The federal government and Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding are asking a trade tribunal to throw out a challenge to their handling of a high-stakes competition to design the navy’s new $60-billion fleet of warships.
In separate submissions to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the federal procurement department and Irving say the challenge filed by Alion Science and Technology of Virginia does not meet the requirements for a tribunal hearing.
Alion was one of three companies, along with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin and Spanish firm Navantia, vying to design the new warships, which are to be built by Irving and serve as the navy’s backbone for most of this century.
While Lockheed was selected as the preferred bidder and is negotiating a final design contract with the government and Irving, Alion alleges the company’s design did not meet the navy’s requirements and should have been disqualified.
Two of those requirements related to the ship’s speed, Alion alleged, while the third related to the number of crew berths. Alion has asked both the trade tribunal and the Federal Court to stop any deal with Lockheed.