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Government Confirms F-35 Deal

Earlier this year the Canadian government selected the Lightning II F-35A fighter to replace its ageing CF-18 Hornet fleet. The federal government is seeking 88 new fighters for the Royal Canadian Air Force, through a $19 billion procurement process whose current iteration began in 2017. Ottawa first made the announcement on March 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press reported last month that the Department of Defence had been authorized to spend $7 billion on an initial set of 16 F-35s and associated gear.

It was confirmed in a briefing on January 9th that Canada will buy all 88 F-35s in a phased approach, with the initial investment including infrastructure upgrades, spare parts and other one-time costs.

Canada is expected to pay US$85 million per F-35, which officials say is the same price as the United States.

Canada has a close defence relationship with the United States, which includes using fighter jets together to defend North American air space. The announcement comes as Trudeau is set to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico.

Previous to this, the Conservative government under Stephen Harper announced in 2010 that Canada would buy 65 F-35s for $9 billion. That decision was overturned when Justin Trudeau and the Liberals took power in 2015. Canada has been a partner in the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program since 1997.

According to an April 7, 2022 National Post article by former Conservative Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Canadian governments going back to the Jean Chretien regime 25 years ago “have invested approximately $613 million in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program to date.” But that’s a small price to pay compared to the apparent benefit of Canada belonging to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. “To date, Canadian companies have been awarded high value contracts as part of the F-35 global supply chain amounting to $2 billion USD as a result of Canada’s partnership in the F-35 program,” says the Lockheed Martin website www.f35.com. “The Canadian economy is anticipated to benefit by more than $16.9B CAD over the life of the program.”

The F-35 contract includes associated equipment and weapons, set-up training, and sustainment services.

The first deliveries of these aircraft are anticipated to begin in 2026, and it is anticipated that Canada will reach Full Operational Capability with the entire fleet between 2032 and 2034.

Earlier this year the Canadian government selected the Lightning II F-35A fighter to replace its ageing CF-18 Hornet fleet. The federal government is seeking 88 new fighters for the Royal Canadian Air Force, through a $19 billion procurement process whose current iteration began in 2017. Ottawa first made the announcement on March 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press reported last month that the Department of Defence had been authorized to spend $7 billion on an initial set of 16 F-35s and associated gear.

It was confirmed in a briefing on January 9th that Canada will buy all 88 F-35s in a phased approach, with the initial investment including infrastructure upgrades, spare parts and other one-time costs.

Canada is expected to pay US$85 million per F-35, which officials say is the same price as the United States.

Canada has a close defence relationship with the United States, which includes using fighter jets together to defend North American air space. The announcement comes as Trudeau is set to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico.

Previous to this, the Conservative government under Stephen Harper announced in 2010 that Canada would buy 65 F-35s for $9 billion. That decision was overturned when Justin Trudeau and the Liberals took power in 2015. Canada has been a partner in the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program since 1997.

According to an April 7, 2022 National Post article by former Conservative Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Canadian governments going back to the Jean Chretien regime 25 years ago “have invested approximately $613 million in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program to date.” But that’s a small price to pay compared to the apparent benefit of Canada belonging to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. “To date, Canadian companies have been awarded high value contracts as part of the F-35 global supply chain amounting to $2 billion USD as a result of Canada’s partnership in the F-35 program,” says the Lockheed Martin website www.f35.com. “The Canadian economy is anticipated to benefit by more than $16.9B CAD over the life of the program.”

The F-35 contract includes associated equipment and weapons, set-up training, and sustainment services.

The first deliveries of these aircraft are anticipated to begin in 2026, and it is anticipated that Canada will reach Full Operational Capability with the entire fleet between 2032 and 2034.

This is the largest investment in the RCAF in the past 30 years. The estimated investment for this project is $19 billion, which includes associated equipment, sustainment set-up and services, as well as the construction of Fighter Squadron Facilities in Bagotville and Cold Lake. As the rules-based international order is challenged around the world, the F-35 will be essential for protecting Canadians, enhancing Arctic security and national sovereignty, and enabling Canada to meet its NATO, NORAD and other obligations well into the future.

