Having topped a competitive evaluation process for new fighter aircraft, Canada will now engage with the US and Lockheed Martin for the procurement of 88 F-35s.
According to the Canadian government, the acquisition is the “most significant investment” in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in over three decades and has been devised to support Canadian Arctic sovereignty, and enable Canada to meet their ongoing NATO and NORAD responsibilities.
Throughout the evaluations, the Canadian government factored in a range of measures including capabilities, costs, suitability to the Canadian climate, as well as the benefits that the production of each craft would have on the local economy.
It can further be revealed that throughout the evaluation process, the Canadian government begun preparing two bases to house the successful aircraft including 4 Wing Cold Lake and 3 Wing Bagotville.
“This announcement marks another important milestone in Canada’s competitive process to purchase modern fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Canadians take great pride in their Armed Forces, and it is important to make sure that they have what they need to keep Canada safe and secure,” Minister for Public Services and Procurement Filomena Tassi said.
In 2020, EllisDon was awarded a $9.2 million contract to design the facility at 4 Wing Cold Lake. Later that year, EllisDon-EBC Inc. joint venture of Ottawa won a $12.1 million contract to design 3 Wing Bagotville.
“It is critical that current and future Royal Canadian Air Force pilots have the most advanced equipment available to ensure they can deliver on the important work that we ask of them,” Minister of National Defence Anita Anand said.
“This procurement project for the RCAF – the largest in over three decades – will help ensure Canada can continue to defend North America, enhance our Arctic sovereignty and meet our NATO and NORAD obligations in the face of current and emerging threats. Canadians can be confident that this competitive process will deliver the best results for our Canadian Armed Forces for decades to come.”
[Related: Canada secures $2.1bn Aegis Combat System]