No cold-weather tests and fly-off among candidates for Canadian new fighter jet

Public Services and Procurement Canada has confirmed that Canada will not do any fly-offs among competing jets or tests for cold-weather operations like Finland has underway.

No cold weather tests and fly off among candidates for Canadian new fighter jet The 88 jets are to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s (pictured) , which have been in service for more than 35 years. (Picture source: Cpl Kevin McMillan/ Royal Canadian Air Force)

“We do not have plans for an exercise of this nature,” stated department spokeswoman Stéfanie Hamel.

Finland, which knows like Canada harsh weather conditions, will however tests the competing aircraft to verify if they fits in Finnish environment. The HX Challenge is being held in Finland so that each candidate’s performance can be verified under Finnish conditions and through tests designed in Finland. This procedure guarantees that the performance of each candidate’s systems and aircraft can be evaluated fairly.

The testing event will verify the performance claims made in the responses to the call for tenders, along with any performance values previously verified in laboratory tests. This way, it will be possible to assess the performance of the aircraft, systems and sensors in the Finnish operating environment. The Finnish operating environment and practices may also differ from those of other users in terms of weather and lighting conditions.

Finland and Canada are considering the Boeing Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin F-35 and Saab Gripen. The Finnish Air Force is also testing the Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, both of which pulled out of the Canadian competition because of worries the process was rigged to favour the F-35.

Finland hopes to buy 64 aircraft. Canada will purchase 88 aircraft.