CORRECTED: Canada partners with Lockheed Martin on next-gen warships
ATTENTION - CORRECTION: CORRECTS value of the initial contract ///
Ottawa, Feb 8, 2019 (AFP) - Canada announced Friday it had partnered with
US weapons maker Lockheed Martin on a Can$185 million project to design 15
"Our government is providing the Royal Canadian Navy with the ships it
needs to do its important work of protecting Canadians," Procurement Minister
Carla Qualtrough said in Halifax, where the ships will be built.
Based on the British-designed Type 26 frigate, developed by BAE Systems for
the British defense ministry, the ships will measure 492 feet (150 meters)
from bow to stern.
Armed with sea-to-air missiles and with a range of 8,000 miles (13,000
kilometers) and a top speed of 26 knots (48 kilometers an hour), the ships
will carry crews of between 157 and 208 sailors.
The design period is expected to last three to four years, with
construction due to start in the early 2020s.
While the initial contract is for Can$185 million ($139 million), the cost
of building all 15 warships will rise to Can$60 billion, according to the
Radio-Canada public news service.
"These highly advanced, state-of-the-art warships will enable our navy to
monitor and defend our waters here at home, help us support our international
allies and keep Canadians safe," said Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan.
Since coming to office in 2015, the government of Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau has launched an extensive modernization program of Canada's armed
forces, updating warplanes and submarines and buying new light armored
vehicles and a new generation of precision-guided munitions.
The long-term aim is to bolster defense spending from the current one
percent of gross domestic product to 1.4 percent by 2027.