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January 9, 2023 | Local, Aerospace

Canada is acquiring a new fleet of 88, state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets


Good morning everyone. Bonjour.

I am joining you from the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Huron-Wendat and the Haudenosaunee.

In 2017, we launched an open, fair and transparent competition for the permanent replacement of Canada’s fighter fleet.

We did so because we are determined to provide our aviators with the best and most advanced equipment available, and thus acquire the right aircraft at the right price for Canadians.

As our world grows darker, with Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable attack on Ukraine, and China’s increasingly assertive behavior in the Indo-Pacific, this project has taken on heightened significance – especially given the importance of interoperability with our allies.

Public Services and Procurement Canada has arrived at the culmination of its robust, seven-step process to procure a new fleet of fighter jets for Canada.

Today I am announcing that Canada is acquiring a new fleet of eighty-eight, state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets, through an agreement that we have finalized with the United States government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt and Whitney.

This investment is estimated at nineteen billion dollars – making it the largest investment in our Royal Canadian Air Force in thirty years.

I am here to announce that Canada will procure a new fleet of eighty‑eight F-35 fighter jets, through an agreement that we have finalized with the United States government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt and Whitney.

This investment is estimated at nineteen billion dollars – making it the largest investment in our Royal Canadian Air Force in thirty years.

This acquisition will occur with funding set out in our 2017 defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, and delivers on our commitment to ensure that our Air Force has the equipment needed to protect Canadians.

The F-35 is a modern, reliable, and agile fighter aircraft used by our closest allies in missions across the globe. It is the most advanced fighter on the market, and it is the right aircraft for Canada.

The F-35 provides pilots with enhanced intelligence; surveillance; and reconnaissance capabilities, greatly improving their situational awareness and survivability in today’s high-threat operational environment.

Canada’s new fleet of 88 jets is being acquired in tranches – starting with an initial tranche of 16.

We expect:

  • the first four aircraft to be delivered in 2026,
  • the next six in 2027,
  • and the next six in 2028,
  • with the full fleet to arrive in time to enable the phase out of the CF-18s by the end of 2032.

As we move towards a new fleet, we are ensuring that our Air Force has the aircraft needed to protect Canada in the interim. We have procured Australian F-18s to supplement our existing fleet of CF-18 aircraft, which are also being upgraded under the Hornet Extension Project. 

These two initiatives will help extend the life of our CF-18 fleet to 2032, and will allow for a gradual transition from the CF-18 to the F-35 – while ensuring that the RCAF is equipped to sustain key defence missions in North America and internationally.

By acquiring this fleet, we are enhancing Canada’s capacities in our airspace, and ensuring a closer and more seamless coordination with our allies.

The new fighter fleet will ensure Canada can meet its military obligations at home and deliver on its commitments under NORAD and NATO.

This $19 billion investment includes not just aircraft, but also sustainment set-up and services for the aircraft, associated aircraft equipment, and the construction of modern fighter squadron facilities in Bagotville, Quebec, and Cold Lake, Alberta.

This $19 billion investment includes not just aircraft, but also sustainment set-up and services for the aircraft, associated aircraft equipment, and the construction of modern fighter squadron facilities in Bagotville, Quebec and Cold Lake, Alberta.

These facilities will be home to both operational and training Squadrons, and will include space for daily operations, maintenance, administration, mission planning, and simulator training in support of the entire fleet.

At the same time, and under separate, previously-announced funding, we’re moving forward with investments through our NORAD Modernization Plan, including a range of infrastructure upgrades across Canada to support NORAD and F-35 operations.

Together, these projects will sharpen our military edge to keep Canadians safe – and they will create economic opportunities for our country.

The acquisition and initial maintenance of the F-35 has the potential to contribute over 425 million dollars annually to the Canadian economy and close to 3,300 jobs annually for Canadian industry over a 25-year period. 

In fact, Canada’s participation in the Joint Strike Fighter program over the past number of years has already allowed companies in Canada to secure almost three billion USD in contracts, and this will grow.

Standing back, approximately three thousand F-35s are forecast to be produced for partners and allies across the world – and every one of these jets will also include Canadian components – from landing gear parts, to engine parts, to software – making the F-35 a testament to Canada’s world-class aerospace and defence industry. Our industry will also be well positioned to participate in the substantial maintenance opportunities of both the Canadian and global fleets.

In the future, we will continue to work closely with our industry partners to provide the most up-to-date information on the opportunities available to our workers and our businesses. This includes  Indigenous and Northern businesses.

As global tensions rise, we will never waver in our commitment to keep Canadians safe. We’re committed to making the necessary investments to protect Canada – and today’s announcement is evidence of this resolve.

The F-35 advanced fighter aircraft fleet will ensure that our aviators have the long-term ability to defend the second largest airspace in the world. It will help us to meet our NORAD and NATO commitments. And it will also deliver concrete economic benefits to Canada.

To the aviators of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the entire Canadian Armed Forces: thank you for your service and devotion to Canada. You risk your lives for this country, and we will ensure that you have the top-of-the-line equipment that you need to keep Canada safe.

