Future Fighter Capability Project (Mcdonnell Douglas CF-18 Replacement Program)
Future Fighter Capability Project
Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada's defence policy, announced in June 2017, reaffirmed the Government of Canada's commitment to invest appropriately in Canada's military.
On December 12, 2017, the government launched an open and transparent competition to permanently replace Canada’s fighter fleet with 88 advanced jets. This is the most significant investment in the Royal Canadian Air Force in more than 30 years, and is essential for protecting the safety and security of Canadians and meeting international obligations.
The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy will apply to this procurement. The objective of the policy is to maximize opportunities for Canadian companies, support innovation through research and development, and grow export opportunities from Canada.
Until permanent replacement aircraft are in place and fully operational, Canada must ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces has the equipment it needs to continue to meet its obligations, and Canada has entered into an agreement with the Government of Australia to procure 18 F/A-18 fighter aircraft and associated spare parts and equipment to supplement its current CF-18 fleet for an interim period. The government is also working to extend the existing fleet until the permanent replacement fleet is fully operational in 2032. On February 16, 2019 Canada received the first two fighter aircraft in Cold Lake, Alberta.
The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that the Canadian aerospace and defence industries, commercial suppliers and foreign governments in allied and partner countries are consulted and engaged in this process, and that they are well-positioned to participate.
Canada held a Future Fighter Industry Day on January 22, 2018, in Ottawa. The objective of this event was to share information with industry and stakeholders as well as to present foreign governments and industry with the information required for them to make an informed decision about responding to the Suppliers List Invitation. In addition, the event provided an opportunity for Canadian industry to network with foreign governments and fighter aircraft manufacturers.
The event, which provided information on how Canada plans to buy new jets for its military, was well received and well-attended, with over 200 participants from more than 80 companies and 7 countries taking part.
List of eligible suppliers
In February 2018, Canada established a list of suppliers eligible to meet Canada’s needs, as defined in the Suppliers List Invitation.
The following teams are on the list of eligible suppliers (in alphabetical order):
- Sweden—SAAB AB (publ)—Aeronautics
- 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)
Only the above supplier teams are currently eligible to participate in formal engagement activities and submit proposals under the future fighter competitive procurement process.
A France-Dassault team was part of the Suppliers List when announced in February. On November 8, 2018, the team informed Canada of its decision to officially withdraw from the competition. A United Kingdom and Northern Ireland team was also part of the Suppliers List until Airbus Defence and Space GmbH informed Canada on August 30, 2019, of its decision to officially withdraw from the competition.
Both teams are therefore no longer eligible suppliers in the competitive process, and will not be invited to submit proposals to Canada.
Future fighter capability: Formal supplier engagement
Formal supplier engagement activities were conducted in March, April, June and July 2018 and in February 2019. During this period, representatives of the Government of Canada engaged with eligible suppliers to share and obtain initial feedback on Canada’s requirements and notional procurement approach for this competition.
Canada met with each supplier to discuss aircraft system engineering, sustainment infrastructure, economic benefits to Canada and the procurement approach.
As a follow-up to engagement with eligible suppliers, Canada shared with them a Preliminary Security Requirements document. This document provides eligible suppliers with insight into some of Canada’s security and interoperability requirements.
In October 2018 and June 2019, Canada released drafts of the Request for Proposals (RFP) to eligible suppliers for their review and feedback. Canada also invited eligible Suppliers for a first-hand look at existing fighter operations and infrastructure at its main operating bases (MOBs) in late 2018.
Ensuring suppliers have an opportunity to provide input is critical to the overall success of this procurement and for selecting the right fighter aircraft to meet Canada’s needs, while leveraging economic benefits for Canada. Canada is engaging with eligible suppliers and working to address their feedback to the extent possible to create a level playing field and maximize competition, while ensuring Canada’s needs are met. All suppliers will be required to provide industrial targets in Canada equal to the value of their contracts. All bidders will be required to provide plans detailing how they will fulfill Canada’s economic benefits requirements, including supporting jobs and growth in Canada’s aerospace and defence industries over the coming decades.
On July 23, 2019, Canada released the formal RFPs to eligible suppliers and invited them to demonstrate how they can meet Canada’s future fighter capability requirements.
Eligible suppliers have until early 2020 to submit their proposals to Canada.
The government is working diligently to ensure this open and transparent competitive process remains on schedule.
The entire process is being reviewed by both an independent fairness monitor and an independent third-party reviewer.
Parallel consultations with Canadian industry and other stakeholders
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada can help support Canadian industry and stakeholders to explore potential partnership opportunities with prime contractors. Get more information on resources available for Canadian industry.
From April 23 to May 1, 2018, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, in concert with National Defence, Public Services and Procurement Canada and Canada’s regional development agencies, conducted 6 regional forums across the country to position Canadian industry for this once-in-a-generation opportunity.
These forums were an opportunity for Canadian industry and other stakeholders to learn more about the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP), provide feedback on Canada’s approach for economic benefits, and engage with Government of Canada officials and potential prime contractors. In total, representatives from more than 250 Canadian companies and 50 universities and research institutions participated. You can access the presentations on Buyandsell.gc.ca.
Sustainment of the future fighters is a significant area of focus that is expected to provide many high-value opportunities for Canadian firms. As such, Canada sought feedback through a Letter of Interest to better understand to what extent activities not assigned to National Defence can be delivered by Canadian industry, in concert with the successful supplier.
Canada developed a consultation plan that includes further opportunities to engage with Government of Canada officials after the formal RFP is released. This will ensure Canadian industry and other stakeholders remain well-informed following this important milestone.
In August 2019, the Government of Canada with support from the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries and the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, offered an online information session to learn more about the FFCP process, timelines and the economic benefits approach, with a particular focus on the value proposition and priority areas where Canada will encourage investments. Visit Buyandsell.gc.ca to view the presentation.
Contract awarded for independent third-party expert reviewer
On August 3, 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was awarded a contract to conduct independent third-party expert reviews and to validate various procurement documents and processes relating to the FFCP.The goal is to ensure independent review and validation of the products and processes, in order to provide timely and objective assessment of the approach and methodology that is being used to support the procurement process. The contract ends in March 2022.
Evaluation of proposals for the permanent capability
Proposals will be rigorously assessed on elements of cost, technical requirements and economic benefits. The evaluation will also include an assessment of bidders’ impact on Canada’s economic interests.
All eligible suppliers will be subject to the same evaluation criteria.
- Eligible suppliers provide initial proposals to Canada: early 2020
- Evaluation of proposals and required negotiations: 2020 to 2021
- A contract award is anticipated in early 2022
- First replacement aircraft delivered as early as 2025