Liberals Will Put A Hold On Sole-Sourced Fighter Jet Contract
(Source: Canadian Liberal Party; issued July 15, 2010)
A future Liberal government will put a hold on the Harper government’s $16-billion sole-sourced fighter jet contract, and Liberals will immediately request that the House of Commons Defence Committee reconvene as soon as possible to examine the government’s secretive, unaccountable decision to proceed with this contract, Liberal MPs said today.
“A Liberal government will put this contract on hold while we review military procurement,” said Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. “At a time when the Conservatives are also signalling significant cuts to Veterans Affairs, a $16-billion sole-sourced contract, agreed to without transparency, can’t be allowed to proceed.
“We’re calling for accountability from the Conservatives for hastily forging ahead without any competitive bids – and an explanation for how they justify this $16-billion expense while cutting the services relied on by our veterans,” added Mr. Ignatieff. “While Mr. Harper spends billions behind closed doors, a Liberal government will take a different approach – one that balances our defence priorities and recognizes that our defence commitments include serving the men and women of our Armed Forces when they return home.”
As part of the Global Networks Strategy announced last month by Mr. Ignatieff, a Liberal government will review all military procurement to ensure it aligns with the right balance between defence, development and diplomacy after the Afghanistan combat mission ends.
“With the potential for billions of dollars of wasted taxpayer funds, Minister MacKay must come before committee to justify this sole-sourced contract,” said Liberal Defence Critic Ujjal Dosanjh. “We’ll also call on other potential bidders and procurement experts to explain how the government would get better value-for-money through a competitive bidding process.”
Defence Minister Peter Mackay told Parliament there would be a competitive process for the selection of new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes, however media reports now reveal that the Harper cabinet has decided to go with a sole-sourced contract.
“Stephen Harper has no vision for Canada’s foreign affairs, and no respect for the institution of Parliament,” concluded Liberal Industry Critic Marc Garneau. “We won’t let him get away with pushing this enormous expenditure through as soon as the House of Commons recessed, with no transparency and no guarantee that Canadians are getting the best value for their money.” (ends)
Canada Selects Lockheed Martin F-35 for Next-Generation Fighter
(Source: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company; issued July 16, 2010)
FORT WORTH, Texas --- The Government of Canada today announced plans to acquire the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as the country's next-generation fighter aircraft. The F-35 will replace Canada's fleet of CF-18 Hornets that entered service in the early 1980s.
"We're very pleased with the decision and are committed to supporting the Government of Canada in moving forward with the F-35," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration. "The Lightning II will help ensure Canada's national security, and also positions Canadian industry to immediately capture long-term work that will endure for the next 30 years."
The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter developed and funded by a consortium of nine countries, including Canada. It is designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground operations and features the most comprehensive and powerful avionics of any fighter ever produced. Canada plans to acquire 65 F-35s to replace the CF-18 fleet that is currently in service. Delivery of Canada's F-35s will begin in 2016.
Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion. (ends)
Magellan Aerospace Praises the Canadian Government Decision to Proceed with the Joint Strike Fighter Program
(Source: Magellan Aerospace Corporation; issued July 16, 2010)
TORONTO --- Magellan Aerospace commends the Government of Canada for its decision to proceed with the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program as the choice for Canada's future fighter aircraft. This decision conveys the government's commitment that the JSF F-35 aircraft is the right aircraft for Canada to replace the CF18 fleet toward the end of the decade.
The Fifth Generation F-35 will deliver superior capability, critical interoperability with allies, and significant economies of scale. It will allow Canada's aerospace industry to continue to play a significant competitive role in the production of these high-technology aircraft.
Magellan Aerospace also applauds the efforts of the government to maximize opportunities for the more than 90 Canadian companies across Canada that are already participants in the JSF program. From the time that Canada officially joined the JSF international partnership, participation in achieving the technical and competitive demands of the JSF program development have been seen as crucial stepping stones to securing greater roles in the current production and upcoming support phases.
The JSF program will provide Canadian industry unprecedented participation in a strategic, long-term development and production program to advance existing strengths in aerospace and defence technologies. This combination of commercial opportunity and long term technology advancement from coast to coast across Canada will ensure valuable, high technology jobs are established, sustained and grown in Canada's aerospace industry.
"The aerospace industry is an important sector in Canada," said James Butyniec, President and CEO of Magellan Aerospace. "The partnerships that have been established with the federal and provincial governments in strategic technology development within Canada have resulted in outstanding industrial participation opportunities. Agreements and cooperation with our international partners have led to collaborative team work in development and production, playing an important role in sustaining and growing employment and operational excellence."
Magellan Aerospace and fellow Canadian companies have systematically invested in technology and knowledge growth over the past decade in support of the JSF program. In parallel, facilitization to increase full scale production capacity and methodology to meet state-of-the-art manufacturing approaches is underway at multiple operating sites across Canada. "This application of new technologies and precision manufacturing processes will transform Magellan Aerospace and other Canadian companies, ensuring they remain confident and competitive leaders in future military and commercial applications," stated Mr. Butyniec.
Magellan Aerospace Corporation is one of the world's most integrated aerospace industry suppliers. Magellan designs, engineers, and manufactures aero engine and aerostructure components and assemblies for aerospace markets, advanced products for military and space markets, and complementary specialty products.