The three companies still in the race to deliver new fighter jets to the Royal Canadian Air Force have submitted their official proposals to the Canadian government.
On July 31, Sweden’s Saab, leading a team composed of Diehl Defence, MBDA UK, and Israel’s Rafael, submitted its Gripen E fighter for the Future Fighter Capability Project.
Lockheed Martin has offered the fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter jet, while Boeing pitched its F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III fighter. Dassault Aviation and Airbus previously withdrew from the competition.
Canada intends to acquire 88 new aircraft to replace its air force’s existing CF-18 Hornet fighter fleet. The country expects to finalize terms with the preferred bidder prior to contract award anticipated in 2022. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected as early as 2025.
Prior to submitting its offer, Saab unveiled its Canadian industry team for work on the program, should the Gripen be selected. Lockheed Martin noted that Canadian industry plays an integral role in the global F-35 supply chain and has a significant involvement in the F-35 production.