Canada awards contract support to General Dynamics for 6 Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigates combat systems

According to a press release published on November 6, 2020, following an open and competitive process, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada, from Ottawa, Ontario, for in-service support on 6 Halifax-class combat systems (HCCS).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver FFH 331. (Picture source Canada MoD)

The HCCS (Halifax-class combat systems) is an integral component of the entire fleet of Halifax-class ships and will require in-service support until the arrival of the Canadian Surface Combatants. This initial contract is valued at approximately $182 million (including taxes) over 6 years, and will maintain up to 106 jobs.

The Halifax-class frigates monitor and control Canadian waters, defend Canada's sovereignty, facilitate large-scale search and rescue activities, and provide emergency assistance when needed. Introduced into service in the 1990s, the Canadian-built Halifax-class frigates were recently modernized to remain operationally effective and relevant until the Canadian Surface Combatants enter into service.

The Canadian Surface Combatants will replace the Halifax-class frigates and the retired Iroquois-class destroyers. With them, the RCN will have modern and capable ships to monitor and defend Canada's waters, to continue to contribute to international naval operations for decades to come and to rapidly deploy credible naval forces worldwide, on short notice.

The 12 Canadian-built Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates are considered the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The ships were originally designed for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, primarily in the open ocean environment.

The Halifax-class is a class of multi-role patrol frigates which are in service with the Royal Canadian Navy since 1992. In 2016, the last of the 12 Halifax-class helicopters-carrying frigates, the core of the Royal Canadian Navy fleet, completed the Halifax-Class modernization project. This involved the installation of state-of-the-art radars, defenses and armaments. The armaments combine anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air systems to deal with threats below, on and above the sea surface.

The Halifax-class frigate is armed with one 57mm 70 Mk2 Bofors naval gun mounted on the bow deck,  one Phalanx CIWS Close-In Weapon System (Mk 15 Mod 21 (Block 1B)), six .50 caliber machine guns, and two twins 324mm mk32 mod 9 torpedo tubes are installed at the bow end of the helicopter hangar. The ship is also fitted with two quadruple launch tubes for MK 141 Harpoon SSM anti-ship missiles and 16 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile SAM/SSM. 

The Halifax-class vessels displaced 4,750 long tons (4,830 t) and were 134.65 meters (441 ft 9 in) long overall and 124.49 meters (408 ft 5 in) between perpendiculars with a beam of 16.36 meters (53 ft 8 in) and a draught of 4.98 meters (16 ft 4 in). The ship is propelled by two shafts with Escher Wyss controllable pitch propellers driven by a CODOG system of two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, generating 47,500 shaft horsepower (35,400 kW) and one SEMT Pielstick 20 PA6 V 280 diesel engine, generating 8,800 shaft horsepower (6,600 kW).