ANDREA GUNN OTTAWA BUREAU
Published May 22, 2017 - 5:55pm
A new Lockheed Martin Canada contract with the Chilean armada will mean job creation in the HRM, according to a company source.
Lockheed’s Canadian arm announced Tuesday it had been awarded the contract to replace the combat management system and select subsystems for the Chilean navy’s three Type 23 frigates — purchased from the Royal Navy about a decade ago — following a worldwide competition.
The Canadian-designed CMS 330 — a newer version of the combat management system Lockheed designed for the Royal Canadian Navy’s original Halifax-class ships — will be the combat system installed on Chile’s Type 23s. The combat management system is often the most expensive part of a ship, and can be best described as the brain and nervous systems of the ship’s intelligence and combat operations.
CMS 330 is present on Canada’s modernized frigates and is the backbone of the systems aboard the New Zealand’s ANZAC-class ships. The same combat system and integration methodology was also repurposed for command and surveillance purposes on Canada’s fleet of Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships currently being constructed by Irving Shipbuilding gin Halifax.
Lockheed Canada’s combat systems and integration technology is built at a facility in Ottawa and tested at the the company’s Maritime Advanced Testing and Training Site (MATTS) in Dartmouth.
A Lockheed spokeswoman said the MATTS site works sort of like a land ship, where all the systems are tested as they would be at sea.
“The jobs in Halifax really encompass the software development, all the the system engineering and integration of all of the components, training and simulation, and some of the project management roles,” she said.
She said there will be new hires as a result of the Chilean deal at both the Ottawa and Dartmouth facilities, but couldn’t say how many jobs would be created this time.
The Dartmouth MATTS facility currently employs about 250 people.
“Lockheed Martin Canada is an anchor employer in Halifax and Nova Scotia, and I am excited about the future work coming to Nova Scotia employees as a result of this latest export sale to Chile,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage in a statement.
“The critical skills and expertise developed here in support of key naval programs positions us for continued economic growth. These valuable high-tech jobs also attract top talent and offer exceptional opportunities for our local graduates.”
Lockheed Martin Canada is currently one of 12 prequalified firms set to bid on the multi-billion-dollar Canadian Surface Combatant project in the joint competition for a combat system integrator and pre-existing ship design.
The deadline for the request for proposals is in late June.