Canada today selected the US company Lockheed Martin as the preferred supplier for the design of the next generation of frigates, a project with a budget of some 60,000 million Canadian dollars (46.2 billion dollars).
The decision supposes the apparent defeat of the project presented by the Spanish Navantia, which included the companies Saab and CEA Technologies, based on the design of the frigate F-105 that is in service in the Spanish Navy.
Another initiative discarded by the Canadian authorities was that of Alion Science and Techonology, inspired by the Dutch frigate De Zeven Provinciën or LCF.
Canada said in a statement that the decision does not mean that Lockheed Martin has been awarded the contract, which will occur after the conclusion of negotiations on intellectual property rights and the evaluation of the performance of combat systems, as well as the financial capacity of the company.
The Canadian government said the project, called the Canadian Surface Combatant, "is the largest and most complex public contract ever established" in Canada.
"These vessels will form the backbone of our Royal Canadian Navy and will be the main component of surface maritime combat capability for decades to come," the authorities added.
Ottawa plans to award the project in the coming months and start construction of the ships in 2023. The construction will be carried out by the Canadian company Astilleros Irving, in Halifax.
The Canadian Executive wants to build a total of 15 units of the frigate that will replace the Iriquois class destroyers and the frigates of the Halifax class, currently in operation.