I confirm today that Canada is acquiring the best fighter aircraft on the market at the best price for Canadians. I would like to thank everyone who played a role in carrying out this purchase.

Thank you, merci, miigwetch.

On the same subject

  • Bold move backfires as Canada declines Naval Group-Fincantieri frigate offering

    December 8, 2017 | Local, Naval

    Bold move backfires as Canada declines Naval Group-Fincantieri frigate offering

    PARIS, ROME, and VICTORIA, British Columbia — Naval Group and Fincantieri are out of the running to compete in Canada's program to acquire a fleet of new surface combatants after they failed to submit a bid through the formal process and instead sent a proposal directly to the Canadian government. The companies had offered Canada a proposal to construct 15 ships at Irving Shipbuilding in Nova Scotia for a fixed cost. But the proposal circumvented the government's procurement procedure, which required formal bids to be submitted to Irving by Nov. 30. Naval Group and Fincantieri did not follow that requirement. The Canadian government announced Tuesday it had rejected the proposal from the two firms. “The submission of an unsolicited proposal at the final hour undermines the fair and competitive nature of this procurement suggesting a sole source contracting arrangement,” Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC, which is overseeing the procurement, said in a statement. “Acceptance of such a proposal would break faith with the bidders who invested time and effort to participate in the competitive process, put at risk the Government's ability to properly equip the Royal Canadian Navy and would establish a harmful precedent for future competitive procurements.” Canada's decision effectively removes Naval Group and Fincantieri from taking part in the program since the companies never submitted a formal bid, government officials noted. Public Services and Procurement Canada declined to say how many bids were received for the Canadian Surface Combatant project. Besides a bid from the BAE-Lockheed Martin Canada consortium for the Type 26 frigate, only two other companies have acknowledged bidding. A team led by Alion Canada is offering the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class air-defense and command frigate. The Spanish shipyard, Navantia, has submitted a bid based on its F-105 frigate design. Canada expects to make a decision on the winning bid sometime in 2018. The program to build 15 new warships is estimated to be worth CAN$62 billion (U.S. $49 billion). The program was originally estimated to cost CAN$26 billion, but that figure has been revised a number of times and has been climbing steadily over the last several years. Fincantieri and Naval Group had hoped the proposal of a fixed price tag of about CAN$30 billion for a new fleet might sway the Liberal government, as it would eliminate much of the risk and would offer a proven warship design. The proposal had the backing of the French and Italian governments and was made directly to Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Naval Group and Fincantieri took note Canada had rejected their joint bid that filed outside the competition for a frigate fleet, but they were still ready to offer the design of their warship for local assembly, the companies said Wednesday. “We acknowledge the position expressed by the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) not to take into consideration the offers submitted outside the process of the Canadian Surface Combatant program (CSC) Request For Proposal (RFP),” Naval Group and Fincantieri said. “Nevertheless, Naval Group and Fincantieri remain at the disposal of Canada to contribute to the modernization of Canadian forces with a sea-proven warship, currently in service with the French and Italian Navies, that would minimize the scheduling gaps for design and construction of all the ships in Canada and maximize value for money,” the companies said. Asked on Wednesday how Fincantieri and Naval Group will react to Canada's rejection, Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono declined to give a direct response but did suggest there might be room for compromise. “We don't want to take risks,” he said, adding: “we need to see what makes sense” and “the customer is always right.” In addition, he said the design of the ship offered to Canada would be more similar to the Italian version than the French. “We have made a joint offer of a FREMM, which is close to the Italian version if only because Italy has an anti-submarine warfare version,” he said. The terms of the Canadian competition posed a problem as the tender required bidders to hand over intellectual property and there was danger it might end up in the wrong hands, an analyst said. “The problem from the outset is how the Liberals have set the competition,” said Robbin Laird, of consultancy International Communications and Strategic Assessments, based in Paris and the Washington, D.C., area. “One would think that with ... the U.S. and Australia launching new frigates as well as the French and Italians working on a new frigate program, the approach would be to leverage the allied global recapitalization effort,” he added. “Yet what the Canadian government has focused upon is simply forcing competitors to provide intellectual property to their own Canadian shipyard without any real protection against leakage of that technology to China or to other competitors.” In their direct bid to the Canadian government, the European partners offered a speedy start of shipbuilding in 2019, which they said would help sustain local jobs. A frigate generally takes about four years to build. The Franco-Italian frigate was offered with the Thales Sea Fire radar, a multifunction digital system, an industry executive said. Naval Group offered its Senit combat management system, with Fincantieri delivering the ship design. Thales developed the flat-paneled Sea Fire for the FTI, an intermediate frigate ordered for the French Navy and aimed mainly for export markets. Anti-submarine systems included Thales Captas hull-mounted and towed array sonars, specialist website Mer et Marine reported. The weapons could include a 127mm gun and two vertical launchers for surface-to-air missiles, which would likely be Aster but would also be available for American weapons.