Canada is confident that the F-35 represents the best fighter jet for our country at the best price for Canadians. During the finalization phase of the procurement process, the US government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt & Whitney successfully demonstrated that an agreement to purchase the F-35 fighter jets meets Canada’s requirements and outcomes, including value for money, flexibility, protection against risks, performance and delivery assurances.

“Canada is our friend and a close ally. Their decision to procure almost 90 jets underscores the value of the incredible F-35 Lightning II,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, program executive officer, F-35 Joint Program Office. “The F-35 is the best in the world, providing unmatched interoperability to America, Canada and the additional 15 nations that have selected the fighter. It is a global game-changer. Through power-projection, the F-35 is at the tip of the spear for deterrence. Its forward presence will continue to ensure that potential adversaries choose diplomacy over armed conflict.”

“We are honored the Government of Canada has selected the F-35, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian defence industry to deliver and sustain the aircraft,” said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “The selection of F-35 strengthens allied airpower in Canada, North America and around the world.”

The F-35 strengthens Canada’s operational capability with its allies as a cornerstone for interoperability with NORAD and NATO. As a critical node in the 21st Century Security mission space, the F-35 gives pilots an advantage against any adversary and enabling them to execute their mission and come home safe.

“Together with our Canadian industry partners, we are honoured by this selection and the sustainment of critical jobs that will continue to equip Canadian workforces with advanced skills,” said Lorraine Ben, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Canada. “The F-35 program yields tremendous economic benefits for Canada’s aerospace and defence industry, and we look forward to continued growth.”

This announcement is also excellent news for Canadian businesses and workers in the Canadian aerospace and defence sector. The acquisition and initial sustainment of the F-35 project has the potential to contribute over $425 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product and close to 3,300 jobs annually for Canadian industry and value chain partners over a 25-year period (direct and indirect). In addition, there will be substantial investments made in National Defence infrastructure renewal at various bases across Canada that will include many Canadian construction and site maintenance companies. Canadian industry will also have significant sustainment opportunities related to the Canadian fleet. Opportunities are expected in areas such as airframe and engine depots, as well as in training and in maintenance of components over the life of the fleet.

This important agreement will deliver the most modern and advanced equipment, and ensure the protection of our country in the years to come.

This is the largest investment in the RCAF in the past 30 years. The estimated investment for this project is $19 billion, which includes associated equipment, sustainment set-up and services, as well as the construction of Fighter Squadron Facilities in Bagotville and Cold Lake. As the rules-based international order is challenged around the world, the F-35 will be essential for protecting Canadians, enhancing Arctic security and national sovereignty, and enabling Canada to meet its NATO, NORAD and other obligations well into the future.

Canada is confident that the F-35 represents the best fighter jet for our country at the best price for Canadians. During the finalization phase of the procurement process, the US government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt & Whitney successfully demonstrated that an agreement to purchase the F-35 fighter jets meets Canada’s requirements and outcomes, including value for money, flexibility, protection against risks, performance and delivery assurances.

This announcement is also excellent news for Canadian businesses and workers in the Canadian aerospace and defence sector. The acquisition and initial sustainment of the F-35 project has the potential to contribute over $425 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product and close to 3,300 jobs annually for Canadian industry and value chain partners over a 25-year period (direct and indirect). In addition, there will be substantial investments made in National Defence infrastructure renewal at various bases across Canada that will include many Canadian construction and site maintenance companies. Canadian industry will also have significant sustainment opportunities related to the Canadian fleet. Opportunities are expected in areas such as airframe and engine depots, as well as in training and in maintenance of components over the life of the fleet.

This important agreement will deliver the most modern and advanced equipment, and ensure the protection of our country in the years to come.

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