Replacing and supplementing Canada's fighters
Canada’s Strong, Secure, Engaged defence policy, announced in June 2017, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to invest appropriately in Canada’s military.
On December 12, 2017, the Government of Canada launched an open and transparent competition to permanently replace Canada’s fighter fleet with 88 advanced jets. This is the most significant investment in the Royal Canadian Air Force in more than 30 years, and is essential for protecting the safety and security of Canadians and meeting international obligations.
The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy will be applied to this procurement. The objective of the policy is to maximize opportunities for Canadian companies, support innovation through research and development, and grow export opportunities from Canada.
All companies are welcome to participate in the process.
The government will take the time necessary to ensure that the Canadian aerospace and defence industries, commercial suppliers and foreign governments in allied and partner countries are consulted and engaged in this process, and that they are well-positioned to participate.
Canada held a Future Fighter Industry Day on January 22, 2018, in Ottawa. The objective of this event was to present foreign governments and industry with the information required for them to make an informed decision about participating in the procurement. In addition, the event provided an opportunity for Canadian industry to network with foreign governments and fighter aircraft manufacturers.
The associated agenda for the industry day event is available here. Follow these links for a copy of the opening remarks from this industry day event or to access the presentations on Buyandsell.gc.ca.
Invitation to participate
Canada will begin by establishing a list of suppliers. The list will be comprised of foreign governments and fighter aircraft manufacturers that have demonstrated their ability to meet Canada’s needs, as defined in the Suppliers List invitation.
The invitation to participate on the Suppliers List is available on Buyandsell.gc.ca.
All companies are welcome to participate in the process.
Note: Suppliers List responses are requested by February 9, 2018.
Once the list is formalized, only suppliers on the Suppliers List will be invited to subsequent engagement activities and to submit proposals for this procurement.
Consultation with Canadian industry stakeholders
In parallel to the activities related to the Suppliers List, Canadian industry stakeholders will be engaged to gather and share general information related to this procurement. This will ensure the Canadian aerospace and defence industries are well-positioned to participate.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada can help establish partnering opportunities between foreign governments and Canadian industry. It can also facilitate contact with Crown corporations, such as the Canadian Commercial Corporation or Export Development Canada upon request.
Click on the following link, for information resources available for Canadian industry.
Evaluation of proposals for the permanent capability
Proposals will be rigorously assessed on elements of cost, technical requirements and economic benefits. The evaluation of bids will also include an assessment of bidders’ impact on Canada’s economic interests.
When bids are assessed, any bidder that is responsible for harm to Canada’s economic interests will be at a distinct disadvantage. The new assessment, as well as guidelines for its application as an ongoing procurement tool, will be developed through separate consultations.
In addition, the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy will apply to this procurement, requiring the winning supplier to make investments in Canada equal to the value of the contract.
All Suppliers will be subject to the same evaluation criteria.
- Engagement with suppliers will continue throughout 2018 and 2019
- It is anticipated that the formal solicitation documents will be available in spring 2019
- A contract award is anticipated in 2021/2022, and the first replacement aircraft delivered in 2025
Frequently Asked Questions
Competitive procurement process
1. How long will the competition take and when will a contract be awarded?
- This competition requires extensive planning and stakeholder and industry engagement
- We need to get this right and we will take the time needed to ensure the Canadian aerospace and defence industries and commercial manufacturers are consulted and engaged in this process so that they are well positioned to participate
- A contract award is anticipated in 2021/2022 and the first replacement aircraft delivered in 2025. This is consistent with international experience in terms of the time required to undertake a thorough, open competition for a procurement of this size and complexity.
- The current estimated schedule to complete this process is consistent with competitions led by allied and partner countries for replacing their fighter fleets
2. Why are you using a Suppliers List?
- The three criteria included in this invitation are aimed at ensuring Canada works with foreign governments that are operators of fighter aircraft that could meet Canada’s needs for sharing defence information, and commercial manufacturers currently producing fighter aircraft
- Fighter aircraft and their component systems are sensitive, heavily controlled goods, and discussing their potential sale requires the existence of defence material cooperation arrangements between Canada and its partners and allies
- The defence organization (or one of its participating nations) must have a current defence material cooperation arrangement with the Government of Canada
- This step will identify eligible partner and allied nations and their manufacturers of fighter aircraft that demonstrate the potential to meet Canada’s needs
- Their respective governments and/or defence organizations will also need to meet Canada’s needs to be on the Suppliers List
3. Who can participate in the Suppliers List?
- Foreign governments (or defence organizations made up of participating nations) and fighter aircraft manufacturers and other commercial entities that are able to meet the needs as defined in the Suppliers List invitation, are encouraged to submit a request to be added to the list in order to participate in the competition
- Canada’s Suppliers List will be comprised of teams that will include at a minimum, a government (or defence organization made up of participating nations) and a fighter aircraft manufacturer
- These teams may also include other companies who are likely to be involved in supporting a future proposal, subject to approval by Canada
- Once the list is formalized, only suppliers on the Suppliers List will be invited to subsequent engagement activities, and submit proposals
4. Can a government submit more than one response to the Suppliers List Invitation?
- Our goal through this open and transparent process is to maximize competition, and therefore governments are encouraged to submit responses for more than one fighter aircraft manufacturer, as defined in the Suppliers List invitation
- The decision to submit more than one response rests with the foreign government or defence organization
