Following a recent award to provide the variable-depth sonar (VDS) for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) programme, Ultra has now been awarded a further contract, to commence work on the S2150 Hull-Mounted Sonar (HMS) for the up to 15-vessel programme. These subcontracts move the development of CSC’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability from the programme definition phase into the substantive manufacture and delivery of the vessels’ suite of sonars.
The Ultra HMS selected for CSC is part of the world’s most advanced HMS product family, with a level of operational performance that meets stringent Canadian technical requirements. Additionally, its innovative design provides significant ship design advantages, as well as logistical benefits and cost-savings in the maintenance and upgrade of the system through its operational life.
The S2150-C HMS system is a prime example of the inward technology transfer and sovereign capability that the CSC programme is building for Canada. The system was originally designed for the UK’s Type 26 platform, meaning it is optimized for the vessel design that has been selected for CSC. This technology will now be transferred to Canada, with Canadian workers and Canadian suppliers being skilled up to provide significant material elements of the system, as well as to conduct design customisation, system integration, installation, acceptance and in-country support. Furthermore, due to the same HMS system family being present on Royal Navy vessels, as well as the Australian HUNTER-class frigate programme, Canadian suppliers will have the opportunity to be considered as suppliers to these programmes, thus lifting the export potential for Canadian industry as a result of CSC.
The programme is also triggering major Canadian investment decisions by Ultra in terms of facilities, inward technology transfer and research partnerships, which will be announced through the course of 2021. Overall, Ultra’s role on CSC is a very good example of the Industrial and Technological Benefits that the programme is providing to Canada, and of the enduring impact it will have on Canada’s sovereign naval capability.
Isabel Tassé, Ultra’s Senior Program Manager for CSC, noted, “We are providing the Royal Canadian Navy with a world-leading capability in anti-submarine warfare, and at the same time bringing technologies, jobs, innovation and investment into Canada. Alongside our partners on the CSC program – most notably Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Lockheed Martin – we are laying the foundation for a sustained sovereign naval capability for the nation.”