Saab Forms Industry Team For Canada Fighter Bid

Credit: Lockheed Martin

Four companies have joined the Saab Gripen E’s proposal for the C$15-20 billion Future Fighter Capability contract in Canada, which remains in a recently extended competitive phase. 

Saab’s industrial team, which includes IMP Aerospace & Defense, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation, is the last of the three remaining bidders for the contracts to supply 88 fighters to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-188 fleet, which is the local designation for the Boeing F/A-18A/B. 

“We have assembled a dynamic roster of innovative leaders within Canada’s aerospace industry, across multiple regions to offer the best solution for Canada’s future fighter,” said Jonas Hjelm, senior vice president and head of Saab Aeronautics.

Saab is competing against the Lockheed Martin F-35A and Boeing F/A-18E/F for the Canadian order.

Industrial benefits represent 20% of the formula used by Public Works and Procurement Canada to select the contract winner. Cost is assigned the same value in the evaluation as industrial benefits, with overall capability forming the remaining 60% of the weighted criteria.

Canadian officials relaxed a previous requirement for contractors to reserve a share of the aircraft sustainment program for Canadian companies. The F-35’s international partnership disallows guaranteed industrial participation, so the concession allowed Lockheed to remain in the competition, but drove the Eurofighter Typhoon team to withdraw from the bidding process last August. Dassault previously withdrew the Rafale from the competition in November 2018.

The remaining three participants were due to submit preliminary proposals by March 31. But Canadian procurement officials on Feb. 24 said the deadline would be extended until June 30.

‘This extension will allow eligible suppliers to submit their best possible offer,” said Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defense.

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.