Defence Acquisition Guide 2015



The Honourable Jason Kenney | Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism

The Honourable Jason Kenney | Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism

A year after it was first introduced, we are pleased to present the updated 2015 edition of the Defence Acquisition Guide (DAG). This document is an important element of our effort to maintain a first-class, modern military that is well trained, equipped, and ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.

The DAG seeks to help Canadian industry position themselves to compete for potential future Canadian and international defence procurement opportunities. As the guide’s intent is to anticipate the future equipment needs of the Canadian Armed Forces, most of the initiatives listed have yet to be presented to the government of Canada for approval and consequently are subject to being amended or deleted altogether.

This edition of the guide, which is a major component of the overall Defence Procurement Strategy, seeks to better align our commitment and dedication to Defence excellence with the need to deliver the right equipment and services for the Canadian Armed Forces. This refresh to the DAG introduces new initiatives, as well as highlights changes to existing initiatives. Over 60 per cent of the projects have been refreshed, and DAG 2015 has been expanded to include initiatives of greater interest to industry to increase engagement.

As with the initial version, which was released in June 2014, DAG 2015 remains a document that is constantly evolving in order to reflect the changing needs of the Canadian Armed Forces. It will continue to be refreshed annually, and will be more extensively updated every three years.The Department of National Defence remains committed to keeping the processes for procurement open and transparent, and continues to build and maintain strong relationships with industry. We remain open to any feedback on DAG 2015, and look forward to engaging with industry on important projects for the Canadian military as we improve the way we do business while delivering Defence Priorities – Operational Excellence, Defence Readiness, Strengthening the Defence Team and Defence Affordability.

Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The Defence Acquisition Guide (DAG) continues to provide greater transparency on the potential defence capability requirements of the Canadian Armed Forces over the next 20 years. DAG 2015 has been refreshed to include both new and ongoing initiatives, as well as has taken into account the feedback received from industry.

DAG 2015 is made up of 16 new initiatives. 60 percent of the overall initiatives in DAG 2014 required minor updates, and 28 of the initiatives that were in DAG 2014 have now been archived. The reasons for archiving initiatives range from an initiative no longer being competitive, having been merged with other initiatives, or its existing capabilities being managed through non-competitive processes.  DAG 2014 will remain available for reference; however it is important to note that it is now an archived document. Any initiatives that have been added or changed are reflected in DAG 2015.

A significant addition to DAG 2015 is the Canadian Special Operations Force Command (CANSOFCOM) Capability Portfolios. Canadian Special Operations Forces (CANSOF) usually procures equipment and services through minor projects, and such projects are below the thresholds established for inclusion in the DAG.  In the effort to further effective engagement between Industry and CANSOFCOM for initiatives outside of the normal DAG parameters, DAG 2015 now has a dedicated webpage that describes CANSOF “Areas of Interest” (or Capability Portfolios) and a description of specific capabilities requirements.  This has been added in order to provide industry with a conduit through which a spectrum of capabilities could be discussed with a view to inform minor projects.

New Initiatives

New Initiatives

  1. Automatic Identification Technology
  2. Consolidated Clothing Contract
  3. Data management services for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Automatic Identification Services (AIS) data
  4. Data-Centric Security Service
  5. Human Factors Engineering (HFE) Support to Canadian Soldier Systems
  6. Improved Trail Snowshoe
  7. Meridian Standard
  8. Multi-Band Radio Crypto Modernization
  9. Professional Support for Tactical Edge Cyber Command and Control (TEC3)
  10. Sea King T58 Engine Contract
  11. Signature Collection and Management Equipment
  12. SONOBUOYs AN/SSQ 62E DICASS Contract
  13. System of Training and Operational Readiness Modernization
  14. Test, Analysis and Development Services in the Field of Injury, Biokinetics, Small Arms Effects and Personal Protection
  15. Tactical Power System
  16. Torpedo Countermeasure Hard Kill
Archived Proposals

Archived Proposals

  1. Ammunition Safety And Suitability For Service Testing Capability
  2. Canadian Moored Afloat Laboratory
  3. CF-188 Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite
  4. CF-188 Follow-on Operation Flight Program
  5. CG634 Gen II Helmet Contract
  6. Construction and Road Maintenance
  7. Defence Cryptographic Modernization Project Identification Friend or Foe Sub-Project
  8. Deployable Firefighting Capability 
  9. Deployable Operational Level Bulk Fuel Storage and Petroleum Quality Surveillance/Assurance
  10. Enhanced High Readiness
  11. Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue
  12. Information Technology Service Management Project
  13. Joint Deployable Detained Persons Holding Facility
  14. Joint Deployable Potable Water Production and Distribution 
  15. Joint Heavy Engineering Equipment
  16. Joint Materiel Handling Equipment
  17. Joint Special Purpose Heavy Lift
  18. Line of Communication Bridging Operations
  19. New Canadian Ranger Rifle
  20. North Warning System Operations and Maintenance Contract
  21. Point Defence Missile System Upgrade
  22. Polar Epsilon 2
  23. Quarry Operations
  24. Runway Repair
  25. Sleeping Bag System Contract
  26. Smart Energy and Power Management
  27. Solid Waste Management in Operations 
  28. Waste Water Management


The DAG is a key component of the Government of Canada’s Defence Procurement Strategy and is designed to provide greater transparency on potential defence capability requirements of the Canadian Armed Forces over the next 20 years.  The DAG will enable Canadian industry and potential bidders/suppliers to make informed research and development investments and strategic partnering decisions based on these anticipated needs.     

