New Fast Jets for Canada

As per the previously announced schedule, the formal requests for proposals for new fighter jets went out today.
www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ottawa-cf-18-replacement-jets-rfp-1.5221610?cmp=rss
There are four companies currently in the running, Saab (Gripen NG), Airbus (Typhoon), Boeing (Super Hornet), and Lockheed Martin (F35A).

Proposals are due in next spring. A decision is scheduled two years later, and delivery is to start in 2025. I should note that everything that I've seen has said that the delivery date is notional and it is possible that delivery may start sooner (later would be considered unacceptable).

Most of the story is just a recap of previous reports and probably not worth reading.

Airbus, LM, and Boeing issued statements which I will quote below. It's all just the usual PR waffle though. There's nothing announced by Saab yet.
Lockheed Martin said Tuesday it looks forward to participating in the competition, calling the F-35 the "the most capable, best-value fighter, with significant, long-term industrial opportunities."

"As the competitive process continues, we are excited to share more about the F-35's ability to strengthen defence, enhance ally partnerships and drive economic growth in Canada," a spokesperson for the company said.
Simon Jacques, the president of Airbus Defence & Space Canada, said his company was carefully reviewing the request for proposals.

The Airbus-backed Eurofighter Typhoon is being used already by the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom and by other NATO allies.

"We are proud of our history as a longstanding partner to Canada, serving the country's aerospace priorities for over three decades. We welcome the new opportunities to support the Canadian Armed Forces, to provide skilled aerospace jobs across our country and to help safeguard Canadian sovereignty," Jacques said.
A spokesperson for Boeing said it believes "the Super Hornet is the best choice for Canada's defence and aerospace industry."
Here's the DND project page. The only new item is a two sentence announcement that the RFP has been released to suppliers.
Future fighter capability project - Canada.ca
July 23, 2019

Canada released the formal Request for Proposal (RFP) to eligible Suppliers. Suppliers will have until early 2020 to submit their proposals.
 
The trade rag Canadian Defence Review has a few tit bits of information that I haven't seen elsewhere. Canada Releases RFP for Future Fighter Competition - Canadian Defence Review | Canadian Defence Review

Each bidder will have up to two goes at submitting an offer covering security and interoperability requirements. If their first attempt is deficient in some way they will be given a chance to resubmit it following feedback with corrections. The security offer is due this autumn. If there is a problem with that they can revise it and resubmit it in the spring. It's not entirely clear what "security" means. Based on previous reports I suspect it means the ability to conduct secure communications with other Canadian forces equipment.
Canada will provide two opportunities for all bidders to demonstrate that they can present a plan to meet Canada's security and interoperability requirements. The security offer is due in fall 2019, and following feedback from Canada, bidders may revise and resubmit that offer as part of the initial proposal in spring 2020.
They also get two tries at other mandatory criteria and can resubmit after getting feedback. This approach has been successfully used by Canada before. I suspect they are referring to the frigate project (which was won by the T26 design).
Bidders will also have an opportunity to address deficiencies in their proposals related to mandatory criteria. Rather than being rejected immediately for not meeting mandatory requirements, bidders will receive feedback from Canada so that they can address non-compliance. This approach has already been used for other large federal procurements and has proven to be successful in maintaining a high level of competition.
Bids will be evaluated according to 60% for technical merit, 20% for cost, and 20% for economic benefits. When it comes to economic benefits, the highest points will only be awarded to suppliers who provide contractual guarantees. This would seem to mean that LM will be marked down on this aspect.
All bidders will be subject to the same evaluation criteria, and proposals will be rigorously assessed on elements of technical merit (60%), cost (20%) and economic benefits (20%). This procurement attributes one of the highest weightings to economic benefits for Canada in its history. All suppliers will be required to provide a plan for economic benefits equal to the value of their proposed contract, with maximum points only being awarded to suppliers who provide contractual guarantees.
 
So, after all the kabuki theatre, will Canada just order F-18 Super Hornets which in reality are nothing to do with their current F/A-18 Hornets and are F-15 class planes in size abd capability.
 
The UK MoD and Airbus has announced that they are pulling out of the fighter competition.
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (UK MoD) and Airbus Defence and Space today informed the Government of Canada of their decision to withdraw from Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).
The UK MoD is involved as each bidder was required to have a country backing the bid. This was intended to ensure that the home country didn't raise any objections to what their company was proposing to sell, this apparently having been a problem which arose in the frigate program.

Two problems were cited. One was the changes to the ITBs (Industrial and Technical Benefits) program which were made to accommodate objections by the US and LM. This change has been discussed in previous posts.
It also said it was convinced that the industrial benefits regime, as written in the tender, "does not sufficiently value the binding commitments the Typhoon Canada package was willing to make."
The other problem was that NORAD security requirements made it too difficult for companies based outside of the US and Canada (realistically, the US in this case) to successfully bid on contracts.
First, 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.
I suspect that the main reason is the first one, as the requirements have been known for some time while the ITBs process is the one which had been recently changed.

