The HCM project achieved First Article Acceptance - formal recognition that Lockheed Martin Canada’s combat system design meets the Navy’s performance requirements. First Article Acceptance was preceded by an extensive series of integration tests at the company’s Maritime Advanced Training and Test Site in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 

Individual system acceptance of the Lockheed Martin Canada combat system has also been achieved on seven of Canada’s 12 Halifax Class frigates. They are: HMCS Halifax, HMCS Calgary, HMCS Fredericton, HMCS Winnipeg, HMCS Montréal, HMCS Vancouver and, most recently, HMCS Charlottetown. The ships completed a rigorous sea trial program to validate the combat system is ready to support the Navy’s critical missions. 

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, commented on the achievements of the HCM project. “The overall management and success of the program has proven to be an excellent partnership model for future shipbuilding projects, and has been recognized internationally. The valuable information provided to the New Zealand Ministry of Defence on our modernization experience assisted them in their decision to upgrade the combat systems on their ANZAC class ships. This global export opportunity of the Canadian combat system is the result of close collaboration between the Royal Canadian Navy, Department of National Defence, and industry.” 

The complex HCM project was managed through several stages. Requirements reconciliation set the tone for the entire project with the Lockheed Martin Canada team working collaboratively with the Navy to ensure requirements were well defined to support the competitive selection of key sub-systems. This was followed by the design and implementation phases. As vessels continue to come out of the modernization process, they go through various stages of readiness as the new systems are tested and the crews are trained. Modernized ships have already returned to the fleet and are now conducting Canada’s important missions. 

“Our innovative combat management system, integration methodology, and Canadian supply chain form the largest component of the modernization project,” said Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice president Lockheed Martin Canada Mission Systems and Training. “Our team is thrilled to deliver Canadian-built, world-class technology to the Royal Canadian Navy.” 

Lockheed Martin Canada’s heritage extends over three decades, to the original Halifax class ship program in the 1980’s. The company’s modern combat system is a result of the 30-plus years’ experience and knowledge of Canadian and NATO naval operations. Building on this foundation, the company’s combat system was also selected and repurposed for command and surveillance capability on Canada’s new Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships. Today, the company continues to work in partnership with the Navy, Irving Shipbuilding, Seaspan, and several industry suppliers. 

“We are proud of our rich history in Canada and the advanced combat system integration capability we have built here,” Ms. Chapdelaine said.  “At the very core of this success is the open and transparent communication established early in the project. Our teams continue to foster cooperation and partnership with all stakeholders – a model of success for future projects in Canada and abroad.” 

HMCS Montréal sea trials video: