Canada Begins C-17 Buy With $1.3B for Equipment and Support
On September 14, 2006, the US DSCA (Defense Security & Cooperation Agency) has announced a proposed sale [PDF] to Canada, in order to support the sale of 4 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavy transports.
The sale includes 18 Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 engines, 4 AN/AAQ-24v13 LAIRCM (Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures) Systems, 20 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles, Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program software equipment, mission planning system and software, COMSEC(communications security) equipment, spare and repair parts, Personnel Life Support equipment, flares, supply support, training equipment and support, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics support.
The estimated cost is USD $1.3 billion… but Canada’s entire program has a limit of about USD $3 billion. Which also leads one to ask what happened with the expected competition – and where are the 4 C-17s to go with all of this gear?
With respect to the competition, Canada’s program used an “Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN),” which permits the Government to identify an intended contract award recipient (in this case, Boeing for the C-17) based on its specifications and detailed market research. Industry is then invited to submit proposals that qualify, and proposals were submitted that included at least one offer of leased C-17s. All submissions were promptly disqualified for one reason or another, and despite complaints from some of the bidders, the Canadian DND pressed on with the course of action it had obviously intended from the start.
The C-17 sale itself will be handled as a direct commercial sale rather than a foreign military sale, in order to facilitate the industrial offsets that its purchase requires. As such, the 4 plane order is unlikely to be announced by the DSCA. Based on Australia’s recent order, the likely cost is around USD $180-200 million per aircraft.
This proposed USD $1.3 billion sale of related equipment and support will involve various contractors, including:
- Boeing in Long Beach, CA (C-17 builder)
- Boeing Training Systems in St. Louis, MO
- AAI Services Corporation in Goose Creek, SC (AVS-9 NVGs)
- United Technologies in East Hartford, CT (F117 Engines)
- Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation in Rolling Meadows, IL (LAIRCM)
- Additional subcontractors may be needed depending on the exact nature of the contracting arrangements.
As part of this sale, Boeing will establish a facility in Canada to provide C-17 logistics support under the current Globemaster Sustainment Partnership. The proposed plan will require 7 U.S. Government representatives at the facility, plus up to 10 U.S. Government and 10 contractor representatives in country for annual participation in training, program management, and technical review.