When the Director of Naval Requirements presented to Navy Outlook in April, he touched on 56 major projects the navy has on its near- and mid-term horizon. While the Canadian Surface Combatant might be the grand prize, there are a number of smaller programs from satellite communications upgrade to remote weapon stations and unmanned aerial systems that need to be considered as the navy continues to modernize its 12 Halifax-class frigates and builds new classes of ships.

Chief among them is the Underwater Warfare Suite upgrade, a project to improve the performance of the suite currently installed in a minimum of six of the Halifax-class frigates. And one bidder is already in the running.

Last week, General Dynamics Canada announced a teaming agreement with Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems and Raytheon Canada to pursue the UWSU project.

The project as currently outlined by DNR calls for a new passive array, a new sonobuoy processing system, an upgrade to the hull mounted sonar and a new active intercept, as well as a minimum of four towed low frequency active sonars.

According to a press release, Ultra Electronics would provide “an enhanced towed sonar system, including a towed low-frequency active sonar, delivering a leap forward in submarine detection capability.”

Raytheon Canada, known for its airborne and surface-ship ASW sonars, would upgrade the hull-mounted sonar of the patrol frigates.

And General Dynamic would “provide the replacement sonobuoy system and integrate the technology from all three companies, delivering a leading-edge, interoperable anti-submarine warfare system.”

In line with the government’s new Defence Procurement Strategy, the team is emphasizing its value proposition to Canada: “With a combined employee base of more than 2,600 highly skilled engineers, technologists and software design engineers, the General Dynamics-led team will offer a made-in-Canada solution, providing high value jobs for Canadians and strengthening Canada’s intellectual property and leadership in anti-submarine warfare. The capability developed has proven export potential to international allies making it a possible economic stimulus for Canada’s aerospace and defence sector.”

The project is in the options analysis phase, but a request for proposal is anticipated in 2015.

For an interview with Chris Pogue of General Dynamics Canada on system of systems integration, see here.