canada, aerospace, procurement, future fighter, programs

By Jon Elkin | July 26, 2018

The Government of Canada is requesting industry participation on the definition stage of the $15 - 19 billion Future Fighter program. Interested in joining or contributing to the defense procurement process? Here's what the Government wants to know and how you can help.

About the Future Fighter project

What? As per Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada will purchase 88 advanced fighter aircraft for the Future Fighter project. The purchase includes associated equipment, weapons, and sustainment set-up and services to ensure uninterrupted capability.

Why? A modern jet fleet will contribute to Canada's safety and security and meet Canada’s international obligations, particularly to NORAD and NATO.

How much? The estimated cost of the aircraft, associated equipment, and setup to enable entry into service is $15-19 billion. 

When? The first aircraft is anticipated by 2025 with the fleet being in service beyond 2060.

How long? Bidders will be required to propose a full life-cycle solution estimated at 30 years of steady-state sustainment beyond the initial set-up and transition. Contracts will cover a minimum of 4 years of performance including acquisition, sustainment set-up, and sutainment transition.


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What's happening now?

The Government of Canada is looking to gain a better understanding of Canadian industrial capabilities related to the sustainment of the Future Fighter program.

In particular, the Government is interested in better understanding the following three areas:

  • What extent activities not assigned to the Department of National Defense can be delivered by Canadian industry and suppliers.
  • What is the best overall sustainment approach for the Future Fighter program
  • How best to develop the Industrial and Technological Benefits and/or Value Proposition evaluation framework related to the sustainment of the future fighter aircraft

The Government of Canada is seeking specific feedback on the three questions below:

  • Outline broadly your current capabilities in supporting any commercial or defence aerospace fleets.
  • Please provide feedback on the notional responsibility assignments outlined in Annex A (pages 10 - 22 of this document), indicating which responsibilities that are assigned to the Supplier (selected as a result of the FFCP competitive procurement process), as well as those responsibilities assigned to DND with an asterisk (*), you would be able to undertake. Indicate how your current capabilities correlate to these areas.
  • Please indicate any barriers or challenges that you would need to address to allow you to undertake this work for a future fighter fleet.


Interested in contributing your thoughts?

Join the industry participation on OMX


Join the industry participation directly on PSPC's website


Read the full letter of interest

(Please note that the close date of August 7 has been extended to August 17)


What's happened so far? 

The Future Fighter Capability Project is currently in its third stage (of five) of the defense procurement process. You can reach more about the five-stage defense procurement process on the National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces website.

  • Stage one: Identification (Jan 2010)
  • Stage two: Options analysis (2015 - 2017)
  • Stage three: Definition (2017)


Jan 2018: Canada held a Future Fighter Industry Day to share information among 200 participants from more than 80 companies and seven countries taking part. The agenda and the opening remarks and statements can be viewed online.


April - May 2018:  Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Department of National Defence, and Public Services and Procurement Canada and Canada’s Regional Development Agencies held six forums across the country to provide more information and economic benefits of the program. More than 250 Canadian companies and 50 universities and research institutions participated.


March 2018: Formal supplier engagement discussed procurement approach, sustainment requirements, infrastructure requirements, aircraft and associated system requirements, and Industrial and Technological benefits.


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What's happening next?

Once all relevant parties (i.e. the Canadian aerospace and defence industries, commercial suppliers and foreign governments in allied and partner countries) have consulted on the definition of the program, it will undergo final approval in 2021/2022 before the contract is awarded in stage four.

  • Stage four: Implementation
    • Implementation project approval: 2021/2022
    • Contract award: 2021/2022
    • First delivery: 2025
    • Initial Operational Capability: 2026
    • Full Operational Capability: 2031
  • Stage five: Close-out (2032)



Jon Elkin

Jon graduated from Queen's University with a degree in Political Studies and then went on to earn his Master's Degree in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He is an active member of the NATO Association of Canada, and outside of work enjoys skiing, running and mountain biking.

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