ARCHIVED - Defence Acquisition Guide 2016

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It is with pleasure that we present the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence 2016 Defence Acquisition Guide (DAG). This guide supports the defence industry in delivering equipment and services to the Canadian Armed Forces. The intent is to help Canadian industry anticipate, in a systematic way, Defence’s short, medium and long-term procurement requirements and to enable you to be positioned to compete for future Canadian defence procurement opportunities.

The majority of the initiatives and projects in this guide are part of Defence’s regular replenishment cycle and involve upgrades and replacements to existing capabilities. Defence must keep pace with new technologies, but also ensure old and new systems can work together. Providing our personnel with the tools to meet the ever-changing environments in which they work ensures the Canadian Armed Forces are ready to respond when needed in Canada and internationally. We must ensure our equipment remains compatible with other nations with whom we frequently work.  

The Department of National Defence has launched public consultations as part of an open and transparent dialogue with Canadians and key stakeholders, including industry, towards a comprehensive review of Canada’s defence policy. Over the next few months, Defence will engage Canadians to discuss: the main challenges to Canada’s security, the role of the Armed Forces in addressing current threats and challenges, and the resource and capability requirements to carry out the Armed Forces’ mandate. All Canadians are encouraged to provide their input towards shaping Canada’s new defence policy before the end of July 2016.  We expect to complete our internal work by the end of the calendar year and a formal policy document to be published in early 2017. In parallel, the 2017 DAG will be reworked and will reflect decisions taken to ensure that the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are positioned to confront new threats and challenges in the years ahead.

National Defence takes the stewardship of public resources very seriously. At its core, the DAG is a key mechanism of open, transparent defence procurement planning for the benefit of Canadian businesses.

John Forster
Deputy Minister of National Defence

General J.H. Vance
Chief of the Defence Staff

Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The Defence Acquisition Guide (DAG) is a key component of the Government of Canada’s Defence Procurement Strategy and is designed to provide greater transparency on projected defence capability requirements of the Canadian Armed Forces over the next 20 years. The DAG 2016 has been refreshed to include both new and ongoing initiatives, as well as taking into account the feedback received from industry.

The DAG 2016 is made up of 236 initiatives, both new and ongoing. It includes 38 new initiatives, and 37 initiatives that were in DAG 2015 that are no longer included in DAG 2016. The reasons for not including initiatives range from the procurement process having been completed, an initiative has merged with another initiative, or the initiative is being managed through existing procurement mechanisms. DAG 2015 will remain available for reference as an archived document. Any initiatives that have been added or changed are reflected in DAG 2016.

Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) usually procures equipment and services through minor projects that are below the thresholds established for inclusion in the DAG. In an effort to further effective engagement between industry and CANSOFCOM for initiatives outside of the normal DAG parameters, a dedicated webpage that describes CANSOFCOM’s “areas of interest” (or capability portfolios) and a description of specific capabilities requirements is included. This provides industry with a conduit through which a spectrum of capabilities in minor projects can be discussed.

New Initiatives

New Initiatives

  1. CC-115 Buffalo Primary Air Vehicle Repair and Overhaul;
  2. CC-138 Twin Otter Primary Air Vehicle Repair and Overhaul;
  3. Leopard 2 Family of Vehicles In-Service Support Contracts;
  4. Sleeping Bag System Contract;
  5. Armoured Heavy Support Vehicles System Sustainment;
  6. Light Utility Vehicle Wheeled Sustainment;
  7. Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Buffalo and Cougar Vehicle Sustainment;
  8. Non-Combatant Classification Society - Classification Society Support to DND’s Non-Combatant Fleet;
  9. Halifax-Class Shipyard Contract-East;
  10. Halifax-Class Shipyard Contract-West;
  11. Light Armoured Vehicle III Upgrade Part 2;
  12. Light Force Enhancement;
  13. Modular Pack System;
  14. Pistol Replacement;
  15. Future Family of  Unmanned Ground Vehicles;
  16. Fighter Lead-in Training;
  17. Naval Reserve Boat – Training;
  18. Containerized Systems;
  19. Individual Protective Ensemble;
  20. Sensitive Equipment Decontamination System;
  21. Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Information Management;
  22. Combined Chemical Biological Detection Identification and Monitoring;
  23. Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Aerial Reconnaissance;
  24. Armament Loader Modernization;
  25. Royal Canadian Air Force Footwear Project;
  26. CC144 Consolidation Project;
  27. Remote Mine-hunting and Disposal System;
  28. Five-Eyes Collaborative Environmentity;
  29. Extreme Pressure Detonics Chamber;
  30. Rocket and Missile Systems Modeling & Simulation;
  31. Force Anti-Submarine Warfare;
  32. Modular Biological Containment Facility;
  33. Electro-Optic/Infrared Warfare;
  34. Space-based Maritime Domain Awareness;
  35. Over the Horizon Radar;
  36. Canadian Arctic Underwater Sentinel Experimentation;
  37. Tasking, Collection, Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination; and
  38. Large Scale Acoustic Resonance Mixer.
Not included

