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December 12, 2017 | Local, Aerospace

Replacing and Supplementing Canada's Fighters

Canada’s Strong, Secure, Engaged defence policy, announced in June 2017, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to invest appropriately in Canada’s military.

On December 12, 2017, the Government of Canada launched an open and transparent competition to permanently replace Canada’s fighter fleet with 88 advanced jets. This represents an increase in fleet size of more than a third from what was planned prior to the Strong, Secure, Engaged defence policy (65 aircraft).

The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy will be applied 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.

All companies are welcome to participate in the process.

Engagement

The government will take the time necessary to ensure that the Canadian aerospace and defence industries and commercial suppliers are consulted and engaged in this process, and that they are well-positioned to participate.

Canada will hold a Future Fighter Industry Day on January 22, 2018 at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., in Ottawa.

The objective of this event is to present foreign governments and industry with the information required for them to make an informed decision about participating in the procurement. In addition, the event will provide an opportunity for Canadian industry to network with foreign governments and fighter aircraft manufacturers.

Invitation to participate

Canada will begin by establishing a list of suppliers as a first step in this procurement. The list will be comprised of foreign governments and fighter aircraft manufacturers that have demonstrated their ability to meet Canada’s needs, as defined in the Suppliers List invitation.

The invitation to participate on the Suppliers List is available on Buyandsell.gc.ca.

All companies are welcome to participate in the process.

Suppliers List responses are requested by February 9, 2018.

Once the list is formalized, only suppliers on the Suppliers List will be invited to subsequent engagement activities and to submit proposals for this procurement.

Consultation with Canadian Industry Stakeholders

In parallel to the activities related to the Suppliers List, Canadian industry stakeholders will be engaged to gather and share general information related to this procurement. This will ensure the Canadian aerospace and defence industries are well-positioned to participate.

Evaluation of proposals for the permanent capability

Proposals will be rigorously assessed on elements of cost, technical requirements and economic benefits. Our government feels it is important to do business with trusted partners. As such, the evaluation of bids will also include an assessment of bidders’ impact on Canada’s economic interests.

When bids are assessed, any bidder that is responsible for harm to Canada’s economic interests will be at a distinct disadvantage. The new assessment, as well as guidelines for its application as an ongoing procurement tool, will be developed through appropriate consultations.

In addition, the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy will apply to this procurement, requiring the winning supplier to make investments in Canada equal to the value of the contract.

All Suppliers will be subject to the same evaluation criteria.

Next Steps

  • Engagement with suppliers will continue throughout 2018 and 2019
  • It is anticipated that the formal solicitation documents will be available in spring 2019
  • A contract award is anticipated in 2022, and the first replacement aircraft delivered in 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

