Canada future fighter contest now a two-horse race

The department of Public Services and Procurement (PSPC) of the Canadian Government announced on December 1, that its future fighter capability project (FFCP) is down to only two remaining bidding companies.

US company Lockheed Martin with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Swedish company Saabwith the Gripen E are the two remaining contenders for Canada's future fighter project. This means that Boeing and the F/A-18 Super Hornet has been excluded from the project by Canada. 

The to be replaced RCAF CF-188s undergo a training interception mission during their recent NATO Air Policing detachment in Romania. Josef Campion

Following an enquiry, a communications advisor of the PSPC told Key.Aero: “All proposals were subject to the same evaluation criteria and were rigorously assessed on elements of capability, cost, economic benefits, and security, with oversight by an independent fairness monitor. 

“Due to the confidential aspect of the information provided by the bidders during the procurement process, we cannot provide further information.” 

The FFCP to procure 88 advanced fighters, with set up-training, sustainment services and associated equipment, was launched by Canada in 2017.

With a contract value estimated between $15-19bn, the FFCP is intended to replace Canada's current fleet of ageing CF-188 Legacy Hornets.

Initially five companies submitted bids for the FFCP to provide Canada’s next front-line fighter including, the French-Dassault team with the Rafale and a UK and Northern Ireland team with Airbus Defence and Space offering the Eurofighter Typhoon, but both companies withdrew in the early stages of the project.

Over the coming weeks, Canada will finalise the next steps of the process through thorough analysis of the two remaining bids. This may result in final negotiations with the top ranked bidder, or Lockheed Martin and Saab entering into a competitive dialogue to gain Canada’s approval. This competitive dialogue would provide the two bidders with the opportunity to improve their current proposals.

The Canadian Government aims to award a contract in 2022 to the successful bidder, with a scheduled delivery of aircraft from 2025.