The Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) agency has begun negotiating the final terms of delivery with Lockheed on an order from the The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for 88 new fighters, as part of a phase out its current fleet under its Future Fighter Capability Project.
However, Swedish jet maker Saab, who have also bid for the contract, are unhappy about this progression, with their CEO Simon Carroll arguing that those details were meant to be finalised in each competitor’s official bid, according to the government’s original request for proposal. “There should be no negotiation on these critical elements, these elements of the bidder’s response were to be committed to and then evaluated as part of the competitive process,”
A formal request for proposals was released to eligible suppliers in July 2019. It closed in July 2020. An independent third-party reviewer was engaged to assess the quality and effectiveness of the procurement approach.
The Joint Strike Fighter Program is the largest fighter aircraft program internationally, and Canada is 1 of 8 original countries in the program, along with the US, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Australia.Allies and security partners, ranging from the US, the UK, Italy and the Netherlands in NATO, to Australia, Japan and South Korea in the Indo-Pacific, use or are in the process of procuring this aircraft.
Despite the objections, Saab has not yet moved to file a formal objection and no final decision has yet been made.
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