“There doesn’t seem to be a clear rationale when it comes to explaining these cost increases,” Giroux noted during his appearance at the Commons government operations committee. “I’m concerned.”
The Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project is the most expensive purchase in Canadian history.
The entry of the Type 26 warship in the Canadian competition was controversial from the start and sparked complaints the procurement process was skewed to favour that vessel. Previously, the Liberal government had said only mature existing designs or designs of ships already in service with other navies would be accepted, on the grounds they could be built faster and would be less risky. Unproven designs can face challenges as problems are found once the vessel is in the water and operating. The criteria was later changed by the Canadian government for reasons that are not entirely clear.
The other ships that were in the Canadian competition were all proven and in service with allied navies.
The Department of National Defence, however, has rejected the PBO’s numbers. It has instead launched a PR campaign to highlight the Type 26 from the consortium of Lockheed Martin and BAE. The department insists that the CSC project will cost between $56 billion and $60 billion.
Giroux said his approach on determining costing is similar to those followed by NATO and the auditing office of the U.S. Congress.
He said he expects the DND to soon change its cost figures on the CSC. “My bet is that they’ll probably update in a couple of months when it’s less politically charged,“ he said.
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