Canada Allowed to Proceed with Frigate Contract as Trade Tribunal Reviews Protest

Canada will now be able to move forward with a planned contract award for 15 Type 26 frigates in early 2019 after the Canadian International Trade Tribunal reversed a decision to temporarily block the contract.

A team of Lockheed Martin Canada and BAE Systems were selected as the preferred bidder in the Canadian Surface Combatant program. Losing bidder Alion Canada, which was offering a ship based on the Dutch De Zeven Provincien Air Defense and Command frigate, subsequently filed a complaint with the CITT. At the time, the trade tribunal said it would review the complaint, and directed the government to postpone a contract award until the review was complete.

That restriction has now been lifted, after an official from Public Services and Procurement Canada told the tribunal that a contract delay would be “contrary to the public interest.” Despite the reversal, the CITT said it will still review the complaint from Alion, a process that could take up to 90 days.

While the initial ruling from the CITT barred a contract award, it did not prevent negotiations between the government and the Lockheed team from continuing. As such, the complaint has not impacted the program schedule, and a contract is still anticipated in early 2019. A ruling from the CITT in favor of Alion could be disruptive, however, particularly if the ruling comes after a contract has been awarded.

About Shaun McDougall

As editor of International Military Markets, North America, Shaun has cultivated a deep understanding of the vast defense markets in the United States and Canada. Shaun's perspective on defense procurement and budget issues has been cited in a variety of defense periodicals, including Defense News and National Defense Magazine. Further, Shaun played an integral role in the development of Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast product, which offers an unprecedented level of insight into the Pentagon's acquisition budget. In addition to providing original analytical content for the U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, Shaun oversees an internal defense budget forecasting process involving Forecast International's team of skilled systems analysts following release of the DoD's annual budget request. Shaun is also in charge of managing Forecast International's Weapons Inventory database.

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