Ottawa – The federal government is poised to fire the starting gun on the single largest military procurement competition in Canadian history: replacing the navy’s warships.
The competition, worth as much as $10 billion and involving 12 of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world, is expected to be launched this week after years of debate, delays and hand-wringing.
Companies will be given six months to submit designs for a new warship which will replace the navy’s 12 frigates and its three recently retired destroyers.
The winning design will be built by Irving Shipyards in Halifax, with the first ship scheduled to hit the water in 2024.
But some companies are already grumbling, raising fears some will attempt to scuttle the entire process if they don’t win.
There are also outstanding questions over how many ships will actually be built and what the total cost will be.
The previous Conservative government promised 15 ships for $26 billion when it announced the warship project in 2010, but naval officials have since pegged the cost at closer to $40 billion.
The Liberal government has said it will not decide on a budget or number of ships until later.
The Canadian Press