Not included

  1. Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement;
  2. Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship;
  3. Naval Remote Weapon Station;
  4. Maritime Satellite Communications Upgrade;
  5. Enhanced High Readiness;
  6. 84mm Ammunition;
  7. 1 CFFTS Tactical Mission Training System Replacement;
  8. Maritime Next Generation Communications Suite;
  9. CF-188 Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite;
  10. CF-188 Follow-on Operation Flight Program;
  11. Royal Canadian Air Force Aerial Fire Fighting Vehicle;
  12. Aerodrome Support Equipment;
  13. On-Scene Control Emergency Response Modernization;
  14. Tactical Observer Fire Control System Upgrade;
  15. Common Remote Weapon System;
  16. LAV OPV Crew Commander Independent Viewer;
  17. RDX Replacement;
  18. Demolition Modernization Project;
  19. Victoria Class AN/BQQ-10 Sonar Follow-On Technical Support In-Service Support Contract;
  20. North Warning System Operations and Maintenance Contract;
  21. Fragmentation Vest Contract;
  22. Contracted Airborne Training Services;
  23. Victoria Class Submarine Fire Control System In-Service Support Contract;
  24. Virtual Integrated Shipboard Information Networks;
  25. Polar Communications and Weather;
  26. Canadian Forces Health Information System;
  27. Enhanced Information Technology Infrastructure;
  28. Secure Configuration Management;
  29. Royal Canadian Air Force Simulation Implementation Project;
  30. Improved Trail Snowshoe;
  31. Sea King T58 Engine Contract;
  32. SONOBUOYs AN/SSQ 62E DICASS Contract;
  33. Signature Collection and Management Equipment;
  34. Professional Support for Tactical Edge Cyber Command and Control;
  35. Test, Analysis and Development Services in the Field of Injury, Biokinetics, Small Arms; and Effects and Personal Protection;
  36. Ocean-going research capability; and
  37. Simulators and Trainers Maintenance Support Contract.


The 2016 DAG ensures industry and potential bidders are aware of the Department’s defence capability requirements and allow for them to make informed research and development investments and strategic partnering decisions based on these anticipated needs.  

As a practical limitation of the DAG, capability requirements beyond a 5-year period have less certainty and hence, are less defined. The majority of the projects in this publication do not have formal authority from the Government and remain subject to change in scope, cost and schedule, including termination without any further explanation or liability. In this regard, the document will also be substantially refreshed every three years to remain relevant as strategic circumstances evolve, new technologies emerge and priorities are adjusted to reflect the changing needs of the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces.

The DAG begins with a synopsis of Canadian defence policy which provides the context and strategic direction that orients future Defence planning. An overview of capability based planning is then provided to explain the methodology the Canadian Armed Forces uses to determine its capability requirements. To ensure industry is well aware of the various stages through which the Department of National Defence projects must transit, an overview of its project approval process has also been included.

The potential capability requirements and associated procurements are arranged into five groups: Naval, Land, Aerospace, Joint and Services. Related details include the project’s or service’s objective, and a preliminary estimated cost of acquisition. The cost estimates are of a rough order of magnitude and therefore there is potential for large variability between cost estimates and actual costs. Each proposal summary provides an anticipated timeline of key milestones and includes an indication of when the project will be reviewed by Government for expenditure authority (implementation approval) and when the Request for Proposal could be released. A point of contact is also provided. Longer term projects have less detail as requirements; costs, schedule and risk are not yet well defined.

The DAG will be updated with new projects/proposals annually. It may be determined that that some capabilities no longer fit the Canadian Armed Forces strategic needs and could be removed in future releases.

The DAG is designed to assist industry by providing the Department of National Defence’s procurement plans for the future. In our commitment to maintain early and continuous engagement with industry, feedback on the DAG is encouraged and welcomed to improve future editions. Subject to Government of Canada expenditure authority, the DAG provides context on potential Department capability initiatives and provides greater transparency concerning possible areas of investment by the Government of Canada. With this information, companies should be better positioned to take advantage of, and have an opportunity to comment on these potential investments well before they reach maturity. Further information regarding Government of Canada tenders can be found on the Web site. Please email us to provide your recommendations for the improvement of the DAG.

Canadian Defence Policy

Canadian Defence Policy

Over the coming year, National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will engage in a defence policy review. This process will be open and transparent, and involve consultations with Canadians from across the country, including industry. The outcome of this review will set the overall strategic direction upon which future capability development efforts will rest. While there could be changes to the current direction, the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces will continue to have an enduring responsibility to defend Canada, defend North America and contribute to international peace and security.

