The Canadian Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) is set to acquire advanced fighter aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s existing fleet of CF-18 fighters. Including 88 advanced fighter jets, associated equipment, and weapons, training, and sustainment services. Valued at $15 to 19 billion CAD the evaluation of the proposals is ongoing since last June, with an anticipated contract award in 2022 and first aircraft delivery as early as 2025. SAAB, one of the three contenders left, is trying to compensate for its dark horse status by appealing to Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy.
On July 31, 2020, the Government of Canada received bids from all three suppliers currently eligible to participate in the future fighter competitive procurement process:
- Swedish Government—SAAB AB (publ)—Aeronautics with Diehl Defence GmbH & Co. KG, MBDA UK Ltd., and RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.
- United States Government—Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company) with Pratt and Whitney
- United States Government—The Boeing Company with Peraton Canada Corp., CAE Inc., L3 Technologies MAS Inc., GE Canada and Raytheon Canada Limited Services and Support Division
The following teams have withdrawn from the competition and are therefore no longer eligible to participate in the process:
- France-Dassault team—withdrew on November 8, 2018
- United Kingdom and Northern Ireland team with Airbus Defence and Space GmbH—withdrew on August 30, 2019
In order to make its offer more attractive to the Canadian government, SAAB is offering a Sensor Centre and would be located in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a focus on sensor technologies such as radar. The Saab Sensor Centre would provide career opportunities for Canadian engineering talent in the Vancouver area, as well as offering research and development avenues for academia. This offer is to be in alignment with Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. The ITB, including the Value Proposition, leverages defense and Canadian Coast Guard procurements to contribute to jobs, innovation, and economic growth across the country. The ITB Policy contractually requires companies awarded defense procurement contracts to undertake business activity in Canada equal to the value of the contracts they have won.
This would be known as the Saab Sensor Centre and would be located in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a focus on sensor technologies such as radar. The Saab Sensor Centre would provide career opportunities for Canadian engineering talent in the Vancouver area, as well offering research and development avenues for academia.
One of the proposed projects is to develop a Space Surveillance Radar (SSR) in Canada, in co-operation with other companies within the Canadian space industry. It is envisaged that this surface radar will target the global market for greater awareness of objects in the Earth’s orbit.
“So much of modern life and military capability depends on space-based assets. Today space is anything but empty when it comes to the Earth’s immediate vicinity with an increasing number of satellites and many more to come. We feel that Saab teamed with Canadian space partners are the perfect combination to co-develop a SSR for Canada and the global market,” said Simon Carroll, President of Saab Canada Inc.
A Saab radar demonstrator has been built and is the basis for a co-development opportunity of a SSR with Canadian companies and their world-leading expertise and knowledge. This demonstrator leverages radar technology as found in Saab’s military radars that operate across the world including on Canadian and US naval ships.
Saab, in co-operation with the Swedish government, has offered 88 Gripen E fighter aircraft, for Canada’s FFCP. The establishment of the Saab Sensor Centre is part of the associated Canada-wide Industrial and Technological Benefits program from Saab.
Source: SAAB, Canadian Government, Photo: Larry Grace/Linus Svensson/Airbus/Aaron Foster Photos