    April 25, 2019 | Local, Security


    Avec une base de données suffisante et une intelligence artificielle, il est parfois possible d'anticiper certains incidents. Certaines plateformes, comme Facebook, travaillent sur des algorithmes permettant de repérer les adolescents suicidaires et d'intervenir dans le cas où ils risquent de passer à l'acte. Au Canada, les forces de l'ordre vont utiliser des modèles prédictifs pour prédire les disparitions avant qu'elles n'aient lieu. Selon un rapport du gouvernement, les modèles prédictifs seront basés sur des publications sur les réseaux sociaux, les dossiers de la police et les services sociaux. Les algorithmes se référeront à une dizaine de facteurs de risques communs, comme des antécédents de fugue ou de violence à la maison, afin d'identifier les personnes susceptibles de disparition. L'initiative fait toutefois l'objet de nombre de critiques. Certains experts pensent que l'utilisation de modèles prédictifs à cette fin pourrait conduire à de faux positifs. Le type d'informations à utiliser n'a pas été dévoilé Le document a été publié le mois dernier par la RDDC (Defence Research and Development Canada), une agence rattachée au ministère de la Défense nationale. Selon le rapport, la conception des modèles prédictifs sera assurée par SPPAL (Saskatchewan Police Predictive Analytics Lab). Ce laboratoire est le fruit d'un partenariat entre la police, le ministère provincial de la Justice et l'Université de la Saskatchewan. La police canadienne utilise déjà les réseaux sociaux pour repérer des cas d'infraction, trouver des suspects et résoudre des enquêtes. Toutefois, le rapport n'indique pas les types d'informations qui seront recueillies sur les médias sociaux. Des risques de faux positifs Tamir Israel est avocat à CIPPIC (Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic). Il a reconnu que les modèles prédictifs de SPPAL pourraient être utilisés pour trier les cas suspects selon leur ordre de priorité. Il est en effet nécessaire de distinguer, par exemple, une éventuelle victime d'enlèvement d'une fugueuse habituelle. « Les forces de l'ordre seront invitées à s'appuyer sur les résultats du modèle prédictif » pour décider de la sérieuse prise en charge d'un cas de personne disparue », a-t-il déclaré à Motherbord. Toutefois, il a souligné que ces modèles prédictifs sont souvent opaques dans leur fonctionnement, en s'appuyant sur des facteurs que les policiers eux-mêmes ne peuvent pas évaluer ou deviner. Il a noté que les informations sur les réseaux sociaux ne sont pas toujours fiables et augmentent les risques de faux positifs. Il a également noté que cette méthode pourrait conduire à des résultats faussés lorsque les modèles sont appliqués à des groupes minoritaires. Il craint qu'ils ne fassent pas de différences entre les cultures. « Nous savons que les modèles prédictifs sont loin d'être infaillibles dans des situations réelles et qu'il y aura des faux positifs », a-t-il rappelé. « Les conséquences d'une intervention basée sur un faux positif peuvent être très graves. »

  • RPAS community gathers for Tech Demo 2

    September 30, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

    RPAS community gathers for Tech Demo 2

    Once again this year, nearly 150 players in the aeronautics industry met at the Centre d'excellence sur les drones (CED) for the second edition of Tech Demo, where the remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) community got together to share technological advances. During this event, which took place on Sept. 25 and 26 in Alma, Que., participants learned more about the latest developments from Transport Canada, the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). They also attended various conferences exploring drone image recognition, multi-mission systems, the niche of excellence in civil and commercial UAVs, ways to reduce time to market through drone simulation and trends in the drone ecosystem. Guests also had the opportunity to discuss issues related to operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), and take part in three panels about anti-UAV systems and airspace management. Seven system demonstrations were also carried out during the event, including one featuring a mastodon weighing more than 300 kilograms. “This autonomous system was developed for various surveillance and civil security missions by Quebec company Laflamme in collaboration with the American company General Dynamics. It was the first public technological demonstration of this system in Quebec, which generated a great deal of interest from the stakeholders present,” commented CED director general Marc Moffatt. He also added that, once again this year, the activity welcomed several major manufacturers, including Bell Helicopter, Bombardier, General Atomics, CAE, L3, Leonardo, and many others. According to CED president Alain Fortin, hosting an event like Tech Demo is very significant for the industry. “The drone community needs events around which to gather to feed each other. We are obviously thrilled with the scope of this second edition and, above all, very proud of the quality of the speakers in attendance. Several actors who orchestrate the development of drone regulation in Canada were among us over the past two days to listen to what the community had to teach them and to learn more about the potential of the CED,” said Fortin. “Our speakers come from all over the world, including the United States, England, Italy and even Ukraine. Over the years, the CED and its partners have built a whole regional ecosystem around the drone and we can see now that its strategic role in the development of this sector is recognized and well established,” he added. Made possible with the financial support from the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation as well as General Dynamics Missions Systems, Kongsberg Geospatial Ltd. and CAE, the event has become a major annual event that is eagerly awaited by the industry.

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