Companies vying to design and help build the navy's new frigates will have until Nov. 17 to submit their bids, CBC News has learned.
The new deadline, established by the Public Services and Procurement Department, was communicated to the 12 pre-qualified companies on Wednesday, said defence industry sources familiar with the file.
The stakes are enormous
The program is estimated to be worth $60 billion over the next few decades and the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring is meant to ensure that as many companies as possible remain in the race.
There has been concern that the government would have few, if any bids, to consider because of the requirements and conditions that have been set down.
The design competition was launched almost a year ago with the Liberal government saying the plan to select a foreign, off-the-shelf design would be cheaper and faster than building a warship from scratch.
Bids were supposed to be handed in last spring and the new submission date means the program is about seven months off track.
'Very high risk of failure'
Public works officials said at the beginning of this month that it will take until the spring of 2018 before the government decides who the winner might be.
At the time, they insisted the delay would not impact the overall schedule, which aims to start construction of the complex warships in the early 2020s. (end of excerpt)
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