The Government of Canada announced 28 March that it will now enter into the finalization phase of the procurement process with the top-ranked bidder, the United States government and Lockheed Martin, for the F-35 fighter jet.
Canada, which has been part of the Joint Strike Fighter Program since 1997, plans to purchase 88 F-35 fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to replace its CF-18 Hornet fleet in what will be the most significant investment in the RCAF in over 30 years and will ensure Canada meets its NATO and NORAD obligations for the foreseeable future.
RCAF air bases 4 Wing Cold Lake and 3 Wing Bagotville have been selected to host the new fighter aircraft and infrastructure projects at these sites will ensure that they are able to support delivery and flight operations of the F-35.
Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement made the announcement at a press conference stating: “This announcement marks another important milestone in Canada’s competitive process to purchase modern fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Canadians take great pride in their Armed Forces, and it is important to make sure that they have what they need to keep Canada safe and secure.”
Speaking at the press conference Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence said: “It is critical that current and future Royal Canadian Air Force pilots have the most advanced equipment available to ensure they can deliver on the important work that we ask of them. This procurement project for the RCAF – the largest in over three decades – will help ensure Canada can continue to defend North America, enhance our Arctic sovereignty and meet our NATO and NORAD obligations in the face of current and emerging threats. Canadians can be confident that this competitive process will deliver the best results for our Canadian Armed Forces for decades to come.”
F-35 Multirole Fighter Aircraft
|Stealth multirole fighter aircraft||Lockheed Martin|
|Country of origin:||First flight:|
|United States||December 2006|
|United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Israel||1|
|Mach 1.6||1,200 nmi (F-35A), 900 nmi (F-35B), 1,200 nmi (F-35C)|
|1 × Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 afterburning turbofan||Length: 15.7 m (F-35A), 15.6 m (F-35B), 15.7 m (F-35C); wingspan: 10.7 m (F-35A), 10.7 m (F-35B), 13.1 m (F-35C); height: 4.39 m (F-35A), 10.7 m (F-35B), 13.1 m (F-35C)|
|1 × 25 mm GAU-22/A 4-barrel rotary cannon; 4 × internal stations, 6 × external stations on wings||AN/APG-81 AESA Radar; Electronic Systems AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) missile warning system; AN/ASQ-239 (Barracuda) electronic warfare system; Harris Corporation Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) communication system|