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GD Canada/Thales drop out of bidding for HCM/CSI Jun. 02, 2008
Sources have confirmed to CDR that the General Dynamics/Thales team which was set up to bid on the Canadian Navy’s Halifax Class Modernization, Combat System Integration (CSI) program, have advised the Crown that they do not intend to bid on the program. A letter to the Crown confirming that the GD/Thales team would not be submitting a bid for the HCM/CSI contract was sent on Friday, May 30. The deadline for submission of bids for the program is June 9. This leaves Lockheed Martin, the original systems integrator on the CPF ships (when the company was known as Paramax), as the sole contender for the program currently.


The GD/Thales team also includes Raytheon, CMC Electronics (an Esterline Company) and MDA which was originally a bidder on the program as a prime contractor. The GD/Thales team had been pursuing the Halifax Class program for quite some time and had assembled a strong team with considerable naval systems experience so their withdrawal from the program at this late date comes as a surprise to many.


This marks the second time in as many weeks that Thales has dropped out of a major Canadian defence program. At the eleventh hour Thales UK, which was the prime on a bid for DND’s Noctua program for a new UAV system, pulled out of the UAV team that included Elbit of Israel, builders of the Hermes 450 UAV and also L-3 MAS of Mirabel, Quebec. L-3 and Elbit have said they will move forward with Elbit as the prime with a bid for Noctua.


Sources at GD Canada told CDR that the decision to drop out of bidding for HCM was based on purely commercial reasons. At the moment it is not clear how the Crown will proceed but Lockheed Martin told CDR that it is business as usual as they put the final touches to their bid which is due to be submitted by June 9. For its HCM/CSI bid Lockheed Martin is partnered with Saab, IBM CAE and Xwave.


It is not know how the Crown will react to the withdrawal of the GD/Thales team and the resultant lack of a competitive bid situation at least from an optics point of view.