Competitive procurement process

  1. How long will the competition take and when will a contract be awarded?
    • This competition requires extensive planning and stakeholder and industry engagement
    • We need to get this right and we will take the time needed to ensure the Canadian aerospace and defence industries and commercial manufacturers are consulted and engaged in this process
    • A contract award is anticipated in 2022 and the first replacement aircraft delivered in 2025
    • The current estimated schedule to complete this process is consistent with competitions led by allied and partner countries for replacing their fighter fleets
  2. Why are you using a Suppliers List?
    • Fighter aircraft and their component systems are sensitive, heavily controlled goods, and discussing their potential sale requires the existence of defence material cooperation arrangements between Canada and its partners and allies
    • The three criteria included in this invitation are aimed at ensuring Canada works with foreign governments that are operators of fighter aircraft that could meet Canada’s needs for sharing defence information, and commercial manufacturers currently producing fighter aircraft
    • This step will identify eligible manufacturers of fighter aircraft in partner and allied nations that demonstrate the potential to meet Canada’s needs
    • Their respective governments and/or defence organizations will also need to meet Canada’s needs to be on the Suppliers List
  3. Who can participate in the Suppliers List?
    • Foreign governments (or defence organizations made up of participating nations) and fighter aircraft manufacturers and other commercial entities that are able to meet the needs as defined in the Suppliers List invitation, are encouraged to submit a request to be added to the list in order to participate in the competition
    • Canada’s Suppliers List will be comprised of teams that will include at a minimum, a government (or defence organization made up of participating nations) and a fighter aircraft manufacturer
    • These teams may also include other companies who are likely to be involved in supporting a future proposal, subject to approval by Canada
    • Once the list is formalized, only suppliers on the Suppliers List will be invited to subsequent engagement activities, and submit proposals
  4. Can a government submit more than one response to the Suppliers List Invitation?
    • Our goal through this open and transparent process is to maximize competition, and therefore governments are encouraged to submit responses for more than one fighter aircraft manufacturer, as defined in the Suppliers List invitation
    • The decision to submit more than one response rests with the foreign government or defence organization
  5. How can Canadian industry participate in the Suppliers List?
    • The Suppliers List will identify key suppliers that will be eligible to submit a proposal, namely a foreign government or defence organization and a fighter manufacturer
    • These suppliers will be required to submit a Value Proposition in their bid outlining their economic commitments to Canada
    • As a result, suppliers will be motivated to form partnerships with Canadian industry and post-secondary institutions over the coming months in order to develop a strong Value Proposition
    • The government will engage with foreign governments, fighter aircraft manufacturers and the Canadian aerospace and defence sectors to ensure they are well-positioned to participate
  6. What are the criteria that suppliers will need to meet, to be accepted on the Suppliers List?
    • Each team must identify a government or nation to act as Canada’s main point of contact, and have a current defence material cooperation agreement with Canada
    • The team’s fighter aircraft manufacturer, must meet the criteria as defined in the Suppliers List invitation
    • The foreign government or one of the participating nations must be an operator of a fighter aircraft produced by the proposed fighter manufacturer
    • Canada will review response submissions to determine if they have met all the Suppliers List criteria and reserves the right to request clarification, if needed
    • Following review of the responses, suppliers will receive email notification of Canada’s decision
  7. Can Canada remove or add a supplier to the Suppliers List?
    • Once a team has been added to the Suppliers List, it may withdraw at any time by written notification to Canada
    • Similarly a foreign government or defence organization can add or remove a company from its team at any time by written notice to Canada, subject to Canada’s approval
    • Canada reserves the right to remove, at any time, any team or entity that is listed on the Suppliers List if it presents potential, perceived or real issues that may be injurious to Canada’s national security
  8. Does this procurement include industry engagement and discussions related to Industrial and Technological Benefits for Canada?
    • The Government’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy will apply to this procurement, requiring contractors to make investments in Canada equal to the value of the contract
    • The Government is engaging with fighter aircraft manufacturers and Canadian industry towards the development of a Value Proposition strategic objective that will support the long-term growth of Canada’s aerospace and defence sectors
    • This includes promoting growth and innovation of Canadian industry through investments in research and development, providing supplier development opportunities, especially for small and medium-sized businesses and providing export opportunities for Canadian firms
    • The necessary time will be taken to engage with foreign governments, fighter aircraft manufacturers and the Canadian aerospace and defence industries to ensure they are well-positioned to participate
  9. How will Canada evaluate the proposals?
    • Proposals will be rigorously assessed on cost, technical requirements and economic benefits
    • Our government feels it is important to do business with trusted partners. As such, the evaluation of bids will also include an assessment of bidders’ impact to Canada’s economic interests
    • When bids are assessed, any bidder that is responsible for harm to Canada’s economic interests will be at a distinct disadvantage
    • The new assessment, as well as guidelines for its application as an ongoing procurement tool, will be developed through appropriate consultations
  10. Why are you assessing impact on Canada’s economic interests?
    • We are continuously looking for ways to enhance our procurement processes and improve outcomes for Canadians
    • Procurements are about forming effective and long-term partnerships and we want to ensure that we are doing business with suppliers whose activities align with Canada’s economic interests
    • This approach is consistent with direction in Minister Qualtrough’s Mandate Letter, which outlines direction to modernize procurement practices to support our economic policy goals, among other objectives
  11. How will the government ensure that no aircraft supplier has an unfair advantage during the competition?
    • The government is committed to conducting an open and transparent competition to replace Canada's fighter aircraft
    • This process is overseen by an independent fairness monitor to ensure a level playing field for all suppliers
    • Canada will also engage other stakeholders to review, gather and share general information related to the procurement throughout this competition

Supplementing the Existing Fleet

  1. What is Canada doing to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces has the equipment it needs while the competition is underway?
    • 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 deliver its missions, and meet its international obligations
    • Canada has received a formal offer for sale of F-18 Hornets from the government of Australia, and intends to pursue it
  2. Will buying these F-18 aircraft require changes to Canada’s existing infrastructure?
    • The Department of National Defence is currently reviewing its existing infrastructure to evaluate if any changes are required
  3. How can you be confident these planes will be reliable, safe and effective?
    • Ensuring the safety and security of our women and men in uniform is our top priority
    • The Australian aircraft are similar in age to Canada’s CF-18 fleet
    • Australia and Canada have both made significant investments in the development of structural modifications that have allowed the structural life of their respective F-18s to be extended
    • More recently, Canada invested in the development of additional structural modifications that Australia did not
    • Canadian companies have the experience required, and are already performing most of the maintenance work on our existing fleet. Any supplemental aircraft would be maintained through these existing arrangements
    • Just as we do with our current fleet, we will make necessary investments in these aircraft to ensure they meet all requirements of the Royal Canadian Air Force

More information

Fighter Jets

Integrating Australian Jets into the Current Royal Canadian Air Force Fighter Fleet

https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/amd-dp/air/snac-nfps/CF-18-eng.html