Replacing and supplementing Canada's fighters
Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada's 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 apply to this procurement, requiring the winning supplier to make investments in Canada equal to the value of the contract. The objective of the policy is to maximize opportunities for Canadian companies, support innovation through research and development, and grow export opportunities from Canada.
The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring 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 share information with industry and stakeholders as well as to present foreign governments and industry with the information required for them to make an informed decision about responding to the Suppliers List invitation. In addition, the event provided an opportunity for Canadian industry to network with foreign governments and fighter aircraft manufacturers.
The event, which provided information on how Canada plans to buy new jets for its military, was well received and well attended, with over 200 participants from more than 80 companies and seven countries taking part.
You can access the associated agenda and a copy of the opening remarks, from this Industry Day event. To access the Industry Day presentations, see the Suppliers List Invitation.
List of Eligible Suppliers
For this procurement, Canada established a list of Suppliers that have demonstrated their ability to meet Canada’s needs, as defined in the Suppliers List Invitation.
The list of eligible Suppliers includes the following teams (in alphabetical order):
- France—Dassault Aviation (with Thales DMS France SAS, Thales Canada Inc., and Safran Aircraft Engines)
- Sweden—SAAB AB (publ)—Aeronautics
- United Kingdom and Northern Ireland—Airbus Defense and Space GmbH
- United States—Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company) (with Pratt and Whitney)
- United States—The Boeing Company
Only the above Suppliers will be invited to participate in subsequent formal engagement activities and to submit proposals in the competition for the future fighter capability.
Future Fighter Capability—Formal Supplier Engagement
Formal Supplier engagement activities were conducted from March 26 to April 11 and from June 11 to July 5, 2018. During this period, representatives of the Government of Canada engaged with eligible Suppliers to share and obtain initial feedback on Canada’s requirements and notional procurement approach for this competition.
Canada met with each Supplier to discuss aircraft system engineering, sustainment infrastructure, economic benefits to Canada and procurement approach.
As a follow-up to engagement with eligible Suppliers, Canada shared with them a Preliminary Security Requirements document. This document provides eligible Suppliers with insight into some of Canada’s security and interoperability requirements before the final Request for Proposals is released in spring 2019.
On October 26, 2018, Canada achieved yet another milestone toward replacing Canada’s fighter fleet, with the release of the draft Request for Proposals to eligible Suppliers for their review and feedback. Suppliers will have about eight weeks to provide feedback. This feedback will be used to refine and finalize the formal Request for Proposals. The entire process is being reviewed by both an independent fairness monitor and an independent third-party reviewer.
Ensuring suppliers have an opportunity to provide input is critical to the overall success of this procurement and for selecting the right fighter aircraft to meet Canada’s needs, while leveraging economic benefits for Canada.
The government is working diligently to ensure this open and transparent competitive process remains on schedule.
Parallel consultations with Canadian industry and other stakeholders
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada can help support Canadian industry and stakeholders to explore potential partnership opportunities with prime contractors. Click on the following link, for more information resources available for Canadian industry.
From April 23 to May 1, 2018, Innovation, Science and Economic Development in concert with the Department of National Defence, Public Services and Procurement Canada and Canada’s Regional Development Agencies, conducted 6 Regional Forums across the country to position Canadian industry for this once in a generation opportunity.
These forums were an opportunity for Canadian industry and other stakeholders to learn more about the Future Fighter Capability Project, provide feedback on Canada’s approach for economic benefits, and engage with Government of Canada officials and potential prime contractors. In total, representatives from more than 250 Canadian companies and 50 universities and research institutions participated. Click on the following link for access to the presentations on Buyandsell.
Sustainment of the future fighters is a significant area of focus which is expected to provide many high value opportunities for Canadian firms. As such, Canada is seeking feedback to better understand to what extent activities not assigned to National Defence can be delivered by Canadian industry, in concert with the successful Supplier.
Contract awarded for independent third-party expert reviewer
On August 3, 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was awarded a contract to conduct independent third-party expert reviews and to validate various procurement documents and processes relating to the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). The goal is to ensure independent review and validation of the products and processes, to provide timely and objective assessment of the approach and methodology that is being used to support the procurement process. The contract ends in March 2022.
