Future Fighter Capability Project
Explore the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).
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Project at a glance
- Acquiring advanced fighter aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s existing fleet of CF-18 fighters
- 88 advanced fighter jets, associated equipment and weapons
- Set-up training
- Sustainment services
- Contract value
- $19 billion
- Agreement finalized with the United States (US) government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt & Whitney for the acquisition of F-35 fighter jets
- Next steps
- First delivery of F-35 fighter jets expected in 2026
The FFCP is acquiring 88 advanced jets, associated equipment and weapons, with set-up of training and sustainment services.
The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy and the Value Proposition approach apply to this procurement. All bidders are required to provide industrial targets in Canada equal to the value of their contracts. Bidders are also required to provide plans detailing how they will fulfill the Government of Canada’s economic benefits requirements, including supporting jobs and growth in Canada’s aerospace and defence sector over the coming decades. Maximum points in the evaluation of Value Propositions will be given to those that provide contractual guarantees.
The process has been reviewed by both an independent fairness monitor and an independent third party reviewer.
The finalization phase has been completed, with the US government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt & Whitney successfully demonstrating that the resulting agreement meets all of Canada’s requirements and outcomes, including value for money, flexibility, protection against risks, performance and delivery assurances, as well as high-value jobs and economic benefits for Canada’s aerospace and defence sector.
Procurement progress and engagement
- The Government of Canada launched an open and transparent competitive process to acquire new fighter jets to replace the existing fleet
- The government began industry engagement as part of the competitive process
- An open information session was held on January 22 to inform foreign governments and industry about responding to the Suppliers List Invitation, and to provide an opportunity for Canadian industry to network with foreign governments and fighter aircraft manufacturers
- A list of eligible suppliers as defined in the Suppliers List Invitation was established in February
- The Government of Canada met several times with each supplier to:
- obtain feedback on requirements and the notional procurement approach
- address their feedback and create a level playing field that maximizes competition while ensuring that Canadian requirements are met
- discuss aircraft system engineering, sustainment infrastructure, economic benefits and the procurement approach
- Preliminary security requirements documents were shared with eligible suppliers in September
- A draft version of the request for proposal (RFP) was released to eligible suppliers for their review and feedback in October
- Eligible suppliers were invited to visit the Government of Canada’s main operating bases for a first-hand look at existing fighter operations and infrastructure
- A second draft of the RFP was released to eligible suppliers for their review and feedback in June
- The Government of Canada released the formal RFP to eligible suppliers and invited them to demonstrate how they can meet Canada’s future fighter capability requirements in July
- Eligible suppliers were required to submit preliminary security offers for meeting Canada’s security and interoperability requirements by October 4
- In January 2020, feedback was provided to eligible suppliers on their security offers, in order to help ensure that Canada received competitive proposals that meet its technical, cost and economic benefits requirements
- On February 24, the Government of Canada granted a 3-month extension to the RFP deadline at the request of industry
- On May 6, at the request of industry, the Government of Canada granted another month extension to the proposal submission deadline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on industry
- Eligible suppliers had until July 31, to submit their proposals
- On July 31, the bid solicitation phase closed, proposals were received from all 3 eligible suppliers, and the process entered the bid evaluation phase
On December 1, 2021, the Government of Canada announced that following evaluation of the proposals submitted, 2 bidders remained eligible under the FFCP competitive procurement process:
- Swedish government—SAAB AB (publ)—Aeronautics with Diehl Defence GmbH & Co. KG, MBDA UK Ltd., and RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.
- US government—Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company) with Pratt & Whitney
On March 28, 2022, following a rigorous evaluation of the proposals, the Government of Canada announced that it had entered into the finalization phase of the procurement process with the top ranked bidder, the US government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt & Whitney. The finalization phase continued for the next 8 months.
On January 9, 2023, following the completion of the finalization phase, the Government of Canada announced that negotiations had successfully been concluded, and that it had reached an agreement with the US government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt & Whitney for 88 F-35 advanced fighter jets, associated equipment and weapons, set-up training and sustainment services.
Parallel consultations with Canadian industry and other stakeholders
Eligible suppliers are motivated to form partnerships with Canadian industry and post-secondary institutions in order to develop strong Value Propositions. Feedback on the Value Proposition approach was obtained through a letter of interest and engagement with industry.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) ensured that Canadian industry is well-informed on this important procurement. ISED can help support Canadian industry and stakeholders to explore potential partnership opportunities with prime contractors. Information on resources is available for Canadian industry.
April to May 2018 – ISED conducted regional forums across the country with the help of National Defence, Public Services and Procurement Canada and Canada’s regional development agencies. Representatives from more than 250 Canadian companies and 50 universities and research institutions participated. This regional forum presentation is available.
August 2019 – With support from the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries and the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, an online information session was offered to provide a better understanding of the procurement process, timelines and the economic benefits approach, with a particular focus on priority areas where Canada will encourage investments. This economic benefits presentation is available.
CF-18 fleet sustainment
Until the future fleet is in place and fully operational, the Government of Canada is investing to continue to deliver on its missions and meet international obligations until 2032 by having purchased 18 F/A-18 fighter aircraft, associated spare parts and equipment from the Government of Australia. Under the same agreement, the Government of Canada also acquired 2 additional non-flyable fighter aircraft to be used for spare parts.
Upon their transfer to Canada, necessary aircraft inspections, maintenance and modifications are required to ensure the fighters meet all requirements of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). As of October 2022, 11 of the acquired aircraft had entered into active service with the RCAF. Modification work continues on the remaining 6 aircraft with completion scheduled before the end of 2023.
The Government of Canada is also investing through the Hornet Extension Project to help ensure that the CF-18 fleet is able to meet operational commitments, including to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), until 2032, when the permanent fleet is expected to be fully operational. The Hornet Extension Project was approved in 2 phases that are being implemented in parallel. Phase 1 is delivering enhancements for up to 94 CF-18 aircraft, mainly focused on addressing evolving civilian air traffic management regulations and meeting allied military interoperability requirements. Phase 2 is focused on additional combat capability upgrades for 36 CF-18 aircraft, to ensure that sufficient, operationally relevant, mission-ready CF-18 fighters are available to meet air power capability requirements in the current battle space until the future fighter fleet reaches full operational capability.
- Canada finalizes agreement to purchase new fighter jets for Royal Canadian Air Force (January 9, 2023)
- Canada moves closer to delivering 88 advanced fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force as it begins negotiations with the top-ranked bidder, the United States government and Lockheed Martin, for the F-35 (March 28, 2022)
- Government of Canada announces key milestone in process to replace Canada’s fighter jets (December 1, 2021)
- Government of Canada receives proposals to replace its fighter jets (July 31, 2020)
- Future Fighter Capability Project update (May 7, 2020)
- Canada grants extension to the deadline for responses to the request for proposals (February 25, 2020)
- Canada announces next step in future fighter competition (July 23, 2019)
- Keynote address from Minister Qualtrough at CANSEC 2019 (May 31, 2019)
- First interim fighter jets arrive in Cold Lake (February 17, 2019)
- Minister Qualtrough announces upcoming release of draft RFP during her remarks at the Annual Defence Procurement Conference of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (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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