The Government of Canada’s decision to participate in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is resulting in significant additional benefits to Canadian workers. As a global program, it positions Canadian industry at the beginning of a multi-year, multi-billion dollar program with an international market. This development program is strengthening Canadian aerospace expertise while bringing jobs and sustained economic benefits to regions across Canada.
As the new state-of-the-art stealth fighter that Canada and its allies are developing to address threats to international stability for decades to come, the F‑35 will provide our men and women in the Canadian Forces with the necessary equipment to do their jobs, in the defence and security of Canada, with the best chances of returning home safely. It will succeed the aging CF-18 which will have served for nearly 40 years by the end of this decade with technology that is becoming increasingly obsolete.
The government’s long-term investment in this aircraft development program provides Canada’s aerospace and defence industries with an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from additional work resulting from the F‑35 global supply chain for decades to come. As a result, skilled Canadian workers are contributing their expertise in the development of this new state-of-the-art aircraft that will support international peace and stability for generations to come.
Since 1997, Canada has continued to invest in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter Program to attain a capable new state-of-the-art generation fighter jet, and position Canadian industry for the opportunity to take full advantage of the potential industrial opportunities. Canada’s commitment has also meant that our country has access to information regarding this new technology and capability that would otherwise be unavailable. This partnership includes Canada, Australia, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the United Kingdom. As a partner nation, Canada is in a position to secure high-value work on the multinational Joint Strike Fighter Program over the multi-decade lifespan of the program.
Since 1997, Canada has been involved in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter program’s phases of development, design and initial production. In 2006, the Government of Canada signed the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Phase Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). In this MOU, the partners agreed to implement a best-value approach to maximize industrial benefits and affordability of the JSF program for partner countries. Because Canada is a member country, Canadian companies are among those eligible to bid on the work packages that flow from this project. Canadian companies must continue to offer competitive technologies at competitive prices to be successful.
Industry Canada has signed proprietary industrial participation plans with the F‑35 prime contractors (Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney). These industrial participation plans meet the Government of Canada’s objective of encouraging foreign industry to establish long-term relationships with Canadian industry. Industry Canada continues to work with industry and the F‑35 prime contractors to pursue opportunities related to the aircraft’s production and sustainment.
In addition to providing access to competitive opportunities, the industrial participation plans identify strategic industrial opportunities for Canada that build on Canadian strengths in the areas of landing gear maintenance, composite manufacturing, hard metals machining and complex structure assembly.
Benefits to Canada
Canada has made payments of just over US$200 million to the F‑35 JSF program; and, since 2002, this investment has led to approximately US$370 million in contracts with some 65 Canadian companies. This is nearly a two-to-one return on Canada’s investment to date.
This program provides Canada with an unprecedented opportunity for long-term and high‑quality work in the aerospace and defence sectors. Benefits include work opportunities from partner nation aircraft acquisitions worldwide, in addition to other non-partner countries that replace their aging fighter fleets. Canadian industrial participation in the F‑35 JSF program is not limited to the work associated with the Canadian aircraft; Canadian companies will contribute to the manufacture and service of aircraft.
The work packages available for Canadian companies will include not only the manufacturing and assembly of parts, but also servicing, repair, simulation, and training, in addition to numerous other sustainment activities over the life of the aircraft. And there will be even more opportunities as the industrial benefits from the multinational F‑35 JSF program continue to flow to Canadian companies throughout the operational lifespan of the worldwide fleet.
Department of National Defence, Canada