Evaluation of proposals for the permanent capability
Proposals will be rigorously assessed on elements of cost, technical requirements and economic benefits. The evaluation will also include an assessment of bidders’ impact on Canada’s economic interests.
Any bidder that is responsible for harm to Canada’s economic interests will be at a distinct disadvantage. Engagement with stakeholders and industry on the criteria, as well as guidelines for its application as an ongoing procurement tool for major projects, are being conducted through separate consultation. Officials have already met with aerospace and defence industry associations and will continue to engage with various stakeholders on further refining this criteria over the coming months.
All Suppliers will be subject to the same evaluation criteria.
- Formal engagement with eligible Suppliers—spring 2018 to spring 2019
- Formal solicitation of proposals—released to eligible Suppliers in spring 2019
- Eligible Suppliers provide initial proposals to Canada—winter 2019-2020
- Evaluation of proposals and required negotiations—2020-2021
- A contract award is anticipated in 2021 to 2022
- 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 ensure the Canadian aerospace and defence industries are consulted in this process so that they are well-positioned to participate
- A contract award is anticipated in 2021 to 2022, with the first replacement aircraft delivered in 2025
- 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?
- This is aimed at ensuring Canada works with foreign governments that are operators of fighter aircraft and that they meet Canada’s needs for sharing defence information with 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
- Also, the aircraft manufacturer must currently have an aircraft in production that meets Canada’s requirements as indicated in the Suppliers List invitation
3. Can new teams be added or removed from the Suppliers List, now that it has been established?
- The list of Supplier teams that are eligible to participate in the formal engagement activities and to submit proposals for the future fighter capability, has been established and is published above
- The list will remain open throughout the procurement, and an eligible Supplier team can add or remove an entity from its team at any time in the manner described in the Suppliers List invitation, at Canada’s discretion
- A team may withdraw from the list at any time, by written notification to Canada
- Canada reserves the right to remove, at any time, any team or entity, if it presents potential, perceived or real issues that may be injurious to Canada’s national security
As long as the list remains open:
- A new Supplier team may request to be added to the List, however they will not be invited to participate in the formal engagement or to submit a proposal in the competition for the future fighter capability
4. How can Canadian industry participate in the competition?
- We will take the time necessary to engage with the Canadian aerospace and defence sectors to ensure they are informed and well-positioned to participate
- 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
- Eligible Suppliers on the list 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
- Canadian aerospace and defence sectors from across Canada are being invited to participate in the series of regional forums that will be conducted across Canada in April and May 2018
5. 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
- Canada will take the time needed to engage industry stakeholders to gather and share general information related to this procurement. This will ensure the Canadian aerospace and defence industries are well-positioned to participate
6. 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
- All proposals will be evaluated according to the same evaluation criteria
7. How will Canada evaluate proposals for the future fighter capability?
- Proposals will be rigorously assessed on cost, technical requirements and economic benefits
- The evaluation will also include an assessment of bidders’ impact to Canada’s economic interests. Any bidder that is responsible for harm to Canada’s economic interests will be at a distinct disadvantage
8. 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
9. 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 conducted through engagement activities for the future fighter capability
- The new criteria as well as the guidelines for its application as an ongoing procurement tool, are being developed through separate consultations
- 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
Supplementing the Existing Fleet
10. 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, spare parts, and equipment from the Government of Australia, which it is pursuing
11. 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
12. 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
13. When does the Government of Canada expect to take possession of its first Australian fighters?
- Since the December 2017 announcement, we have been working closely with the Australian Government on an agreement to procure 18 F-18 fighter aircraft, plus associated spare parts and equipment
- Work continues and we expect to enter into a final agreement with Australia and to receive the first two fighter aircraft in spring 2019
- Minister Qualtrough announces upcoming release of draft Request for Proposals during her remarks at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s Annual Defence Procurement Conference (October 25, 2018)
- Positioning Canadian industry for a once-in-a-generation opportunity (May 16, 2018)
- Canada Releases List of Eligible Future Fighter Suppliers (February 22, 2018)
- 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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