The Procurement Process Defined: Replacing Canada's CF-18 Fleet


November 22, 2016 – Ottawa – Government of Canada

The Government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for an open and transparent competition for the permanent replacement of Canada’s CF-18 fighter aircraft, including acquiring new aircraft and the associated in-service support. Canada will also enter into discussions with the United States (U.S.) Government and Boeing on the potential procurement of aircraft, including its in-service support, for use over an interim period while the competition for the permanent fleet is underway.

Competitive Process for the Permanent Fighter Jet Fleet

Informed by the results of the Defence Policy Review, the Government will, within the current mandate, launch an open competitive procurement process to permanently replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft. The Government will develop its purchasing requirements for the aircraft, everything from the number of aircraft needed to defend Canadians and in-service support requirements, to economic benefits to Canada, to the estimated time of delivery.

Building on the engagement done in summer 2016, Canada will continue to work with industry and foreign governments to obtain further information on costs, delivery times, interoperability, readiness, economic benefits, and other elements that will help inform and finalize the upcoming bid solicitation process.

A solicitation process will then follow where companies and/or governments will be officially invited to bid on a contract. Following the Government of Canada’s evaluation of the bids and some negotiations, the contract will be awarded to the bidder(s) best able to meet Canada’s requirements.

The selected bidder(s) will then build and deliver the replacement aircraft on a schedule – and at terms – agreed upon with the Government.

Interim Procurement to Meet Canada’s Defence Needs

Canada’s current fleet is now more than 30 years old and down from 138 to 77 aircraft. Canada has been risk managing its ability to meet its commitments to NORAD and NATO for a number of years. The Government is not willing to accept this risk and is exploring an interim option.

The Government will initiate discussions with the U.S. Government and Boeing on a potential procurement of, and in-service support for, 18 Super Hornet aircraft for use over an interim period to supplement the current fleet until the transition to a permanent replacement.

These discussions with the U.S. Government and Boeing will determine if they can provide the interim solution at a cost, time, level of capability, and economic value that are acceptable to Canada.

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