Boeing had previously noted that they were surprised that a long standing policy which had been in place for decades had been changed to accommodate LM.
Last spring, Boeing executives voiced their concerns publicly during a defence trade show in Ottawa.

"I was surprised by the recommended changes," said Jim Barnes, the director of business development in Canada for Boeing Defence, Space & Security. "We believe we can put a really compelling offer on the table.

"You have a policy that's been in place for decades that has been very successful. The minister has mentioned this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, so why would you deviate from a policy that has been so successful to accommodate a competitor?"
As noted in a previous post however (although not mentioned in these stories), that change coincided with top level meetings with the US in which the US agreed to remove punitive tariffs on major Canadian exports to the US which had been put in place on "national security" grounds.

This leaves three bidders, LM, Boeing, and Saab, unless the government reverses course on the project. I suspect though that nothing is likely to change before the election in October.

In my opinion this is a major blow to the government's plans in this area, as the whole point of the open competition was to have as many competitors as possible in order to extract the best terms.
 
As noted in a previous post however (although not mentioned in these stories), that change coincided with top level meetings with the US in which the US agreed to remove punitive tariffs on major Canadian exports to the US which had been put in place on "national security" grounds.
Did our Highness Trump make a phone call and said "or else..."
 
The UK MoD and Airbus has announced that they are pulling out of the fighter competition.


The UK MoD is involved as each bidder was required to have a country backing the bid. This was intended to ensure that the home country didn't raise any objections to what their company was proposing to sell, this apparently having been a problem which arose in the frigate program.

Two problems were cited. One was the changes to the ITBs (Industrial and Technical Benefits) program which were made to accommodate objections by the US and LM. This change has been discussed in previous posts.


The other problem was that NORAD security requirements made it too difficult for companies based outside of the US and Canada (realistically, the US in this case) to successfully bid on contracts.


I suspect that the main reason is the first one, as the requirements have been known for some time while the ITBs process is the one which had been recently changed.

Boeing had previously noted that they were surprised that a long standing policy which had been in place for decades had been changed to accommodate LM.


As noted in a previous post however (although not mentioned in these stories), that change coincided with top level meetings with the US in which the US agreed to remove punitive tariffs on major Canadian exports to the US which had been put in place on "national security" grounds.

This leaves three bidders, LM, Boeing, and Saab, unless the government reverses course on the project. I suspect though that nothing is likely to change before the election in October.

In my opinion this is a major blow to the government's plans in this area, as the whole point of the open competition was to have as many competitors as possible in order to extract the best terms.
That’s an enormous shame as I genuinely believe the Typhoon was ideal for Canada’s needs, a view shared by many in the RCAF who worked hard to establish a Typhoon/FA-18 pilot exchange with us.

So it looks like the answer’s US, now what’s the question? I really can’t see Gripen winning.

I think this situation could only be made more farcical if the F-35 goes and wins.

Regards,
MM
 
That’s an enormous shame as I genuinely believe the Typhoon was ideal for Canada’s needs, a view shared by many in the RCAF who worked hard to establish a Typhoon/FA-18 pilot exchange with us.

So it looks like the answer’s US, now what’s the question? I really can’t see Gripen winning.

I think this situation could only be made more farcical if the F-35 goes and wins.

Regards,
MM

I actually would donate 10 quid to HtoH is the Gripen wins.
 
Other than only having a single engine, I would think that the Gripen would suit Canada pretty well as it's designed for a similar environment with austere operating bases.
 
Other than only having a single engine, I would think that the Gripen would suit Canada pretty well as it's designed for a similar environment with austere operating bases.
To the best of my knowledge, Gripen is the only type which has never been integrated into US and NORAD architecture.

That’s one hell of a disadvantage.

Regards,
MM
 
That’s an enormous shame as I genuinely believe the Typhoon was ideal for Canada’s needs, a view shared by many in the RCAF who worked hard to establish a Typhoon/FA-18 pilot exchange with us.

So it looks like the answer’s US, now what’s the question? I really can’t see Gripen winning.

I think this situation could only be made more farcical if the F-35 goes and wins.

Regards,
MM
Given that one of the major elements of the competition was re-written at the last minute to be tailor fitted to LM, it seems that at this time the playing field is being tilted towards LM and their F35.

In this post on the 6th of May I noted that the US had protested that they wanted the rules of the competition changed.
Here's a direct quote from a letter by US Vice-Admiral Mathias Winter, head of the F-35 program, to Ottawa. He added that if the competition rules were not changed, the US would be pulling out.
"The current [Future Fighter Capability Program] does not allow the F-35 to participate in a fair and open competition that recognizes the special nature and distinct advantages of the partnership."
And in this post three days later, I reported that the rules were now to be changed the same day PM Trudeau talked to Trump about getting punitive US tariffs removed from Canadian exports.

On the 17th of May it was announced that tariffs were being lifted after the fine print was worked out.
The nearly year-long tariff war between Canada and the U.S. is almost over.

