Government of Canada announces the last two bidders for Royal Canadian Air Force future fighter jets

As part of its defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is acquiring 88 advanced fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to replace its CF-18 fleet through a competitive process that will ensure the requirements of the RCAF are met while ensuring best value for Canadians.

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Government of Canada announce the last two bidders for Royal Canadian Air Force future fighter jets A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18A (Picture source: US Air Force)

On December 1st, the Government of Canada announced that following evaluation of the proposals submitted, 2 bidders remain eligible under the Future Fighter Capability Project competitive procurement process:

Swedish Government—SAAB AB (publ)—Aeronautics with Diehl Defence GmbH & Co. KG, MBDA UK Ltd., and RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems Ltd., and
United States Government—Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company) with Pratt and Whitney. 

So, Lockheed Martin F-35A Block 4 and Saab Gripen E fighters are still in competion, while Boeing’s Super Hornet fighter jets did not meet the federal government’s requirements, according to sources from industry and government.

Proposals were rigorously assessed on elements of capability, cost and economic benefits. The evaluation also included an assessment of economic impact.

Over the coming weeks, Canada will finalize next steps for the process, which, based on further analysis of the 2 remaining bids, could involve proceeding to final negotiations with the top-ranked bidder or entering into a competitive dialogue, whereby the 2 remaining bidders would be provided with an opportunity to improve their proposals.

The Government of Canada continues to work towards a contract award in 2022, with delivery of aircraft as early as 2025.