Raytheon to Equip Canadian Frigates with New Weapons

Raytheon was awarded a $36 million contract to provide 58 Naval Remote Weapon Stations (NRWS) to the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigates. The same weapon stations will also be installed on the future Queenston-class Joint Support Ships.

The Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS CALGARY (FFH 335) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in preparation for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) on June 25, 2014. U.S. Navy photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan/Released
The Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS CALGARY (FFH 335) will receive a new Raytheon NRWS.

The new Naval Remote Weapon Systems are capable of defending the ship against aerial and naval threats, including small vessels and low-slow flyer threats in all conditions of visibility.

Presently, the weapon stations aboard the Halifax-class frigates are not remotely operated and needs gun operators outside the ship deck to fire the guns. With the new NRWS, gun operators will be able to remotely operate the gun in any weather from a separate compartment aboard the ship, increasing the safety and protection of the ship’s crew.

The Queenston-class Joint Support Ship design
The Queenston-class Joint Support Ship design. The Queenston will also be equipped with the Raytheon NRWS

“Canada needs a fleet that is both capable and flexible, one that will enable us to defend the country’s maritime interests here at home and around the world. Part of that force capability includes the inherent need to protect our ships and sailors from the threats they may encounter in any operational setting. The acquisition of this remotely operated weapon system will enhance the Navy’s close-in force protection capability, while also providing enhanced personal protection to the crew operating these systems,” said Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander, Royal Canadian Navy.

The contract also ensure a maintenance and equipment upgrade for an initial five years and will included two training stations at both the east and west coast fleet schools.

The delivery of the NRWS is expected to being in August 2017.

Quick Facts from the Government of Canada’s website

  • The weapon stations currently on board the fleet of Halifax-class modernized frigates are not remotely operated and require gun operators to be outside on the ship deck operating the guns.
  • With these new Naval Remote Weapon Stations, operators will now be able to remotely observe and locate targets under various environmental conditions (day or night, rain, snow, smoke, dust/sand, haze, fog and various sea/air temperature, as well as other conditions affecting visibility) from a separate compartment on board the ship, which will increase the safety and protection of the ship’s crew.
  • The Naval Remote Weapon Stations contracts are aligned with the Defence Procurement Strategy, which aims to leverage military spending to create highly skilled jobs and drive economic growth across the Canadian economy.
  • In an effort to modernize Government of Canada procurement practices, a two-step bid evaluation process was used to assess suppliers’ bids for the Naval Remote Weapon Stations competition. This process gives bidders the chance to fix minor errors or omissions that would have seen their bids rejected under the regular process. Public Services and Procurement Canada is committed to simplifying how suppliers do business with the Government of Canada by modernizing and improving its procurement practices.
  • The delivery of the Naval Remote Weapon Stations is expected to begin in August 2017.
  • These contracts will help create and maintain up to 23 jobs in Canada.
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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.