Question Period Note: Future fighter capability project

About

Reference number:
PSPC-2022-QP-00008
Date received:
Jun 8, 2022
Organization:
Public Services and Procurement Canada
Name of Minister:
Tassi, Filomena (Hon.)
Title of Minister:
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Issue/Question:

As part of the Government of Canada’s reaffirmed commitment to invest in Canada’s military, as announced in the 2017 Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government launched an open and transparent competition in December 2017 to permanently replace Canada’s fighter fleet with 88 advanced jets—the Future Fighter Capability Project.

Notes:

  • All questions related to capability gap, security and interoperability requirements, costs, and Canada’s participation in the Joint Strike Fighter Program should be answered by the Minister of National Defence
  • All questions related to the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy and the assessment of bidders’ impact on Canada’s economic interests should be answered by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
  • All questions related to trade issues should be answered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Suggested Response:

  • The Government is committed to ensuring that members of the Canadian Armed Forces have the equipment they need to do their jobs and protect Canadians, while ensuring the best value for Canadians
    • We delivered on our promise to launch an open, fair and transparent competitive process to replace Canada's fighter fleet with 88 advanced fighter jets, and we are making great progress
    • My department is working with the Department of National Defence, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and Innovation, Science, and Economic Development on next steps for the process and I look forward to that decision
    • We will continue to keep Canadians abreast of our progress when information is available to share

If pressed on the evaluation results or the selection of Lockheed Martin and the United States Government:

  • We have shared as much information as possible since this process was first announced in December, 2017
  • 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, no further information can be provided

If pressed on proceeding directly to finalization with Lockheed Martin and the United States Government and not dialogue with both bidders:

  • We have shared as much information as possible since this process was first announced in December, 2017
  • This is another important milestone in Canada’s competitive process, we are making great progress and this moves Canada and the Royal Canadian Air Force closer to taking delivery of 88 advanced fighter jets
  • Due to the confidential aspect of the information provided by the bidders during the procurement process, no further information can be provided

Background:

In June 2017, Canada’s Defence Policy confirmed a fleet size of 88 advanced fighter aircrafts to replace the current CF-18s. The Government launched a procurement process for the future fighter aircraft in December 2017. Officials conducted extensive industry engagement with suppliers to maximize the likelihood that Canada receives competitive proposals, and with Canadian industry to ensure that they are well positioned to participate in the procurement.

An independent fairness monitor is overseeing the entire process, to ensure a level playing field for all bidders. An independent third-party reviewer was also engaged to assess the quality and effectiveness of the procurement approach.

In July 2019, the request for proposal was issued to the eligible suppliers.

On July 31, 2020, the bid solicitation phase closed; proposals were received from all three remaining eligible suppliers and the process entered the bid evaluation phase.

On December 1, 2021, Canada announced that, following evaluation of the proposals, two bidders—Swedish Government and SAAB AB; and the United States Government and Lockheed Martin Corporation—remain eligible under the Future Fighter Capability Project competitive procurement process and that it would be finalizing its selection for the next step of the process, which could involve proceeding to negotiations with the top-ranked bidder or entering into a competitive dialogue with both remaining bidders.

On March 28, 2022, following a rigorous evaluation of the two remaining eligible proposals, Canada announced it would enter into the finalization phase of the procurement process with the top-ranked bidder Lockheed Martin.

Next steps

During the finalization phase, Lockheed Martin and the United States Government must successfully demonstrate that a resulting contract would meet all of Canada’s requirements and outcomes, including value for money, flexibility, protection against risks, and performance and delivery assurances, as well as high value economic benefits for Canada’s aerospace and defence industry.

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

Additional Information:

None

Date modified: