Warship design requests slightly delayed, coming out next month: defence official

Click to play video: 'A potential glimpse into Canada’s warship future'
A potential glimpse into Canada’s warship future
WATCH ABOVE: A state of the art warship from France is in Halifax to participate in an international naval exercise and showcase her advanced design to the Royal Canadian Navy – Sep 8, 2016

A senior official with the Canadian Forces says there’s been a slight delay in issuing a complex request to industry for an off-the-shelf design of the country’s next generation of warships.

Pat Finn, the assistant deputy minister of materiel, says the request for proposals for the Canadian surface combatant vessels – originally expected to be issued this month – will be going out before mid-October to allow bidders a last chance to make suggestions on the criteria for the Royal Canadian Navy ships.

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Finn said during an interview at a defence conference in Halifax that his department is working with the prime contractor, Irving Shipbuilding, to produce over 1,500 pages of specifications for the project to build up to 15 ships.

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He says it’s critical to do a good job on the specifications to avoid problems down the road, and that means giving suppliers “one more rotation” of comments before finalizing the request for proposal.

Finn says after the request for proposals is issued, the design bids would come in early in 2017 and by the end of next summer a general design may be selected, though final contracts would be negotiated over several years.

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The former navy admiral says he feels pressure to get projects done on time, but adds it’s also important to listen to suppliers and make changes to the proposed project at the early stages.

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