21st CENTURY NAVAL CAPABILITY FOR CANADA
The Alion Bid will reliably deliver an effective and affordable, production-ready, 21st century naval capability to meet Canada’s defence needs, while also providing a secure and supportive foundation for the ongoing realization of the objectives of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
THE STRATEGIC REQUIREMENT
Alion’s bid recognizes that the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) procurement is a singularly momentous national commitment with a longstanding impact on the RCN’s future ability to serve the national defence interests of Canada. The Military-Off-the-Shelf (MOTS) design approach was chosen by Canada in order to reduce risk regarding cost, schedule, and performance in the acquisition of the CSC. In accordance with this risk reduction strategy, such a design needs to be one currently in service in a NATO+2 country; one which meets the RCN requirements with a minimum of changes to the platform and combat systems; and one that is cost effective, producible, and supportable. In addition to the high program schedule imperative, it is also recognized that such a large national procurement must deliver lasting industrial and technological benefits.
THE SHIP-SYSTEM SOLUTION
The combination of risk reduction strategy and schedule imperative places a high premium on a mature, proven design, one which requires a minimum of changes, and one which is fully engineered for ready production (including ample margins for future capability changes to meet evolving threats).
Alion’s Total Ship Reference Point (TSRP), the Zeven Provinciën (LCF) Class of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN), is just such a design. With four ships commissioned into service with the RNLN 2002-2005, this design has readily established itself in international exercises as ‘best in class’.
The LCF was developed as a highly producible, low density design, with the number of steel plate and stiffener sizes kept to a minimum consistent with design requirements, and design margins providing scope for through-life growth to meet changing threats. The minimum number of changes necessary to meet Canada’s requirements (mostly concerning topside elements), and the ready availability of a 3-D product model (integrated design/production data in electronic format), ensure the quickest possible commencement of construction, and with minimum risk to production data integrity. This ensures a CSC solution which, from selection through to delivery, will remain consistent with and supportive of Canada’s choice of the MOTS procurement strategy.