The Canadian government released a statement Friday saying the two sides have agreed to eliminate the tariffs within two days.

"This is pure good news," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a stop at the Stelco plant in Hamilton, Ont.
That's an awful lot of coincidences.
 
Other than only having a single engine, I would think that the Gripen would suit Canada pretty well as it's designed for a similar environment with austere operating bases.
You have to understand that not everything comes down to OR - lots of politics and other things in play as well.

Don't mean to belittle you or anything btw - accept my apologisies in advance.
 
That’s an enormous shame as I genuinely believe the Typhoon was ideal for Canada’s needs, a view shared by many in the RCAF who worked hard to establish a Typhoon/FA-18 pilot exchange with us.

So it looks like the answer’s US, now what’s the question? I really can’t see Gripen winning.

I think this situation could only be made more farcical if the F-35 goes and wins.

Regards,
MM
It is a shame for sure - I think the Typhoon would've made a great fighter for Canada and helped the UK development program too for further platform developments. But as always, the U.S. mil might comes into play.
 
It's a foregone conclusion that the "correct" rather than the most suitable aircraft will be chosen.
Pity really, as Typhoon is plainly a better fit for the roles envisaged than the F-35.
 
That’s an enormous shame as I genuinely believe the Typhoon was ideal for Canada’s needs, a view shared by many in the RCAF who worked hard to establish a Typhoon/FA-18 pilot exchange with us.
The Typhoon looks like a good fit for Canada's priorities.

So it looks like the answer’s US, now what’s the question? I really can’t see Gripen winning.
I don't think that Saab are necessarily in this to win. They may be more interested in using it to develop deeper contacts in Ottawa for other future business. The Gripen is probably quite a good plane in a European context, but Canada needs something that can operate over very long ranges and so likely needs something bigger.

I think this situation could only be made more farcical if the F-35 goes and wins.
I don't think the current government was fundamentally opposed to the F-35 itself. Rather, they were opposed to the lack of an explicit contract.

As it is, there is considerable unhappiness amongst the bean counters with respect to how the US has been using MOUs (memorandum of understanding) in recent years to bypass the normal bidding process and lock in customers contractually without making any explicit commitments on their own side as to what actually gets delivered or at what price. They raised a major storm over this with respect to the ESSM missile for the Halifax class frigate upgrades and the SAR aircraft contracts and were determined to put their foot down over it.

From Canada's perspective, the problem is that we are expected to shoulder a share of the financial risk but get no actual influence over the actual program direction, get no intellectual property rights, get no guaranties that the finished product will meet our requirements,and get nor guaranties with respect to price or timing. So we bear a share of the risks involved in development but derive no benefits from doing so.

The main objective the current government had was to get a firm written contract detailing price and deliverables and they don't appear to get that with the F-35. They gave that up while getting nothing in return, unless it was used a a bargaining chip in resolving the (admittedly quite significant) trade issues with the US.

Given the recent behaviour of the US, trusting them to keep promises without a written contract is quite frankly an unjustifiable risk. In the recent NAFTA renegotiations (brought about at the insistence of the US) the Canadian government repeatedly said we would walk out if the US insisted on removing the dispute resolution mechanism (trade disputes go to an independent arbitrator). It was repeatedly "no deal is better than a bad deal", and for Canada trade with the US is much more significant than trade with the EU is for the UK.

Given the above, I'm not sure this is the end of the story, but I doubt that anything will happen before the election. However, it isn't over until it's over.

When reading the above by the way, it should be kept in mind that the UK is in a much different position with respect to negotiating leverage and influence over the project. I'm strictly talking about Canada's position in this.
 
I for one honestly feel that the US aircraft industry needs taking down a peg or two. Boeing had their wrists slapped over the Max8 debacle, its a shame that LM can't be sorted.
But with the current Protus, I really can't see policy's changing. Any trick to win sales eh?
Am I right in thinking, that the F-35 is really out of Canada price range?
 
I for one honestly feel that the US aircraft industry needs taking down a peg or two. Boeing had their wrists slapped over the Max8 debacle, its a shame that LM can't be sorted.
But with the current Protus, I really can't see policy's changing. Any trick to win sales eh?
Am I right in thinking, that the F-35 is really out of Canada price range?
Operating costs constitute the bulk of the total life cycle costs, and everything that I have seen suggests that the F-35's operating costs are much higher than any of the alternatives when used in a typical air force role (the UK's carrier applications are a special case, so don't confuse that with the general case here).

For Canada though, the issue isn't really one of cost, at least not for the current government. The previous government were going to cut the size of the fast jet fleet while the current one is in the process of enlarging it, so they're not pinching pennies on defence.

The issues really revolve around getting a written contract, rather than just accepting the word of someone in Washington who says "trust me". This isn't just a problem with Trump either, as the problems started before he was on the scene.
 
You can lead a horse to water.....

It’s a shame for Typhoon but I was under the impression Canada got workshare on the F-35 so are already making money from it?

That’s your payback on the project, not the IP.
 

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