Canada Announces Next Step In Future Fighter Competition
(Source: Public Services and Procurement Canada; issued July 23, 2019)
GATINEAU, Quebec ---The Government of Canada is acquiring 88 advanced fighter jets to provide the capability the Canadian Armed Forces needs to ensure the safety and security of Canadians and meet its international obligations.

This is the most significant investment in the Royal Canadian Air Force in more than 30 years. With it, the government will deliver the aircraft that meet Canada’s needs, while ensuring good value for Canadians. This investment will support the growth of Canada’s highly skilled workforce in the aerospace and defence industries for decades to come, from coast to coast.

Today, the government achieved a major milestone in the process. Following extensive engagement with industry and eligible suppliers over the past 18 months, the formal Request for Proposals has now been released to eligible suppliers.

The following suppliers have until spring 2020 to submit initial proposals to Canada:
-- Sweden—SAAB AB (publ)—Aeronautics
-- United Kingdom and Northern Ireland—Airbus Defense and Space GmbH (with MBDA UK Limited, L3 Technologies MAS and CAE Canada)
-- United States—Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company) (with Pratt and Whitney)
-- United States—The Boeing Company (with Peraton Canada Corp., CAE Inc., L3 Technologies MAS Inc., GE Canada and Raytheon Canada Limited Services and Support Division)

Canada will provide two opportunities for all bidders to demonstrate that they can present a plan to meet Canada’s security and interoperability requirements. The security offer is due in fall 2019, and following feedback from Canada, bidders may revise and resubmit that offer as part of the initial proposal in spring 2020.

Bidders will also have an opportunity to address deficiencies in their proposals related to mandatory criteria. Rather than being rejected immediately for not meeting mandatory requirements, bidders will receive feedback from Canada so that they can address non-compliance. This approach has already been used for other large federal procurements and has proven to be successful in maintaining a high level of competition.

All bidders will be subject to the same evaluation criteria, and proposals will be rigorously assessed on elements of technical merit (60%), cost (20%) and economic benefits (20%).

This procurement attributes one of the highest weightings to economic benefits for Canada in its history. All suppliers will be required to provide a plan for economic benefits equal to the value of their proposed contract, with maximum points only being awarded to suppliers who provide contractual guarantees.

This open and transparent competition is being monitored by an independent Fairness Monitor to ensure a level playing field for all potential bidders. The Fairness Monitor’s interim report on the supplier qualification and engagement process found that activities were conducted in a fair manner.

The Fairness Monitor provided the following statement to Public Services and Procurement Canada:

“As the Fairness Monitor for the Future Fighter Capability Project, we have monitored the project throughout the qualification and engagement stage, including the development of the Request for Proposals, and we have identified no fairness deficiencies. It is our opinion that the process has been conducted in a fair manner. Decisions were made objectively and free from personal favouritism or improper influence, and the process encompassed the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance.”

The evaluation of proposals, including any revised proposals, is expected to result in a contract award to the selected bidder in early 2022, with the first aircraft delivery starting as early as 2025.

The Government of Canada will continue making progress on this significant project to ensure the safety and security of Canadians over the coming decades.

Quotes

“Our government is delivering on its promise to replace Canada’s fighter jet fleet through an open and transparent competition. Today marks an important step in the process that will provide the women and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force with the aircraft they need to help ensure the safety and security of Canadians, at the right price and with the most economic benefit to Canada,” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.

“The procurement of a fleet of 88 future fighter aircraft is an essential step forward that our government committed to in Strong, Secure, Engaged. This investment will mean that the Royal Canadian Air Force has what it needs to protect Canadians. It is essential that we get the right equipment that will serve our women and men in uniform for decades to come,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.

“Concrete, lasting economic benefits for Canadians are a priority for this project. This procurement is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to support the growth of Canada’s highly skilled workforce in the aerospace and defence industries. We are confident Canadians will reap the full value of this procurement process through investments, research and development, and good jobs for decades to come,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Quick facts

-- The Government of Canada has remained engaged with the Canadian aerospace and defence industries since the launch of this process in December 2017, to ensure they are well positioned to participate in this procurement.

-- A contract award is anticipated in the early 2022 timeframe, and the first replacement aircraft is expected to be delivered as early as 2025.

-- Transition to a new fighter fleet will require continuing operations with the existing CF-18s until the new fleet reaches its full operational capability.

-- The integration of additional Australian fighters is helping ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces has the equipment it needs to continue to deliver its missions, and to meet its international obligations.

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