Boeing confirms it is taking part in Canada’s future fighter jet competition
Boeing officials tell Defence Watch that the company will indeed be bidding on Canada’s future fighter jet program.
The firm will offer the Super Hornet for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
There had been questions in the defence and aerospace industry about whether Boeing would proceed in the competition as concerns mount the procurement is rigged towards the F-35.
But a Boeing official told Defence Watch on Thursday that the company is “100 per cent in.”
The firm has submitted to the federal government the required information that outlines how it will meet various security requirements so the aircraft can operate within the U.S.-Canadian system.
In July Boeing released a statement that it was still participating in the process but it had yet to make any final decisions on whether to take part in the Canadian competition. “We look forward to continuing to provide comments, reviewing the final RFP, and determining next steps at that time,” Boeing noted at the time.
In late August, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence and Airbus Defence and Space informed the Canadian government of their decision to withdraw from Canada’s future fighter competition. Airbus had been offering Canada the Eurofighter.
Last year the European firm Dassault informed the Canadian government it would not be competing in the competition. It had been planning to offer Canada the Rafale fighter jet.
The $19 billion competition has been dogged by allegations it is designed to favour Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter.
This newspaper reported earlier this year that the requirements for the new jets put emphasis on strategic attack and striking at ground targets during foreign missions. That criteria is seen to benefit the F-35. In addition, the federal government changed criteria on how it would assess industrial benefits after the U.S. government threatened to pull the F-35 from the competition.
Saab has also confirmed it is proceeding in the competition, offering Canada its Gripen fighter jet.
Airbus and the UK Defence Ministry noted that its decision to withdraw was the result of a detailed review of Canada’s request for proposals which was released to industry on July 23. It pointed to the changes Canada made to the industrial benefits package to appease Lockheed Martin as well as the excessive security costs that U.S.-Canadian security requirements placed on a company based outside North America.
“A detailed review has led the parties to conclude that NORAD security requirements continue to place too significant of a cost on platforms whose manufacture and repair chains sit outside the United States-Canada 2-EYES community,” the statement from Airbus and the UK Defence Ministry noted. “Second, both parties concluded that the significant recent revision of industrial technological benefits obligations does not sufficiently value the binding commitments the Typhoon Canada package was willing to make, and which were one of its major points of focus.”
Bids must be submitted by the spring of 2020.