The DAG will ensure that industry and potential bidders are aware of the Department’s longer-term defence capability requirement areas.  However, as a practical limitation of the DAG, it must be recognized that beyond a 5-year period, there is less certainty and hence, capability requirements 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 terms of scope, cost and schedule including termination without any further explanation or liability. Initiatives where the Request for Proposal has been issued and the process is complete, are not included in this document. The DAG will be updated with new projects/proposals annually. At the same time, some capabilities which may be determined not to fit the Canadian Armed Forces strategic needs could be removed in future releases of the DAG.  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 the Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) 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 that follow are arranged into five groups and organized by expected delivery dates and value. Related details include the objective of the project or service, and a preliminary estimated cost of acquisition for each project. It should be noted that the cost estimates are of a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) and therefore there is potential for large variability between the cost estimates and the actual costs.  Each proposal summary provides an anticipated timeline of key milestones.  This includes an indication of when the project will be reviewed by Government for expenditure authority (implementation approval) and when the Request for Proposal (RFP) could be released.  A point of contact is also provided. Notably, longer term projects provide less detail as requirements, costs, schedule and risk are not yet well defined.

Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS)

Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS)

Released in 2008, the Canada First Defence Strategy is the Government of Canada’s foundational defence policy statement. The Strategy launched a new era of investment in the Canadian Armed Forces, providing the tools necessary to rebuild the Forces into a first-class, modern military.  This strong investment – along with the dedication of our personnel – has and will continue to enable the Canadian Armed Forces to deliver impressive operational results, both at home and abroad. 

The Strategy confirms three enduring roles for the Canadian Armed Forces: excellence in the defence of Canada, strong and reliable partnership with the United States in the defence of North America, and leadership abroad through meaningful contributions to international peace and security.  Within these three roles, the Strategy outlines six core missions that the Canadian Armed Forces must be ready to conduct, potentially at the same time:

  • Conducting daily domestic and continental operations;
  • Supporting a major international event in Canada;
  • Responding to a terrorist attack;
  • Supporting civil authorities during a crisis;
  • Conducting a major international operation for an extended period; and
  • Responding to crises elsewhere in the world for a shorter period.

The Canada First Defence Strategy also highlights the importance of establishing a new relationship with Canadian industry, partnering to deliver core equipment to the military while offering maximum benefit to the Canadian economy.  This DAG, as part of the Defence Procurement Strategy, increases transparency and facilitates engagement with industry, helping to bring this vision to fruition.

As part of a comprehensive modernization plan, the Strategy announced several major equipment recapitalization projects that would be required over the ensuing 10 to 20 years.  These projects, currently in various phases of development, remain of highest priority and represent considerable opportunity for Canadian industry involvement.  

Capability Based Planning

Capability Based Planning

In order to meet Government expectation as articulated in the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Canadian Armed Forces needs 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 analyse, 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.  This marks the identification of a capability gap or military requirement 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. Analyse options to determine the optimal method to fill the capability gap. 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 Works and Government Services Canada. Stage 5 - Close-Out.  When a project reaches its full operational capability, it becomes a managed capability and no longer a project. The project approving authority will receive a final report during the Close-Out of each project.   


The DAG is designed to assist industry by providing the Department of National Defence’s procurement intentions for the future.  In our commitment to maintain early and continuous engagement with industry, feedback is encouraged and welcomed on this product 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. However, industry must be cognizant of the fact that beyond a 5-year period, projects remain less well defined.  Also, the majority of the projects listed in this publication do not have formal authority from the Government and they remain subject to change in terms of scope, cost and schedule and may be terminated without any further explanation or liability.  Initiatives where the Request for Proposal has been issued and the process is complete, are not included in this document.  In addition, more information regarding Government of Canada Tenders can be found at the Government of Canada web site  Please click on the email link below to provide your recommendations for the improvement of the DAG.

How to use/read the Proposals

Title of initiative

New system, Replacing System, In Service Support, or Services


Short description in broad terms of initiative.


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

Preliminary Cost Estimate Bracket

The Bracket System (Acquisition Cost Only for Projects and Projected Value of Support Contracts) and the level of confidence in our project cost estimates are based upon where the initiative is in the project approval process. The Bracket system is representative of a costing range that will provide Industry an indication of the potential value of an 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

Will identify the following milestones: Option Analysis, Definition Approval, Request for Proposal Release, Implementation Approval, Contract Award, Final Delivery. The dates will be identified as follows:

  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2026 to 2035
  • 2035+

Point of Contact

Will identify a point of contact where questions relating to that specific initiative may be directed.

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