5. How can Canadian industry participate in the Suppliers List?
- The Suppliers List will identify key suppliers that will be eligible to submit a proposal, namely a foreign government or defence organization and a fighter manufacturer
- These suppliers will be required to submit a Value Proposition in their bid outlining their economic commitments to Canada
- As a result, suppliers will be motivated to form partnerships with Canadian industry and post-secondary institutions over the coming months in order to develop a strong Value Proposition
- The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) are involved in supporting engagement of Canadian industry and interactions with foreign government representatives
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada can also help establish partnering opportunities between foreign governments and Canadian industry
- The government will engage with foreign governments, fighter aircraft manufacturers and the Canadian aerospace and defence sectors to ensure they are well-positioned to participate
6. What are the criteria that suppliers will need to meet, to be accepted on the Suppliers List?
- Each team must identify a government or nation to act as Canada’s main point of contact, and have a current defence material cooperation agreement with Canada
- The team’s fighter aircraft manufacturer must meet the criteria as defined in the Suppliers List invitation
- The foreign government or one of the participating nations must be an operator of a fighter aircraft produced by the proposed fighter manufacturer
- Canada will review response submissions to determine if they have met all the Suppliers List criteria and reserves the right to request clarification, if needed
- Following review of the responses, suppliers will receive email notification of Canada’s decision
7. Can Canada remove or add a supplier to the Suppliers List?
- Once a team has been added to the Suppliers List, it may withdraw at any time by written notification to Canada
- Similarly a foreign government or defence organization can add or remove a company from its team at any time by written notice to Canada, subject to Canada’s approval
- Canada reserves the right to remove, at any time, any team or entity that is listed on the Suppliers List if it presents potential, perceived or real issues that may be injurious to Canada’s national security
8. Does this procurement include industry engagement and discussions related to Industrial and Technological Benefits for Canada?
- The Government’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy will apply to this procurement, requiring contractors to make investments in Canada equal to the value of the contract
- The Government is engaging with fighter aircraft manufacturers and Canadian industry towards the development of a Value Proposition strategic objective that will support the long-term growth of Canada’s aerospace and defence sectors
- This includes promoting growth and innovation of Canadian industry through investments in research and development, providing supplier development opportunities, especially for small and medium-sized businesses and providing export opportunities for Canadian firms
- The necessary time will be taken to engage with foreign governments, fighter aircraft manufacturers and the Canadian aerospace and defence industries to ensure they are well-positioned to participate
9. How will Canada evaluate the proposals?
- Proposals will be rigorously assessed on cost, technical requirements and economic benefits
- The evaluation of bids will also include an assessment of bidders’ impact to Canada’s economic interests
- When bids are assessed, any bidder that is responsible for harm to Canada’s economic interests will be at a distinct disadvantage
- The new assessment, as well as guidelines for its application as an ongoing procurement tool, will be developed through appropriate consultations
10. Why are you assessing impact on Canada’s economic interests?
- We are continuously looking for ways to enhance our procurement processes and improve outcomes for Canadians
- Procurements are about forming effective and long-term partnerships and we want to ensure that we are doing business with suppliers whose activities align with Canada’s economic interests
- The evaluation of proposals will also include an assessment of bidders’ impact on Canada’s economic interests
11. Will the economic impact assessment be developed as part of the future fighter capability consultations?
- No. Consultations on how Canada will assess bidders’ impact on its economic interests will not be developed through engagement activities for the future fighter capability
- This new criteria as well as the guidelines for its application as an ongoing procurement tool, will be developed through separate consultations
- These consultations will need to be broader to include all procurements, not just the fighter procurement
- This approach is consistent with Minister Qualtrough’s Mandate Letter, which outlines direction to modernize procurement practices to support our economic policy goals, among other objectives
12. How will the government ensure that no aircraft supplier has an unfair advantage during the competition?
- The government is committed to conducting an open and transparent competition to replace Canada's fighter aircraft
- This process is overseen by an independent fairness monitor to ensure a level playing field for all suppliers
- Canada will also engage other stakeholders to review, gather and share general information related to the procurement throughout this competition
- In addition, the Independent Review Panel for Defence Acquisition was engaged to review the government’s requirements to ensure they meet the needs of the military and provide for an open and fair competition
Supplementing the Existing Fleet
13. What is Canada doing to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces has the equipment it needs while the competition is underway?
- Until permanent replacement aircraft are in place and fully operational, Canada must ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces has the equipment it needs to continue to deliver its missions, and meet its international obligations
- Canada has received a formal offer for sale of F-18 Hornets from the government of Australia, and intends to pursue it
14. Will buying these F-18 aircraft require changes to Canada’s existing infrastructure?
- Department of National Defence is assessing infrastructure requirements to accommodate these supplemental aircraft.
15. How can you be confident these planes will be reliable, safe and effective?
- Ensuring the safety and security of our women and men in uniform is our top priority
- The Australian aircraft are similar in age to Canada’s CF-18 fleet
- Australia and Canada have both made significant investments in the development of structural modifications that have allowed the structural life of their respective F-18s to be extended
- More recently, Canada invested in the development of additional structural modifications that Australia did not
- Canadian companies have the experience required, and are already performing most of the maintenance work on our existing fleet. Any supplemental aircraft would be maintained through these existing arrangements
- Just as we do with our current fleet, we will make necessary investments in these aircraft to ensure they meet all requirements of the Royal Canadian Air Force
- Infographic: Future fighter capability project
- Fighter Jets
- Integrating Australian Jets into the Current Royal Canadian Air Force Fighter Fleet
- Government of Canada Hosts Future Fighter Industry Day in Ottawa (January 22, 2018)
- Government launches open and transparent competition to replace Canada’s fighter aircraft (December 12, 2017)
- Canada announces plan to replace fighter jet fleet (November 22, 2016)
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