The long-awaited Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purchase of 88 fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force has finally been released. On July 23, the government issued the formal RFP to four eligible suppliers:

  • SAAB AB (publ)—Aeronautics
  • Airbus Defense and Space GmbH (with MBDA UK Limited, L3 Technologies MAS and CAE Canada)
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company) (with Pratt and Whitney)
  • The Boeing Company (with Peraton Canada Corp., CAE Inc., L3 Technologies MAS Inc., GE Canada and Raytheon Canada Limited Services and Support Division)

These suppliers have until spring 2020 to submit initial proposals to Canada. After which, the competition will be cut down to two bids and the winner selected by 2022. The delivery of the first aircraft is expected in 2025.

The proposals will be assessed on elements of 60 per cent technical merit, 20 per cent cost and 20 per cent economic benefits. The four bidders will have two opportunities to present a plan to meet Canada’s security and interoperability requirements. The first is due in fall 2019, and after receiving feedback from Canada, the “bidders may revise and resubmit that offer as part of the initial proposal in spring 2020.”

Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Carla Qualtrough said that the release of the RFP is “an important step in the process that will provide the women and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force with the aircraft they need to help ensure the safety and security of Canadians, at the right price and with the most economic benefit to Canada.”

The new fleet of fighter jets will replace the aging CF-18s, which were purchased in the early 1980s.