willing to accept those risks because of the strategic threat Russia poses to Canada's interests at the rapidly thawing top of the world," Larter claimed. In this context, he cited Bryan Clark, a retired US submarine officer and analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, as saying that Canada perceives anti-submarine activity as "a big deal." "If you are worried about the Russian sub threat and the air threat, then, yeah, the Type 26 makes sense," Clark said.
Gary Fudge, a vice president with Lockheed Martin Canada, which will supply the British frigates to the Canadian fleet, said in turn that Western powers previously preferred to invest in the development of air defense, but the threat that has emerged in the past 15 years has largely been in submarine technology.
ON 20 July 2017 BAE Systems welcomed Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, to its Glasgow shipyard to press the button to start production of the first of the new Type 26 Global Combat Ships for the UK Royal Navy. During his speech, the Defence Secretary unveiled the name of the first ship as Glasgow.
This ceremonial event followed the UK Government's recent award of a contract worth c£3.7bn for the first three ships to be built at BAE Systems' sites in Glasgow. This built on the work already underway to construct five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels and provides a strong foundation for the next two decades of shipbuilding in Scotland, securing more than 4,000 jobs across BAE Systems and its UK maritime supply chain.
During the visit to BAE Systems' shipyard in Glasgow, Defence Secretary, Sir Michael said: "Today marks yet another historic milestone for the Royal Navy, Scottish shipbuilding and UK Defence more widely. Glasgow will protect our powerful new aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent, keeping British interests safe across the world. The Type 26 is a cutting-edge warship that will maintain our naval power with a truly global reach. Designed for a service life of at least 25 years, the Type 26 Frigates will form a backbone of the future Royal Navy surface fleet into the 2060s."
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship, replacing the Type 23 anti submarine variant frigates, with the first ship due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid 2020s. Globally deployable, the flexible mission bay, aviation facilities and combat systems ensure it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. We are exploring potential export opportunities where we have strong interest from international customers.
Type 26 is cutting edge in terms of its capability and benefits from the latest advances in digital technologies, including 3D and virtual reality, to ensure that the ship's design was refined earlier in the process. This has enabled BAE Systems to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy to ensure every zone of the ship has the requirements of its crew at the heart of the design.
From humanitarian assistance to high-intensity conflicts, the Royal Canada Navy's future fleet will perform a wide range of missions requiring advanced technology and multi-role versatility. Lockheed Martin's latest generation SPY-7 radar and Canadian-developed Combat Management System (CMS 330) will form the backbone of the Canadian Surface Combatant. Under a contract awarded by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in September 2020 for the SPY-7 radar system, CSC will have the capability to keep Canada's sailors safe and prepared in the face of modern threats.
Canada has secured the world's most versatile radar technology to deliver an integrated fire control system. SPY-7 is a modular and scalable solid-state radar that provides continuous surveillance, protection, and an exceptionally accurate threat picture to its operators. Its scalable, open architecture enables the flexibility to fulfill a variety of missions and expand its capabilities while its modularity provides for ease of maintenance at sea. With planned deployment on more than 24 platforms across four countries, SPY-7 leverages 50 years of continuous evolution and innovation of the U.S Navy's Aegis Combat System.
The selection of the British Type 26 design by the Liberal government spawned criticism, a court challenge and figured prominently in reports by the auditor general and the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The government projected the acquisition phase to begin in the early 2020s with deliveries to begin in the mid-2020s. The delivery of the 15th ship, slated for the late 2040s, would conclude the procurement program. In 2019 it was assumed that construction would begin in FY 2023-2024. and production would continue until the completion of the 15th ship in 2043- 2044.
It will be 2031, at the earliest, before the navy sees the first of its new frigates; a setback brought about partly by the fact Canada, Britain and Australia were still feeling their way around how to build the ultra-modern warship. Both Canada and Australia are building their own variants. The outgoing president of Irving Shipbuilding Inc., which is in charge of constructing combat ships for the federal government, said he anticipates steel will be cut on the first of the new generation high-end warships by mid-2024. "We have been trying to take an honest look at where we are and what it will take to build the ship," said Kevin McCoy who had announced his retirement from the East Coast shipbuilder.
The estimate as of early 2021 was that it will take up to seven-and-a-half years to build the surface combatant, a timeline being used by Britain's BAE Systems Inc., which is constructing the first of what's known as the Type 26 design. "Early on [in the shipbuilding process] estimates are not very good," said McCoy. "Early estimates are not very good for price; they're not very good for size; they're not not very good for duration," McCoy said. "The British ship has a seven-and-a-half year build cycle. So, we're locked in. We said our build cycle will be seven-and-a-half years as well." Canada, McCoy said, can expect to pay no more $2.5 billion to $3 billion, per ship as they are produced, which is, he claimed, about what other nations would pay for a warship of similar capability.
The Canadian version of the Type 26 will be expected to do more than its British and Australian class-mates. Where those navies have different warships, performing different functions, such as air defence or anti-submarine warfare, Canada's one class of frigates will be expected to perform both.
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