Capability Based Planning

Capability Based Planning

In order to meet Government expectations, the Canadian Armed Forces need to continue to adapt to a dynamic and uncertain environment and to acquire and maintain an appropriate range of capabilities. The Department of National Defence employs capability based planning to analyze, assess and integrate future capability requirements in order to be prepared for success in the future operating environment.

Capability based planning is ultimately about establishing context and choice with respect to long-term strategic investment decisions as it provides the analysis and logic necessary to assess and identify future capability requirements. The capability based planning process is a three year cycle, divided into three main phases in order to answer three simple questions: what do we think we will need to do; how well do we think we can do it now; and, what do we need to change to perform better. Capability based planning is a process and a systems-based strategic planning tool that takes a broad look across the entire strategic Canadian Armed Forces capability portfolio, defines possible future requirements based on trends and assesses what capability areas may be considered for investment, divestment or sustainment decisions. The identified investment areas are then subject to a rigorous analysis and screened for a list of capability options. The approach identifies a military requirement to go into the Department of National Defence’s project approval process.

Project Approval Process

Project Approval Process

The project approval process provides a methodology for reviewing potential investments. Once identified as potential investments, the process allows the Department of National Defence to further investigate strategic requirements and options. Potential investments are further assessed to ensure the best balance of capability investment within the available fiscal envelope. Investments that progress through to definition and implementation are those that offer the best cost-capability benefit.

There is no mandated timeline for progression through the various stages of the project approval process. Investments vary greatly in complexity, capability requirement timeline and cost-capability benefit. As such, the focus is not on progressing investments to a fixed timeline for each stage, but rather on ensuring progression based on thorough assessment and cost-capability benefit.

Yearly updates to the Defence Acquisition Guide will allow industry to track the progress of projects through the various stages of the Project Approval Process. In addition, the Defence Procurement Strategy mandates that the Department of National Defence seek early and continuous industry engagement. In practice, this will result in industry consultation as early as the identification stage.

In accordance with Treasury Board policy on the management of projects, the Department of National Defence project approval process is summarized as follows:

  • Stage 1 - Project Identification. This stage includes an investment proposal based on an identified capability deficiency or gap, in which the desired outcome, strategic fit and results of the preliminary options analysis are established for entry into the Defence Services Program.
  • Stage 2 - Options Analysis. Options are analyzed to determine the optimal method to fill the capability requirement. Department of National Defence senior leadership will determine the option to proceed with based on the project business case analysis.
  • Stage 3 - Definition. This marks the transition from determining what should be done to mitigate a deficiency, to determining how the preferred option will be implemented. This work includes standing up a dedicated project management team, determining substantive requirement, cost and schedule estimates and investigating and mitigating risk. Funding is assigned for final consultations with industry and placement of an RFP.
  • Stage 4 - Implementation. Implementation approval enables the Department of National Defence to have the contract awarded through Public Services and Procurement Canada.
  • Stage 5 - Close-Out. When a project reaches its full operational capability, it becomes a managed capability. The close-out phase formally documents outcomes against approved objectives and summarizes key lessons learned which help to improve project management policies and practices.

How to use/read the Proposals

Changes: Identifies new proposals or initiatives that are being excluded from the DAG.

Category: Identifies the initiative’s category.

Title of Initiative: Name of the initiative.

Type of Initiative: Identifies what type of procurement action is being considered. Below are the categories used within the DAG.

  • A newer system or different capability,
  • An in-service support initiative, or
  • Professional services.

Objective: A short, broad-term description of the initiative.

Requirements: Defence capability is developed and refined over time and details provided on proposals in the DAG should be useful for planning. Industry should consult closely with individual directorates for specific and updated information.

Preliminary Cost Estimate Bracket: The bracket system and the level of confidence in our initiative cost estimates are based upon where the initiative is in the project approval process. The further along in the project approval process the more refined the cost estimate. The bracket system represents the costing range that will provide industry with an indication of the potential value of the initiative.

  • Under $20 million
  • $20 million to $49 million
  • $50 million to $99 million
  • $100 million to $249 million
  • $250 million to $499 million
  • $500 million to $1.5 billion
  • More than $1.5 billion

Anticipated Timeline: Identifies the following milestones: Option Analysis, Definition approval, Request for Proposal Release, Implementation approval, contract award, final delivery.

Point of Contact: Identifies the project sponsor point of contact for questions relating to a specific initiative.

The information on this page is provided for advisory purposes only and is current as of the date of publication. The information is, however, subject to change without notice and no commitment regarding its future accuracy or content, or any subsequent implementation of the Project described, is made by DND or the Government of Canada. Any expense incurred by any person or entity in reliance upon the information provided is at the sole risk of that person or entity. It is important to note that these contact details are provided for use by interested industry partners only. Please direct all media enquiries to the department of National Defence's Media Relations Office at 1-866-377-0811

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