Vancouver aerospace firm MDA preps bid for new Royal Canadian Navy ships

MDA is part of Canada’s Combat Ship Team, which includes Lockheed Martin Canada, BAE Systems, CAE, L3 Technologies and Ultra Electronics

The Vancouver-founded aerospace firm known for creating the Canadarm will be part of a consortium putting forward a bid on the next generation of Canada’s naval vessels.

MDA confirmed to Business In Vancouver on November 28 that if the bid were successful, the firm would provide electronics, antennas, radar, software and system engineering for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program.

The CSC program is building 15 new ships for the navy to replace the country’s Halifax-class frigates and Iroquois-class destroyers.

The consortium known as Canada’s Combat Ship Team also includes Lockheed Martin Canada, BAE Systems, CAE, L3 Technologies and Ultra Electronics.

“One of the key aspects of the procurement is creating economic benefits to Canada,” said Dave Hargreaves, MDA’s vice-president of aerospace and defence, surveillance and intelligence.

“We have worked together with Lockheed Martin and the other partners to do a lot of really creative stuff about building the ships in Canada.”

Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax is serving as the prime contractor for the CSC program.

Meanwhile, Hargreaves told BIV that MDA’s facilities in B.C, Ontario and Quebec would all be involved in developing the products and systems used on the new ships.

The bid put forward by Canada’s Combat Ship Team would collectively employ an estimated 9,000 Canadians.

Hargreaves said he could not provide an exact number of MDA employees who’d be involved with the program but said, “the answer is ‘a lot.’”

The government pegs the CSC program’s costs at $56-60 billion.