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US clears AEGIS sale for Canadian Surface Combatants

Canadian Surface Combatant
Lockheed Martin photo of the CSC design

The US State Department has approved the sale of the AEGIS combat system to Canada for an estimated cost of $1.7 billion.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on May 10.

AEGIS will equip the fleet of Royal Canadian Navy’s 15 new Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) that are currently being built. CSC will be the first Canadian warships to carry the combat system that integrates computers and radars to enable ships to detect and destroy enemy targets.

Canada has requested to buy four shipsets of the AEGIS combat system, one AEGIS Combat System Computer Program, four shipsets of AN/SPY-7 Solid State Radar Components, four shipsets of Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), and three shipsets of the MK 41 Vertical Launch System.

“This proposed sale will increase Canadian maritime forces’ interoperability with the United States and other allied forces, as well as their ability to contribute to missions of mutual interest by delivering the first AEGIS-capable Canadian Surface Combatant. This will significantly improve network-centric warfare capability for the U.S. forces operating globally alongside Canada,” DSCA said in a statement.

Canada expects to receive its first CSC ship in late 2020s, with construction on track to start in 2023/2024.

While CSC design specifications are likely to deviate to some extent from the Global Combat Ship design they are based on, the ships could be expected to displace around 7,000 tons and measure close to 150 meters in length. Envisioned as multi-purpose combatants, the ships have an integrated mission bay and hangar, capable of supporting multiple helicopters, UUVs, boats, mission loads and disaster relief stores. According to BAE Systems, the flight deck is capable of landing a Chinook helicopter for transport of embarked forces.

Contracts are already in place for the delivery of OTO 127/64 Lightweight (LW) Vulcano naval guns for the ships, as well as the Sea Ceptor air defense missiles.