With respect to "twice the going price" for the frigates, at the last minute Fincantieri changed their offer to claim to be able to provide the Italian FREMM for half the cost of anyone else, but only if the rules of the competition were re-written to favour them. They made this offer as a parting shot just before walking out of the bidding.Indeed.
The source of my link is this Italian Journo,
I elected for the article rather than the tweet, because as you can see from his argument in the thread he is being decidedly snide and disingenuous about the whole thing.
This is being done at this stage in the project because these sorts of details can't be finalised until the actual ship has been chosen. If the two sides can't agree, then the government has the option to bin the T26 decision and go back to one of the losing bidders to try again with them.Civilian bureaucrats and military planners call it "requirements reconciliation." And even hardened military observers and procurement geeks will have a tough time getting excited about this laborious line-by-line review of Lockheed Martin Canada/BAE Systems' bid to design the navy's new frigates.
What is important — the reason why taxpayers should be paying attention — is the fact that with the stroke of a pen, hundreds of millions of dollars could be added to, or subtracted from, the cost of Canada's next generation of 15 warships.
The DND are using the opportunity to look again at some of the requirements to see what they really need and what they can do without.The reconciliation phase is, from the navy's point of view, the crucial period when a designer's promises of performance and capability are (or are not) turned into engineering reality.
It's also the time when sticker-shocked governments seek to put curbs on the amount of pricey equipment that gets bolted to the hulls.
I also suspect that some requirements trade-offs may be made here which reflect how views may have changed about what is needed since the time when the original requirements were laid down."We have a fairly good understanding of the areas we are looking at," said Pat Finn, a retired rear admiral who heads the Department of National Defence's procurement section.
Finn said that in some cases, the Department of National Defence is "re-looking at some of the requirements" the navy set for its warship.
The RCN are a the table in these discussions and sign off on any work.But Finn's remarks do raise the question of whether the navy — and, by extension, the country — will get the warship it needs.
In addition to the U.K. and Canada, Australia also is in line to buy and build the untested warship.
The line-by-line review will, among other things, look for common requirements and design points among the three nations, said Finn.
"It could trigger some changes, and in some cases it could trigger some changes that align more with what the U.K. and Australia (are) already doing, which means it reduces some complexity because it eliminates the need to make some changes to what we call the parent design," he said. "And we're being very careful on schedule and, quite frankly, cost."
The government are under great pressure to ensure that the build gets started on time in order to avoid having a gap at the shipyard between the existing classes of ships and the new frigates. When the current government came to power they made the decision almost immediately to change the project to be more off the shelf with less customisation, specifically to avoid delay and cost.Asked directly whether the navy will get the warship it wants, Finn was categorical in his answer: "We will ensure the navy gets the ship that it needs and the navy is at table with us. The changes and the work we do is signed-off by them."