CSC Updates?

By Dan Middlemiss, 10 January 2024

Recently, I was browsing through various articles and reports in an attempt to establish exactly where the CSC project stands. In the course of this review, I was struck by a couple of apparent anomalies.

            First, when does Ottawa expect the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) to be completed? In a Broadsides post on 25 October 2022, David Dunlop noted an article from an industry source that Lockheed Martin expected the PDR to be completed by the end of 2022. (See, David Dunlop, CSC Preliminary Design Review (25 October 2022,

            Then I happened across the following from DND:

“Canadian Surface Combatant: The project design progressed towards construction readiness. On 16 December 2022, the project completed Preliminary Design Review with appropriate agreed actions and is progressively transitioning towards functional design following a risk-based approach. In December 2022, the project was granted amended authorities for Definition, for work to be completed in parallel with the previously approved ship design efforts and prior to the start of Project Implementation and ship construction. The resulting authorities also included those related to Shipyard and DND Infrastructure scope....” (See, Ottawa, DND, Departmental Results Report 2022-23, p.89,

On 10 January 2024, John Ivison of the National Post reported that “The ship’s builders have yet to complete the preliminary design review, after which there is a critical design review and a final design review, both of which could take a year.” (See, John Ivison, “Our Navy sinks toward impotence because Ottawa can’t manage to procure ships,” National Post, 10 January 2024,

            Confusing? We should note that no other Canadian government website has any news about the current status of the CSC PDR.

            Second, Ottawa’s plan to release the latest cost updates for the CSC before the end of 2023 has not come to pass and we have no further word on when this costing update will be released. In this regard, in his aforementioned article, John Ivison states that “one industry source suggested ‘we are now perilously close to adding another digit’ – that is, rising above $100 billion. The Department of National Defence said that it will provide a formal update on costs this year but did not respond by press time to questions about whether the $100-billion barrier has been breached.”

            These perplexing developments do not inspire much confidence that all branches of DND have a firm grasp on some basic details about the current status of the CSC project.


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