David Rudd Off-the-Shelf or New Design? Considerations for the Canadian Surface Combatant Program

In the most recent Canadian Military Journal David Rudd has provided an insightful analysis of the Canadian Surface Combatants’ design possibilities.

His central argument is that the Military Off The Shelf (MOTS) option, where essentially a modified foreign warship design is used, can lead to the same types of cost control and schedule risk as a new design.  This is, of course, counterintuitive as one would expect the buyer of a foreign design would escape a significant amount of design costs and the time lost in the design process.   He presents evidence, however, that even the most minor modifications needed by the state purchasing that design can bring significant schedule and cost risk.

As it is thought that many of the firms selected to compete for the warship design component of the Canadian Surface Combatant will be offering MOTS, vice new designs,  Rudd’s arguments must be considered.   Further, his evidence suggests significant Canadian demanded modifications to those foreign designs will bring significant cost and schedule risk.  Finally, if no foreign MOTS design is compliant, Rudd’s arguments would suggest that an entirely Canadian designed might not be that much more expensive.

All told, this article is well worth your attention.

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