OTTAWA --- The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (UK MoD) and Airbus Defence and Space today informed the Government of Canada of their decision to withdraw from Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). The decision is the result of a detailed review of the Request for Proposal (RFP), following its release on 23 July 2019.
Both the UK MoD and Airbus Defence and Space deeply appreciate the FFCP team’s commitment to transparency throughout the last two years as well as the thoroughly professional nature of the competition. This applies in particular to the efforts made to facilitate an enormously complex task of developing the RFP whilst responding to feedback from the suppliers.
After careful analysis of the input from the draft as well as the final RFP, two factors have led to the Typhoon Canada campaign team’s decision to withdraw from the project:
First, a detailed review has led the parties to conclude that NORAD security requirements continue to place too significant of a cost on platforms whose manufacture and repair chains sit outside the United States-Canada 2-EYES community.
Second, both parties concluded that the significant recent revision of industrial technological benefits (ITB) obligations does not sufficiently value the binding commitments the Typhoon Canada package was willing to make, and which were one of its major points of focus.
With the decision to withdraw from the FFCP, the UK MoD and Airbus Defence and Space will not proceed any further with the Typhoon Canada campaign.
However, both parties strongly reiterate their commitment to the Canadian government, the Canadian Armed Forces, the country’s aerospace sector and ultimately the people of Canada.
Simon Jacques, President of Airbus Defence and Space Canada, said: “Airbus Defence and Space is proud of our longstanding partnership with the Government of Canada, and of serving our fifth home country’s aerospace priorities for over three decades. Together we continue in our focus of supporting the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, growing skilled aerospace jobs across the country and spurring innovation in the Canadian aerospace sector.”
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018 it generated revenues of € 64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Alan Williams, the former Canadian defense procurement minister who signed the country’s entry into the Joint Strike Fighter program but later rebelled against the way the Harper government attempted to trick Canadians into acquiring the aircraft, said in an August 30 e-mail that “To date, the government has certainly bent over backwards to facilitate the F-35 bid.”
Williams was alluding to the fact that, during his election campaign, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had sworn he would never buy the F-35.
He later delayed the fighter competition he had promised to bring forward.
By then acceding to US demands to lower the requirement for offsets – something that Lockheed cannot deliver, as they are forbidden by the F-35 program bylaws – Trudeau has now convinced a second European competitor (after Dassault) to pull out of the competition.
Next will no doubt be Gripen because, as Sweden is not even a member of NATO, it stands an even lower chance than the UK to be allowed access to NORAD security requirements.
Canada’s choice will then be limited to the Super Hornet or the F-35, and since the former is the ultimate descendant of a 50-year old design that has already been in service for over 20 years, it will have little chance of winning.)