Canada — Industrial Participation — Joint Strike Fighter Program

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. 

Indus­tri­al Par­tic­i­pa­tion

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 

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