Canada Signs F-35 Production Phase MoU
In a December 11, 2006 ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, Canada’s Department of National Defence formalized their continued partnership in the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program. Canada was the second of eight partner nations to sign the MoU for the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development phase. The Department of Industry also signed MoUs with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Pratt & Whitney and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team.
Canada has been an active Tier 3 partner in the JSF program, participating in both the Concept Demonstration Phase ($10 million) and the System Development and Demonstration Phase ($150 million). This USD $160 million has included funding from both the Department of National Defence, and from Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC). In the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Phase of the F-35 program, it is estimated that Canada’s contribution will exceed C$ 500 million (currently about $435 million) over 44 years.
The Canadian Department of National Defense had this to say regarding the F-35’s status as the follow-on to its current CF-18 (F/A-18A) fighter fleet:
“While participation in this next phase does not commit the Department to purchasing the multi-role aircraft, it is helping to define and evaluate DND’s future requirements for the next generation of fighter aircraft to replace the CF-18 and its capabilities. It is also contributing to improved interoperability between Canadian, American and allied forces and is enhancing the competitiveness and technological capability of Canada’s aerospace sector.”
The current CF-18 fleet is expected to serve until about 2017.
Thus far, 54 Canadian companies, universities and research institutions have won 154 contracts to date valued at approximately C$ 157 million (about $135 million). The Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Phase could result in further opportunities for Canadian industry, currently estimated at C$ 8 billion (currently about $7 billion). Canada’s government descrtibes its expectations and forecast areas of competence:
“These MOUs will attract investments, stimulate technology development, allow commercialization of innovative ideas, and bring high quality long-term business opportunities to Canada.
They relate to important aerospace technologies for Canada, such as major structural assemblies; landing gear maintenance; advanced composites; high-speed machining; simulation and training; propulsion; and health and monitoring technologies. The government will continue to identify new opportunities for Canada’s aerospace industry as the program evolves over time.”
Peter Boag, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, added the importance of the access this provides to advanced manufacturing processes using next generation materials.
Additional Readings & Sources
- Canada DND (Dec 12/06) – Canada’s New Government Signs on to phase III of Joint Strike Fighter Program and Secures Access to up to $8 Billion in possible contracts for Canadian Industry
- Canada DND Backgrounder (Dec 11/06) – Canadian Participation in the Joint Strike Fighter Program