February 24, 2016 11:33 am
Updated: February 24, 2016 5:26 pm

Ottawa opts for foreign design in navy’s frigate replacement program

WATCH ABOVE: The Trudeau government is looking at changing the navy's frigate replacement program and is considering opting for a proven foreign design over a custom ship. Global's Marieke Walsh looks at thepossible impact on the navy in Halifax.

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OTTAWA – The Trudeau government has tweaked the navy’s planned frigate replacement program.

It’s opting for a proven foreign design over a custom domestic blueprint.

Defence contractors were given details of the proposal, which is subject to industry feedback and final approval, expected later this year.

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An official with Public Services and Procurement Canada says there are existing warship designs that would meet Canadian needs.

The official says relying on a proven, off-the-shelf warship design from another country also takes a lot of the uncertainty out of the planning process.

When originally conceived, the Harper government estimated the cost of building 15 warships would be in the range of $26 billion.

But internal documents and published reports last fall suggested the price tag could go as high as $40 billion.

In a statement, Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin McCoy said the company supports the government’s intention to gather input from the industry.

“We will continue to work closely with the Government of Canada to ensure the right foundations for the Canadian Surface Combatant Program are in place,” he said.

With Global News files

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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